Posts by Ashley Austrew

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    How “Burnout” Went From A Casual Expression To A Weighted Word

    by Ashley Austrew Most of us are familiar with the concept of being burned out. It’s that feeling you get when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, and simply don’t have any more energy to devote to a given task, activity, … or career. Traditionally, the word burnout has been used more as a self-diagnosis or casual expression rather than treated as a medical syndrome or mental health …

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    What Are The Right Words To Use When Talking About Suicide

    Warning: This article deals with the sensitive topic of suicide. If you (or someone you know) need support, call the toll-free, 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741 for free, which offers 24/7 support from the Crisis Text Line. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2016 suicide became the second leading cause of death for Americans ages 10–34 and the fourth …

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    Should We Use Emoji In Work Emails?

    A few decades ago, if you told someone that people would soon be sending one another electronic messages full of cartoon smiley faces, they would have looked at you like, well, 🙃. But, the future is now, and we do indeed send each other emails, texts, and tweets all day long that contain hearts and sparkles, crying faces and laughing faces, and all sorts of creatures, …

  4. What Camp Is … And What Camp Isn’t

    A who’s who in fashion, art, and culture held each year at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, the Met Gala is a black-tie fundraiser that kicks off the institute’s spring exhibition. The 2019 theme for the event and exhibition is “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” As the Met explains, the exhibit examines “camp’s exuberant aesthetic” and “how the elements of irony, humor, parody, …

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    When Did “Fat” Become An Insult?

    by Ashley Austrew The word fat holds a complicated place in our society. As an adjective, it joins words like tall, hairy, fluffy, or bright. But, unlike those descriptors, fat isn’t neutral. It’s so often framed as a negative—and used as an insult. However, the body positivity movement, fat activism, and popular books and television shows centered on fat characters are proving that narrative is wearing thin. …

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    What Kind Of Songs Get To Be Called “Country Music”?

    by Ashley Austrew What comes to mind when we say country music? Pickup trucks and cowboy hats? Garth Brooks and Patsy Cline? How about West African string instruments and Atlanta-based hip-hop? Past and present, country music—and what gets to be called country music—is far more complex than many realize. What is country music? Country music is defined as “a style and genre of largely string-accompanied American popular …

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    The Changing Language Of Climate Change

    The language surrounding climate change is changing right alongside the climate itself. But, it all began with global warming … What is global warming and greenhouse gases? Climate change was first known to many of us as  global warming , a phrase dating to the 1950s that indicates “a longterm rise in Earth’s average atmospheric temperature.” The idea that global warming exists and could be attributed to human behavior, however, was …

  8. “Mistress” And Other Words That Have No Male Counterpart

    It takes two people to have an affair, but despite this fact, there is a clear disparity in the way the public generally discusses extramarital relationships. Heterosexual men who have affairs are just heterosexual men who had affairs. But, the women with whom they have those affairs quickly get labeled with another term, one for which there is no effective male equivalent in English:  mistress …

  9. Is “Anti” Actually An Inclusive Term?

    When we think of positive language, anti isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In fact, anti seems like the very opposite of it. The word is a verbal line in the sand—a division between people who are for something and those who are against it. So, it might surprise you to know that the negative anti is being hailed as a more inclusive way to …

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    When Did “Chemical” Become Such A Toxic Word?

    The word chemical elicits strong reactions from many people. You’ve probably seen viral headlines over the past few years about “yoga mat chemicals” in your Subway sandwich bread or “toxic chemicals” in your mascara. Certainly, you’ve seen people online discussing the “dangerous chemicals” they believe are contained in vaccines. When people see the word chemical, it tends to inspire fear, but should it? What is a chemical? A chemical …

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