Tag Archives: language

What We Have Lost: Our Stories Make Us One

“Thanksgiving lessons jettison pilgrim hats, welcome truth” This headline from the Associated Press exploded inside my skull when I saw it three days ago, and in the dust that settled, I read an important lesson about what has been lost as … Continue reading

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Everything Not Forbidden Is Compulsory

When I first passed this sign yesterday morning on the way to class, I thought it was an instruction in etiquette: “Don’t sit here because this is a table, and sitting on tables is rude.” Silly me.

Posted in Bill of Rights, books, COVID-19, critical thinking, current events, divisiveness, education, First Amendment, free speech, freedom, history, language, literature, news, novel coronavirus, politics, society, totalitarianism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“A Vendetta” by Guy de Maupassant: An Analysis with an Existentialist Twist

Below is a translation from French into English of my May 8 post: Like other writers of the 19th century (e.g. Charles Dickens in England and Alexandre Dumas in France), Guy de Maupassant first published his story “A Vendetta” in … Continue reading

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«Une vendetta» de Guy de Maupassant: Une analyse avec une touche existentialiste

Comme autres écrivains du 19e siècle (par ex. Charles Dickens en Angleterre et Alexandre Dumas en France), Guy de Maupassant a d’abord publié son histoire «Une vendetta» dans un journal, Le Gaulois le 14 octobre 1883. L’histoire se déroule en … Continue reading

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Sloganeering: Fake Language Is the Problem–Not Fake News

I have not posted anything on my blog since September 21–over a month ago, my longest dry spell since I began it in May of 2016. Significantly, this hiatus coincides quite neatly with the weeks that have elapsed since the … Continue reading

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Grammar, Meet God

Although I care deeply about language and am passionately interested in its origins and characteristics, I have no claims as a linguist. Therefore, what follows comes more from my heart than my head–mostly emotion tempered with a bit of knowledge … Continue reading

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The English Major and Ford Madox Ford: A Tale of Passion

                  The Chemistry Major At this late date, newly minted Medicare card tucked safely in my wallet, I suppose it’s time to admit, mostly to myself, that I have always been what … Continue reading

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Among: Advent Word 14

Among all the Advent words for this year, only today’s is a preposition. The remainder of the list comprises seven nouns and fourteen verbs (including, of course, some crossovers). These are the  draft horses of the language–the persons, places and … Continue reading

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Simplify: Advent Word 4

The things we want and need are plain and true: To live in peace in a safe, warm home; to eat soup and bread and drink wine; to sleep curled in the arms of one we love; to speak words … Continue reading

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Let Me Count the Ways

I am not certain I ever heard the name Harvey Weinstein before October 5, when The New York Times published its initial exposé of sexual-misconduct allegations and hush-money payoffs. Nor have I followed the increasing media firestorm with any interest though the … Continue reading

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