Tag Archives: meaning

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.

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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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Measuring Life in Semesters: I Am a Teacher

During what was probably the most important ten-plus years of my life, I was a member of a tiny parish in the Episcopal Church. Actually, it was so small that it was officially a mission, dependent upon the diocese for … 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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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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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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Naming Evil

I write today in the bloody wake of the most recent in an increasingly frequent series of mass killings–this time, the deaths of 58 country music fans at the hands of a gunman poised 32 floors above the concert venue … Continue reading

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Biology, Destiny, and the Politics of Dys-

I am aware that when Freud pronounced his now-vilified dictum of biological determinism, “anatomy is destiny,” he was referring specifically to sexuality, which is not my subject here–at least not my only subject. However, because I like to be well … Continue reading

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Hope Is a Thing

Twenty years ago today, so the legend goes, the hopeless step-grandmother of a wild child saw a red sign on a gray door: “Enter Here in Peace.” Though the parlous state of her soul belied the mode of entry, she took … Continue reading

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The Issue Issue

I can’t pinpoint when issue reared its euphemistic head and took the place of problem or difficulty in the general parlance, but the usage is now of epidemic proportion. The media are replete with sidebars about anger issues and relationship issues and weight issues. Students’ excuses for late homework … Continue reading

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