Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Slate’s Josh Levin has detected an ethereal meme in today’s publishing world:

While struggles for the soul predominate in a couple of subject areas (Islamic studies, evolution) you’re likely to find soul tug-of-war in every section of the bookstore — there’s a struggle for the soul of physics, as well as a struggle for the soul of judo.

The soul-wrenching tomes referenced in that last bit: “Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics” and “Ippon!: The Fight for Judo’s Soul”. Those are but two examples of a raft-full of books that employ the loaded term.

What’s with all this soul power? I imagine the cliquish literary editors got it into their heads that there’s nothing weightier than framing an issue in terms of its inner essence. And it’s a super-short word, so it fits great on a book cover.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/15/2010 11:07pm
Category: Publishing, Wordsmithing
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