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linguistic overpopulation

linguistic overpopulation

english has too many pronouns. and that’s not even counting the silly made-up ones that seem to be floating around lately that i’m not going to focus on. if we look at just the subject-form pronouns in english, what do we have? first person, “i” and “we”. ok, that seems reasonable enough, one that’s only me and another for me and others. a good distinction to be able to make.…

the second amendment

the second amendment

i’m neither an american nor a constitutional scholar. but i am a language teacher specializing in culture and the development of contemporary language. and if that counts for nothing reading a document intended to be read by average people and understood by the masses as a guarantee of freedom, i’m not sure what better qualification would be. not that i care as i’m going to talk about it anyway and…

evil, not guns

evil, not guns

in the last few days, there has been an incredible increase in the amount of discussion of gun violence. of course, that’s not particularly surprising. people in the modern world jump from one hot-topic to another more quickly than changing their underwear. seriously. every day there is extreme outrage and emotional absurdity about something and the next it has been forgotten. not that i don’t think these issues are serious.…

sights and bites

sights and bites

“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, the torah says. “retribution!”, you cry. and you are wrong. there may be more frequently-cited phrases of biblical wisdom but i doubt it. good samaritans? needles’ eyes? solomon’s wisdom? even allusions to nudity and serpents in primeval gardens pale in comparison with this seemingly-obvious declaration of religious justification and divine instruction for retribution. it’s just what our culture is…

preparing children for guns

preparing children for guns

when i was little, more moons ago than i would prefer to think about given the choice, it was very rare for intruders to penetrate schools and shoot children. it occasionally happened that an angry student in a high school or college would show up and start randomly attacking their classmates but elementary school felt relatively safe. other than the overwhelming culture of violence and bullying, of course. which is…

abortion is good for you

abortion is good for you

yes. it’s good specifically for you. i believe the question of abortion is an exceptionally-simple moral and ethical one. it is fundamentally and absolutely barbaric to force any living thing to undergo pregnancy and childbirth. it is physically difficult and destructive, not to mention emotionally draining. its impact on life is larger than any other potential shift in medical status. perhaps, however, you are a barbarian who enjoys seeing females…

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