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Category Archives: Language

Tell it like it is

Atrios has nominated Jonathan Chait as one of America’s worst humans for suggesting that we lefties should not be applying the term “white supremacist” to Trump or his followers unless they themselves confess to being so. He links to this Chait takedown, to which the reader is referred. I find myself in agreement with Chait, […]

Time to call a fascist a fascist

I’ve written before (some might say ad nauseam) about the inability of the Democrats to push a consistent message; the ability of the right to label themselves in palatable ways (they’re “pro-life”!); and the willingness or helplessness of a compliant press to go along with their labeling. We’re seeing that in spades so far as […]

Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn’t it?

I once bought a Playboy publication. And I really did buy it just for the interviews, because it was a paperback collection of the best interviews up to that time (circa 1981). The Mel Brooks interviews were hilarious, by the way. But, I digress yet again. One of the interviews was with John and Yoko, […]

More Democratic Incompetence

If you go to this link you will find yet another story about Trump’s criminality. But let’s put that to the side. I want to concentrate on this paragraph: Senator Schumer released a statement on Friday about Trump’s tax reform principles: “Until President Trump releases his full tax returns, a cloud of suspicion will remain […]

Grammar lesson

Typing remains painful for me, but I feel I must pound my keyboard, nonetheless, in defense of the English language and its punctuation marks. I refer to the Trumper’s defense of his wiretapping lie, an example of the reporting thereon here: “I think there’s no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about […]

Today’s Euphemism: the alt-right

I don’t know where the term “alt-right” originated, but it masks the reality, like so many right wing buzzwords. “Pro-life”, “ethic cleansing”, “school choice”, “job creators”, and “death tax” come to mind. When a new word is substituted for the tried and true, it hides the reality, because it is free of the associations that […]

Giuliani explains

By now, everyone who has access to the Internet knows that Rudy “9/11, 24-7” Giuliani recently said this: “Under those eight years before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States,” Giuliani said. Now, looking at it logically, there are three possible reasons why Giuliani might have […]

Another lesson in linguistics

We live in a world in which the word “literally” now literally means the opposite of what it means, so it is not surprising that words are constantly misused. However, the ways in which they are misused can be instructive. The New York Times published a story this morning about the Western land issue that […]

McGraw-Hill tripped up by little known historical fact

I haven’t been doing much blogging lately, for a number of reasons, not the least being my inability to come up with any more synonyms for “crazy”. Maybe Shakespeare would be up to the task of finding fresh things to say about the clowns running for president, or Republicans in Congress generally, but I confess […]

All the euphemisms fit to print

The New York Times was never able, so far as I can recall, to refer to enhanced interrogation techniques by the more direct term torture. This was, of course, regrettable, because the word torture conveys the reality more directly and accurately than the euphemism. However, the Times’ avoidance of the T word was somewhat understandable, […]