Showing posts with label language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label language. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Crude is the New Illiterate.

Debasement of slang to meaninglessness is so fucking common it makes slang useless.  What used to be a "Shock jock" is now just a fucking illiterate.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Literacy Is a Political Disability

The Nation
  • In a study of literacy among 20 ‘high income’ countries; US ranked 12th
  • Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level
  • 45 million are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level
  • 44% of the American adults do not read a book in a year
  • 6 out of 10 households do not buy a single book in a year
 Tweets and memes scrolling under the news are current political currency.  They are all that the voters can understand.

 Trying to articulate spell out a policy idea in words small enough for the votors is a lost cause.  Likewise trying to prove a meme or tweet is a lie in one meme or tweet.  Lies gather no moss.  The truth accretes moss of literacy until it is invisible to even mainstream media these days.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ngram viewer

Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American: "New Tool Tracks Culture from 1500s via Books

Google Books Ngram Viewer--How much has Einstein really been in the public consciousness? Has interest in evolution changed? Web users can find out with this 'culturomics' tool, which provides rapid analyses of 500 billion words from 5.2 million books.

And I though Facebook was a time sink. Please. Nobody even think about this as a Christmyth present.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Insults with class

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
–Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”
–Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
–William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
—Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”
–Groucho Marx

“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
–Mark Twain

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
–Oscar Wilde

“I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one.”
–George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
“Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one.”
–Winston Churchill’s response to George Bernard Shaw

“I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.”
–Stephen Bishop

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”
–John Bright

“I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.”
–Irvin S. Cobb

“He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.”
–Samuel Johnson

“He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”
–Paul Keating

“He had delusions of adequacy.”
–Walter Kerr

“Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”
–Mark Twain

“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”
–Mae West

“Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!”
–Lady Astor to Winston Churchill at a dinner party
“Madam, if I were your husband, I would drink it!”
–Winston Churchill’s response to Lady Astor

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
—Moses Hadas"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
—Robert Redford

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
—Thomas Brackett Reed

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."
—James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
—Forrest Tucker

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any one I know."
—Abraham Lincoln

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts — for support rather than illumination."
—Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”
–Oscar Wilde

"You, Mr. Wilkes, will die either of the pox or on the gallows."
–The Earl of Sandwich
"That depends, my lord, whether I embrace your mistress or your principles."
–John Wilkes's response to The Earl of Sandwich

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
—Winston Churchill

An edited collection from somewhere on the web.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gender inclusive pronouns

Hell - Beliefnet Forums:
Anne Heche?

I am sorry but these pretentious gender-neutral pronouns used here strike me as a complete and utter wank. Wanky, wankish and wanker inspired.

The term is gender inclusive. (Your sexist bias is showing. Only males wank.)

If you prefer he/she/it, pronounced heesheeit in ordinary conversation when you are talking about a person or entity the gender of which is unimportant, be my guest. Or perhaps you would like to emphasize the feminine, she/he/it pronounced sheeheeit a very common expletive in the south of the US.

Language is important to our thinking, as we think in language. I live with a couple of people whose native language is Asian. Occasionally communication in English is difficult because of some of the language based assumptions in their (and my) thinking. As a relevant example people are not referred to as having gender in some Asian languages. Everybody is referred to as she, balls or not. It does color their thinking as referring to testosterone driven activities of a certain gender will go over their heads as they don't think in gender terms.

I find it useful to think that way myself, and have created some pronouns to help me do so. They are occasionally jarring to my thinking but in general it is a good thing, as it highlights the sexist assumptions that are built into my language. As a relevant example a famous scientist was unable to introduce a female full professor to a room full of people because his language had no word for female colleague.

I was involved peripherally in making the UU hymnal gender neutral, and was quite surprised to find how sexism colored my thinking about God. The God I rejected as a youthful atheist had balls and a prick which He used to fuck everybody that crossed Him.

Thinking of God as a gender neutral Parent combining the qualities of mom as well as dad changed my view of God considerably. He wasn't a testosterone driven asshole anymore, but a helping mentor. A teacher, professor type who never got upset with mistakes, (but never forgave them and made one get it right no matter how long it took.) Ultimately that view didn't work for me as God either, but it did help me organize my internal image of the group of mentors, male and female that determined the morality and purpose in my life. "