Tag: Language

Member Post

 

Having solved the overuse of natural gas in homes problem now the city of Berkely has moved on. From USA today and other sources: Berkeley’s municipal code will no longer feature words like “manhole” and “manpower,” and instead say, “maintenance hole” and “human effort” or “workforce.” The measure passed unanimously Tuesday and replaces more than […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Linguistic Colonialization

 

My biggest pet peeve in the last two years is the term “Latinx.” It is the most ignorant neologism that I can think of from the last round of language revisions in the past few years.

I teach Latin, and so I am used to a gender structure to language. But I didn’t start out the way. My primary language is English, and most words in this language are genderless. What gender would you attach to “English” if you could? The only gender left in English is those words that are intrinsically gendered: man, woman female, etc. and pronouns.

More

Member Post

 

Here’s a light but difficult topic for a weekend: What are the rules of looking at people? Learning when and how to look at people, what a stare or gaze communicates, is one of the unspoken lessons of any culture. I expect the rules vary between cultures as do rules governing distance between speakers, pacing […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I was reading this articlehttps://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/democratic_presidential_candidates_perfect_orwells_language_manipulation.htmland it had several fascinating quotes from George Orwell’s essay: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

https://www.ecolandscaping.org/03/landscape-design/when-your-contractor-is-not-familiar-with-ecological-design/ I was glancing over this article (I only link it to show I’m not imagining things) where pretty far into it, an issue came up that I had never expected in the sane world. So you don’t have to plow through it, essentially public construction work or at least landscape construction can end up […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

We’ve all heard people criticize the church or Christians or evangelicals (from within or without) for choosing Trump—but whatever his merits or demerits, Trump was not the choice of Christians. Peter Beinart in the Atlantic: More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

First Paddy’s piece, and now this. It’s one of those mornings. During the weekend, a New York meteorologist lost his job. What offense did he commit? Why, the offense of speaking too quickly, of course: More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

In politics, language matters. (Here, I must insert an obligatory Orwell reference.) Marginal theories can seep into the mainstream when marginal vocabulary seeps into the mainstream. Such is the case with identity politics — and, in particular, the trendy phrase “people of color.” I’ve noticed, even within the conservative commentariat (Reihan Salam, I’m looking at […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I love words. You might say that I am “zealous” about words. All sorts of words, it matters not how long or short, or from whence they come. Nor how exalted or rude their origins. I’m as fond of the monosyllabic, four-letter words for body parts, bodily functions, and natural activities, that came into English […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Standards and Anti-Standards

 

lol i dont know why sooooo many millennials hate grammar but whatchya gonna do about it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Joking aside, this phenomenon drives me mad. Scarcely a day passes when I don’t see some flagrantly ungrammatical Facebook posting by someone who should know better. Twenty-something scientists, mathematicians, historians, poets, journalists, and even editors — editors, for goodness’ sake! — all write in the same quasi-illiterate nonstyle. When the social-media output of America’s aspiring literati is indistinguishable from that of its middle-school dropouts, something is deeply, deeply wrong. Our language’s Millennial gatekeepers haven’t merely abandoned their posts; they’ve joined the barbarians in storming the castle.

More

Member Post

 

Provost Rosenwald: “We in the Anywhere State University community — and, especially, the good folks at the Sarah E. Simmons Center for Diversity and Inclusion — are proud to welcome Taylor Williams to our annual Gender and Sexuality Symposium.” Loud applause ensues. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Language and Reality: How the Left Uses Ambiguity to Frame Issues

 

A couple of weeks ago, I had an in-class discussion with one of my students regarding the limits of language. I asked the student, point blank, if language merely described reality or if language could create reality. It’s a slippery subject, and the young man in question took considerable time before answering that he believed that language could only describe reality, not create it.

I pressed him further. “Suppose, young man, I said something about you that was truly hurtful, something that wounded you to your very core. Would those words not create a chemical state of being in your mind? Would these words not create a series of endorphins pulsing through your brain that we colloquially refer to as anger? Would I not, in some way, have created a reality in your mind?”

More

Member Post

 

I don’t have a lot to add to this but just wanted to share language improvement projects when they come to public attention. So, you know, everybody is up to date and all: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42952220 More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

The story of the ancient city of Babel is that the people grew and built a great civilization. At its peak, they determined to build a tower that reached the heavens. God looked down and saw what they had achieved and confounded their tongues, causing them to speak in many languages. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

“Unacceptable.” It’s a word that’s thrown around a lot these day. What does it mean, exactly? More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I’ve noticed something curious. Many people on the progressive side now seem to use the word body in a way that a previous generation would have used soul or spirit. Rhetorically, the very pinnacle of oppression these days would be to do violence to the body, rather than (say) crush the soul. Thus Ta-Nahisi Coates writes […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

One Small Step for Crew, One Giant Leap for Crewkind

 

I should write a technical post on the emerging post-Shuttle age of manned space flight, but I’ll leave that for Rand Simberg, James Gawron(?), John Walker, and the others who are more knowledgeable. Instead, I’m going to bring up a NASA language peeve: The tendency to misrepresent the meaning of “man” and “manned.”

NASA, depending as it does on public relations, has probably always been a PC kind of place, at least in the public face it puts on. There is a great Bloom County cartoon satirizing the tendency to promote “firsts” in space by race, sex, and ethnicity. Those of you old enough to remember the Apollo days or earlier will no doubt recall discussions of “manned spaceflight.” But since at least the 1990s, and I suspect the 1980s, the term “manned” has been suppressed in NASA use in favor of the clunkier “human spaceflight.” Today, that inelegant phrase is increasingly replaced by the unfortunate-sounding “crewed.”

More

Member Post

 

I listen to a lot of podcasts. It seems that in every podcasts featuring female speakers (not Mona Charon), the conversation is sprinkled with the verbal tic “like” dropped inappropriately and with ghastly frequency into almost every sentence. Sometimes the speakers begin without that verbal tic, but the more they speak, the more often the […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

This Post is… uh, Disqualified.

 

killstabeliminateEvery year about this time folks in both the press and academia like to publish a list of words and phrases they want to see retired in the New Year. It’s usually a meaningless exercise since these sort of things tend to have a natural life cycle of their own anyway.

My parents were firmly of the WWII generation and yet I never heard them refer to anyone as “Gate” or being “a real hepcat.” In my own time I remember when things were “far out” and/or “groovy” and can recall asking the musical question, “Sock it to me?” The language breathes and words and phrases ebb and flow.

More

The Tyranny of Pronouns

 

jack-sparrowWhen I think back on how prophetic Bob Dole was, I want to flambé a grammar book. You may recall that in the midst of losing the 1996 presidential election, he began referring to himself in the third person, as in: “Make no mistake, Bob Dole is going to be the Republican nominee.” But at least he had the good sense to use his actual name, and didn’t demand that we refer to him with inanities like “Ze,” or “Hir,” or “they.” And when he excused himself to go the men’s room Bob Dole didn’t say, ”Bob Dole has to go to the ladies room.” Dave Carter misses Bob Dole.

All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.” Yes, you read that correctly. Want to read it again? It’s okay, I’ll wait. Let it sink in for a moment, and then let us pause briefly and pray that Soell doesn’t teach English, otherwise her fifth-graders won’t know the difference between third person plural and third person singularly ridiculous. Here, I disclose that I actually identify as a Lamborghini Owner (please contact Ricochet’s editors for instructions on how you can help accommodate my new identity).

More