Category Archives: Language

Silenced again.

This is a comment I was unable to post to a FB conversation because, apparently, I have been blocked from any kind of conversation with the “friend” that was hosting the conversation.  This was the comment that would have explained what I was doing in the conversation, but, having been blocked from doing so, my participation is being forced into a form that will leave me looking more than a little incoherent.  Which is more than a little uncool with me.  Cowardly and intellectually dishonest, in fact.  I’m neither going to include the full name of the person involved, nor hide the mentions of her first name that I wrote in the comment.  If you know who this is, you can know that I’m calling her out for conversational cowardice and intellectual dishonesty.  If not, don’t worry about it.  

The reason I brought this point up here is that a week or two ago, Amy and I had a long and unpleasant conversation about her assertion of a “fact” that racism is only found in systemic oppression, and not in individual acts of hatred and cruelty motivated by race. I disagreed with that usage of the word, because it’s not the way ordinary people use it. They also use it to describe indiidual acts of hatred and cruelty motivated by race, and belief in racial superiority. As the CBC did in this article (although, honestly, they didn’t quote any of the graffiti that used terms that indicated a racial aspect to this, as I pointed out above). The hatred (which I neither share, nor condone, nor excuse in even the smallest degree) was focused on people based on their religion and their nationality/ethnicity.

Again, I am not a fan of hatred toward Muslims. The only Syrians I have contempt toward are named Assad. I’m not opposed to helping refugees from Syria. Nobody can provide evidence to the contrary because none exists. I’m not trying to distract any attention from this act. I think it’s deplorable, and that those who carried it out should be made to account for it.

For those who disagree with the idea that racism is only an institutional phenomenon, welcome to my side of the disagreement.

Useful Distinction: “Mistake” v “Bad Choice”

This is the first of what is intended to be a series of posts about useful distinctions I make between some common words and phrases that others use interchangeably.

When I hear “I made a mistake!  Everybody makes mistakes!” it usually tells me that someone has been caught doing something wrong that they can’t hide or get away from anymore, and they intend to minimize away what that something was.  When I have a chance, I talk about the difference between a mistake and a bad choice. Continue reading Useful Distinction: “Mistake” v “Bad Choice”

Word of the Day: Skein

So I was wondering when there would be another season of my preferred reality show, Beauty and the Geek, so I did a little googling, and learned, to my dismay, that it’s unlikely that there will be another season. 

However, I did run into this word “skein” in a way I hadn’t seen before.  Turns out that “skein” is Hollywood insider lingo for a TV series.  I’ve never heard it used that way before. 

So, I thought I’d share. 

Getting my Greek on.

After many years away, I started working on my (Attic Dialect) Greek yesterday.  It was fun.  I wasn’t able to keep up with my partners in classicism, who have been in class the past three quarters, but was able to ask some not-stupid questions and contribute a few vocabulary pieces (Google and the cellular modem are both my friends) as well as some suggestions about the constructions. 

I’ve found the text we’re working on in pdf form and have it on the computer now, and I have figured out how to use an online lexicon that’s more constructive than the vocabulary list that goes with the text (which is, no joke, longer than the text itself). 

Looking forward to doing more of this.