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New York Times Book News

Bookends: Does an Award Like the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Help or Hurt the Cause of Women Writers?
Zoë Heller and Dana Stevens debate the merit of literary prizes for which only women compete.







Bits Blog: Behind the Downfall at BlackBerry
A new book by two reporters from The Globe and Mail offers details about the emotional and business turmoil surrounding BlackBerry’s near collapse.







Word of the Day

sacrilegious

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 26, 2015 is:

sacrilegious • \sak-ruh-LIJ-us\  • adjective
1 : committing or characterized by a technical and not necessarily intrinsically outrageous violation (such as improper reception of a sacrament) of what is sacred because consecrated to God 2 : grossly irreverent toward a hallowed person, place, or thing

Examples:
My great-grandfather was a die-hard New Dealer who considered any criticism of Franklin D. Roosevelt to be sacrilegious.

"It had drawn conservative and religious protests over taxpayer financing of art that the work's opponents considered sacrilegious." — Victoria Burnett, New York Times, February 25, 2015

Did you know?
It may seem that sacrilegious should be spelled as sacreligious, since the word sometimes describes an irreverent treatment of religious objects or places. However, sacrilegious comes to us from sacrilege, which is ultimately derived from a combination of the Latin words sacer ("sacred") and legere ("to gather" or "to steal"). Its antecedent in Latin, sacrilegus, meant "one who steals sacred things." There is no direct relation to religious (which is derived from the Latin word religiosus, itself from religio, meaning "supernatural constraint or religious practice"). The apparent resemblance between sacrilegious and religious is just a coincidence.