News and Events

Everybody Has One

Faculty Make Their Opinions Known

This article was originally printed in the March 2006 issue of CLASnotes.

Diana Boxer
Diana Boxer

Trysh Travis
Trysh Travis

In today’s information age, opportunities abound for news junkies to opine on topics of interest—from trendy online blogs to the traditional newspaper opinions/editorial page. Amid all this noise, the college professor can often serve as a voice of reason—intelligently offering an “expert opinion” or broadening the discussion with insights from their own research.

Linguistics Professor Diana Boxer read a commentary on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” on January 30. Titled “The Etymology of Schmooze,” the commentary referred to the scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff who pled guilty in January to fraud and tax evasion charges. Boxer, who is working on a book, “The Lost Art of the Good Schmooze,” discussed how Washington scandals such as Abramoff’s have redefined the meaning of “schmooze” into a word with negative connotations. Her entire commentary can be accessed online at

Meanwhile, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an essay written by Women’s Studies Assistant Professor Trysh Travis in its commentary section, “The Chronicle Review,” in February. Titled “James Frey: Feelings as Facts,” the essay discussed the controversy surrounding Oprah’s Bookclub best seller A Million Little Pieces, a memoir written by James Frey about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction, which was recently discovered to be, in many parts, fabricated. Her entire article can be read online at

Do you have an opinion you would like to share? The University of Florida Op-Ed Service, coordinated by UF News Bureau writer Aaron Hoover, assists UF faculty and staff with authoring opinion pieces on timely issues. Hoover will assist with editing your piece for length, tone, style and readability. He also handles the pitching of the idea to media outlets around the country. For more information, contact Hoover at 392-0186 or



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