Last Call: Funny words, the black vegan movement, Chopin's finest work

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Porridge, oatmeal, booty, tit, booby, hooter, nitwit, twit

Is porridge funnier than oatmeal? That’s the question posed (and answered) in this Aeon article penned by two psycholinguistics professors. As writers, we here at The Takeout spend more time than you’d imagine nitpicking our word choices, especially in headlines. We want to use words in ways that surprise, delight, and provoke, but of course, the words still have to clearly communicate our message. So I read with interest this quantitative exploration of what makes some words funny and others unfunny. Note that this article is written by two Brits, so nearly all of their words are funny. Especially twit. [Kate Bernot]


The black vegan movement


The New York Times tells the story of the black vegan movement, which is having a moment thanks to websites like Black Vegans Rock, the 100 Black Vegans list and the Hip Hop Is Green health initiative. “It’s not just about I want to eat well so I can live long and be skinny,” Jenné Claiborne, a personal chef and cooking teacher told the Times. “For a lot of black people, it’s also the social justice and food access. The food we have been eating for decades and decades and has been killing us.” [Jen Sabella]

Chopin’s Ballade No. 4

I took piano from ages four through 17—as required by Chinese immigrant bylaws—and only recently, after the birth of my son, did I start playing again. I’m trying to tackle this from Frédéric Chopin, perhaps his most famous and gorgeous of his ballades. [Kevin Pang]