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An MIT graduate has a new theory about the root cause of inequality; more Mexican immigrants have gone back to their native country since the 2008 economic crash than have moved to the U.S.; and a professor of linguistics explains why English is an extremely weird language. These discoveries and more after the jump.

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The struggle for the serious study and appreciation of literature continues in our society, where enormous emphasis has been placed on the "practical" disciplines of math and science, and specialized academics more and more produce arcane, overtly politicized work that the public seems to find joyless and irrelevant. (more)

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On Tuesday, conservative British representatives led the European Parliament to reject a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 in a preliminary vote stirred by claims that such a sharp decrease taken out of step with other nations would drive businesses out of EU countries. (more)

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Move over, George W. Bush, there's a new language butcher and she's on a tear. Sarah Palin loved her made-up word refudiate so much she used it twice -- first in an interview and again on Twitter. Realizing she blew it, Palin corrected the word to refute but then used it incorrectly. Eventually, she compared herself to William Shakespeare and called it a day.

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Sound the alarm: The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam taken by high school students across the U.S. uses a quotation from the late Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said. Some Jewish students are complaining that use of the Said material politicizes the test.

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As if Arizona isn't already up to its ears in anti-immigrant controversy, the state is now removing teachers who are believed to have too heavy an accent from classes for students still learning English.

TD originals

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Those who seek to dominate our behavior first seek to dominate our speech. They seek to obscure meaning. The English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language.The English- and Arabic-speaking worlds are each beset with a similar assault on language.

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