Tag: Language

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Conservatives are conceding too much when they use the term “Mainstream Media” (“MSM”) to refer to the media oligarchy of NYT, WaPo, LATimes, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, AP, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, etc., etc. I might accept the use of the term “Dominant Media” but that evokes “bondage and domination,” which is a little too […]

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The Science is Cisgendered: Gender-Neutral Cats Are the Civil Rights Struggle of Our Age

 

tumblr_inline_mnvkilXfzB1qz4rgpDon’t laugh at Washington Post editor Lauren R. Taylor. She is an earnest young woman with a passion for social justice. Which is why the Pulitzer-laden newspaper devoted precious editorial space to explain how she’s raising her cats as gender-neutral.

My new cats were freaking out. In carriers in the back seat of the car, they yowled their displeasure. I reassured them: “Don’t worry boys, we’ll be home soon.”

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Have you gotten a call like this lately? This is Service Contractors. We’re trying to reach out to you and set an appointment to fix your sink. More

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I more or less adhere to the idea that the English language is a slave to its users, so it twists and wobbles and changes in unpredictable ways. I’ve nonetheless tried to distinguish between benign alterations and those that result in the loss of useful words and forms. ‘Disinterested’ is one such word. The culture […]

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This is fascinating. I’m not focused on the issue here, but how Trump uses language. More

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On the Origins of Language with Two Linguists

 

Words, language, communication. It’s one of our favorite topics. Language can be beautiful, frightening, coarse, forceful, and arresting and, when under the employ of a master, it is like “wine upon the lips”, according to Virginia Woolf.

In the photograph that accompanies this entry is a rendering of the Tower of Babel. As the story goes, at some point in antiquity there was just one language, spoken and understood by all of mankind. Some academics say part of this story at least is true: there really was one language that gave birth to the rest of the tongues we have now. But from where did that language come? It’s a study that has fascinated linguists for years.

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End the Ricochet Code of Conduct!

 

cursingFor the past few years, whenever I’ve made a pitch for new members, I’ve always included something along the lines of this:

The internet is a swamp. The “comments” on most webpages are disgusting nonsense. We’re different. We have standards:

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“Silly goose!” In my experience, geese are mean, not silly. Clearly, this is evidence that time travel exists and that mankind first developed weapons to stop Aflac commercials. Nukes will get us there eventually.  More

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Reading a well-reasoned post is consistently refreshing; particularly when it’s one that lays out compelling arguments more deftly than me [admittedly a low bar to clear, thus I lurk more than post here]. This one caught my attention and my first thought was, “Wow! I hope nobody has already posted this at Ricochet.” “He who […]

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Have you ever wondered about the nature of language, and whether or not our language is adequate to express concepts we see in our minds or feel in our hearts? It’s a subject I’ve thought a lot about, especially in my interactions here, and seeing other people interact with each other. More

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The good folks at Grammarly.com (a super-duper online spelling and grammar checking service) have done another study comparing the online writings of Democrats and Republicans to see which group has the greater “richness” of language (defined as the greatest number of unique words in online postings). More

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Academic-speak these days is quite easy to imitate. Here is a representative specimen that might well be found in your email in-box if you happen to work in American higher education: “As a community we must all rededicate ourselves to dialogue about inclusion, diversity, and social justice and, and to rejecting the hegemonic discourse of […]

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The liberal says “It takes a village to raise a child.” What is said is literally true, but what is meant is false, for, when the liberal says “village” he means “bigger federal government.” It’s a curious inversion of the usual way of speaking in metaphor. Your average remark about the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” […]

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Warning—this will probably be filled with triggers, microaggressions, stereotypes, and maybe even a macroaggression or two. I’ve been reading many posts by members that have phrases, or even entire sentences in something other than English. Latin, French, Italian—I can’t understand them. I had only one year of high school Spanish—(I still remember part of a haiku […]

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Scrabble Skirmish: Them’s Fightin’ Words

 

shutterstock_133761986Language is a peculiar thing. Growing up, we often heard the admonition, “we will speak the King’s English in this house.” Which of course as a young lad, never made much sense to me, given that there was a queen ruling Great Britain, and we were Americans anyway. But I digress.

Nowhere was this more important than in the violent sorties over our treasured Scrabble board. Slang, or “street” vernacular was not allowed. Put a word down, and it better be in the American Heritage dictionary, or in the Oxford if we happened to have one handy. You play the best words you can, the cheap ones only as a pitiful, desperate last resort. If that means you have letter tiles at the end of the game you cannot play, so be it. Suck it up and count the points, boy.

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What do you think about this idea? Language is being privatized. More

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[Senator Lindsey] Graham’s spokesperson has clarified to Bloomberg that when Graham said “I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to,” that statement was “not to be taken literally.” My language pedantry has been vindicated! More

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The Joy of Filters, Foreign Language Edition

 

ID_TS_PERRO_PIANO_AP_001I am sure I cannot be the only member of Ricochet who was, in fact, shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that family-friendly Pat Sajak cusses a lot. I am utterly unable to reconcile this with the Pat Sajak I thought I knew. How could this be?

I was even more shocked and disappointed that certain members of Ricochet took advantage of this revelation to use words that, frankly, caused me to faint. I was particularly dismayed by the excuse that these were foreign vulgarities, and thus not subject to Ricochet’s Code of Conduct. In fact, I was obliged to faint twice: once in French and once in German. I warn members of Ricochet that I am capable of fainting in Yiddish — don’t you even try! — and in quite a number of other languages, including Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Turkish. This is true even if the only thing I know how to do in those languages is faint.

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The Idea of Ideology

 

When did “ideological” become a criticism?

If you are not ideological, then you are blowing in the wind. Your thoughts are shallow and your actions are whimsical.

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Spotted at Walgreens: American Exceptionalism

 

I saw this sign at my local Walgreen’s and I have to admit my first reaction was irritation.

Walgreens

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