Posts Tagged ‘language’
While many of the world’s languages do not, English has historically had gender specificity in certain of their pronouns, particularly in the third person singular (he, she). For many years, a gender-specific, almost always masculine, pronoun was used to express a gender-neutral meaning:
“A candidate should work to the best of his ability, and he must comport himself appropriately.”
A couple solutions that been used to improve on this, include “he/she” (clunky), the word “one” (did not seem to catch on), or the third person plural word “they” (which I hate). Some attempts have been made, by proponents of gender-neutral language, to introduce invented gender-neutral pronouns.
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Re: Hassan v. City of New York lawsuit against the NYPD over its surveillance program targeting Muslims. Plus the dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership.
MIT Technology Review: Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
You might want to bookmark this, because it’s updated regularly: Who Is Running for President (and Who’s Not)? Most recently, it’s former New York governor George Pataki, who’s been out of office since 2006.
Obama To Posthumously Award “Harlem Hellfighter” With Medal Of Honor For Heroism on June 2, 2015. That would be Sgt. Henry Johnson, who I wrote about HERE.
On July 28th, 1917: Between 8,000 and 10,000 African-Americans marched against lynching and anti-black violence in a protest known as The Silent Parade.
The Milwaukee Experiment. How to stop mass incarceration.
From SSRN: Bruce Bartlett on How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.
There is a movement at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, which I once visited, to “bring a collection of old school words back into the modern-day vernacular.” They are:
Caterwaul – A shrill howling or wailing noise.
Concinnity – The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.
Flapdoodle – Nonsense.
Knavery – A roguish or mischievous act.
Melange – A mixture of different things.
Obambulate – To walk about.
Opsimath – A person who begins to learn or study only late in life.
Philistine – A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.
Rapscallion – A mischievous person.
Subtopia – Monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings.
Caterwaul and philistine I use as often as possible, myself.
Occasionally I get the darnedest questions at work. Someone wanted information about the toy The Magic Eight Ball, which used for fortune-telling or seeking advice,. It is apparently manufactured in China, and someone wanted to know if the number eight was selected – instead of seven or nine – because the number eight is considered lucky in China.
I found no evidence of that. I assumed it was developed from a billiards reference, which it appears to be. But it was interesting to read about the derivation of the term behind the eight-ball:
…a common idiom meaning to be in trouble, stymied or thwarted, in an awkward position or out of luck. Read the rest of this entry »