Dante's Hell re-imagined as linguistic sins

I just happened upon this McSweeny's post, Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, Reimagined for Linguistic Transgressions, by poet and software engineer, John Rauschenberg, that they published a few years ago.

What did they miss? Which transgression would you move closer to Lake Cocytus?

First Circle (Limbo): Autocorrect

Here wander the otherwise virtuous souls who were forced into grievous errors by autocorrect programs. They sit in silent masturbation, only rising once every hour to chant eerie koans such as “ducking auto cat rectal.”

Second Circle: The Serial Comma

One half of this circle is populated by souls who are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons and the infernal mistresses of hell. The other half are cursed to make arguments that nobody cares about except their own mothers, howling gorgons, and the infernal mistresses of hell. The difference between these two situations seems to matter a lot to both halves. Neither side will listen to you when you suggest that they could avoid this level entirely.

And what does he have in the finally circle?

Ninth Circle: Literally, the Ninth Circle

It is literally the worst circle ever.

[Image: The Fifth Circle, by Stradanus, Public Domain] Read the rest

Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac hang out with New York's beats, 1959

Bruce Sterling: *THEY DON’T LOOK countercultural cliche-dramatic, they don’t have beatnik berets or bongos. You wouldn’t look at them twice in New York City, but there’s still something subtly off about them. I think it’s that plethora of pens in Ginsberg’s untucked shirt." Read the rest