It’s sad and dangerous how easy it is (for everyone) to misunderstand a slogan and react defensively. When a belief is condensed to a few words, it necessarily assumes a whole set of contexts, contexts a reader of that slogan may misunderstand. There are examples of brilliant writing where tremendous nuance has been conveyed in only three words; they are exceedingly rare.
I’ve just read the thoughtful opinion piece No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong by Jef Rouner at the Houston Press. I don’t find much to disagree with in the text of the article, but there is a subtext I find troubling. While Mr Rouner and I are in agreement that asserting something as one’s own opinion should not used as a shield against logic or facts, I’m troubled by the implication that anyone has a monopoly on the truth.
I don’t claim to know the truth about vaccines. I am not a scientist, or a doctor, or a researcher of any kind. So far the available numbers overwhelmingly indicate that they do a lot of good. Would we be better off if we brought back polio? Do I even need to write it out? No.
Greed, gluttony. Chambers says it’s archaic.
Another word found in Go Set a Watchman. It usually says good things about a novel when I have to look up multiple words in one sitting. Not always; sometimes it seems like the obscure words don’t add value. I have mixed feelings about the use of gulosity here. If I were asked to edit this I might not insist it get replaced but I’d want to have a conversation about why it was important. Perhaps it’s archaic, but remained in use in the South for some time? Or perhaps there is a nuance of usage I’m missing.
Now I really wish I still had my OED.
Literally, cannibalistic. «Cannibalize» might mean to take mechanical parts from a device in order to repair others, the way that «scavenge» describes the use of backpressure to reclaim unspent fuel in a four-stroke internal combustion motor. Anthropophagous, anthropophagy, anthropophaginian, anthropophagite, and anthropophagi all seem only used to describe humans eating the flesh of other humans.
Found in Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. I don’t want to go in to the context here, but I was almost sorry I looked this one up.
I remember enjoying the Mad Max movies from the 80s,1 though truth to tell I don’t remember actually caring about them very much. I don’t think I ever saw the Thunderdome one, which I’m not bothering to even look up the actual title of.
Google has made a big deal out of selling Google Apps as a way for health-care providers to securely store patients’ medical records. As of this writing Google will sign Business Associate Agreements for their Google Apps for Business customers—about five dollars per month.
In a recent Facebook conversation I bemoaned the fact that most United States residents cannot name even one of their State’s senators, and less than a third can name two.1 That got me thinking about whether my own knowledge of our political landscape is any good. So I gave myself a simple test: to write a list of all fifty states, and identify the junior and senior senators from as many states as I could.