Verb Choice in Fiction

Rae Spencer

I recently ran across an article titled “Falsifying memories” at The Guardian’s Neurophilosophy blog. I read the article in my usual half-distracted manner until a sentence caught my full attention and prompted me to start over. The second time through, I read much more carefully. Here’s the sentence:

[Elizabeth] Loftus started her career investigating semantic memory – how word meanings are stored in the brain – and somewhat ironically, it is the meaning of words that seems to lie at the heart of the matter. (1)

For me, this sentence hinted at fascinating possibilities. The article doesn’t expand on the semantic memory work, so I started clicking links to find out more. One of the links led me to a longer profile by the same author, published in Nature. There I found this marvelous set of paragraphs:

…Loftus won funding in 1974 for a proposal to…

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