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August 14, 2018

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Two lodestars in my life:

I love baseball.

Baseball will break your heart.

Oh sure, I check in and there's this...

Go nats.

“Go nats.”

Is that a polite way of saying balls ?

/spittake

Which brings to mind, Gonad the Ball Bearing.

I love hockey.

Hockey will break your teeth. And ankles. Collarbone. Nose fer sure.

But your beer stays colder longer.

This afternoon was the third time since June 1 where we got enough rain that I was willing to hit the rain delay on the sprinklers. Lots of the Denver metro area around us has been hammered repeatedly, but it's been a long dry disappointing monsoon at the Cain household.

Don't try to play both bridge and golf. No one can take that much annoyance.

“Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose”

a great quote.

Oh, Mr. Gallagher, Oh, Mr. Gallagher,
What's the name of the game they play upon the links?
With a stick you knock the ball
Where you can't find it at all,
And the caddie walks around and thinks and thinks.

Oh, Mr. Sheen, Oh, Mr. Sheen,
You can't even tell a divot from a green!
For it's very plain to see,
(both) Yes it's very plain to see

-That it's croquet, Mr. Gallagher.

-No it's tennis, Mr. Sheen!

...with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose...

Stipulating the task at hand -- propel a small ball lying on the ground a significant distance in a particular direction -- contemporary golf clubs are exquisitely well suited to the job. Almost anyone can learn to hit the ball 150 yards with one of them.

Compare it to driving a motorcycle: handlebars (of use only at low speeds), a clutch operated in one hand, a gear shift mechanism operated with one foot, a throttle and front brake operated with the other hand, and a rear brake operated with the other foot. Ill-suited for driving? Again, almost anyone can learn to do it.

Both better regarded as demonstrations of the human brain's fantastic adaptability to tools of any sort.

To Pete:

I lost the vision in one eye to baseball at age eleven.

I'm still playing center field.

Now, like Quint in "Jaws", show me your shark bite scars.

My jaundiced view of golf is doubtless influenced by having almost been killed by a golf ball.** It's the kind of experience that makes a serious impression.

** Landing a small aircraft, solo. Approach over a golf course (which is not uncommon, since people hate planes landing just over their roof.) Guy on the driving range skys one. Ball thru the prop unscathed, thru the windscreen, and only a fast head jerk saves my eye -- but it took off the headphones and my glasses. If I hadn't move fast, it would have been ugly.

Progress continues!
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/08/15/sumter-county-ala-just-got-its-first-integrated-school/

Albeit not particularly rapidly in some places.

As Bob Uecker might intone, "JUST ... a little outside."

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-really-sarah-sanders-just-corrected-an-alternative-fact-2018-08-15?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

The Council of Hack Racist Economic Revisors

wj, that's one of the best golf stories I've ever heard.

Glad you didn't do a nose plant in the water hazard.

And I've still got the golf ball.

Ball thru the prop unscathed, thru the windscreen, and only a fast head jerk saves my eye -- but it took off the headphones and my glasses.

Amazing. Did you make the news?

Well, cricket and golf do not mix:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/45085754

Did you make the news?

Nope. It was back in the 1980s, when the 24 hour news cycle wasn't quite so hungry for stories.

All that happened was, after I told the tower I was doing a full stop (I had been doing touch-and-goes) and caught my breath, I taxied around to the flying school. Where I was mostly worried that they would be charging me for a replacement windshield. (Honest! That was the top thought in my mind.) I figured out later that they were mostly worried that I might sue them -- heaven knows on what basis. We both got off without financial damage.

On July 3rd, 1984, an airplane on a training flight over a golf course was struck by a golf ball. But that was in Melbourne, Australia and the ball only dented the metalwork. :)

I was going to post a link to something about a political group I like,the DSA, but this seems to be a golf thread and so I am back to my usual negativity. I hate golf. Golf courses are pretty though, and “ Tin Cup” was a good movie, almost as good as “ Bull Durham”.

RIP, Aretha Franklin.

She gave us a lot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diwF1-xJwZM

This is good to know:

One of the clauses that he cites as objectionable, Section 1233, expresses “the sense of Congress” that the U.S. “should support a Europe whole, free, and at peace” through strengthening such institutions as NATO and the European Union and that it should adopt policies to defeat Russian aggression.

A “sense of Congress” resolution explicitly has no binding authority whatsoever; it merely expresses an opinion. By definition, it cannot interfere with a president’s authority to conduct foreign policy. But apparently Trump’s hostility to NATO and the EU runs so deep that he couldn’t let this stand even as a token gesture.

It's not even a mandate (although there are apparently a bunch of those that he proposes to ignore. It's just a Goddamn Sense of Congress statement! But apparently supporting our allies instead of Russia (he also objected to the provision mandating that we do nothing to accept Russia's annexation of Crimea) is too much for Trump.

Oh no, Aretha. It's so sad. Soon after that performance, more than one person sent me the same link the Count posted saying they had watched it with tears of joy and exhilaration.

Progress continues!

Alabama : putting the "deliberate" in "deliberate speed" ever since 1954!

She gave us a lot.

Amen.

It's just a Goddamn Sense of Congress statement! But apparently supporting our allies instead of Russia (he also objected to the provision mandating that we do nothing to accept Russia's annexation of Crimea) is too much for Trump.

Crapping in a golden bowl is apparently not enough to satisfy him. He needs to crap all over our national history, our alliances, and our best interests as well.

What will the Donald crap on next?

he'd better keep his fool mouth shut about Aretha

He'll only say nice things about her. After all, she may be black, but she's dead -- and so can't say anything nasty (accurate) about him.

stay gold, Fox News.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fox-news-remembers-aretha-franklin-with-photo-of-patti-labelle_us_5b75bbcfe4b0182d49b1e165

he'd better keep his fool mouth shut about Aretha

"hold my beer!" says potus...

“I want to begin today by expressing my condolences to the family of a person I knew well. She worked for me on numerous occasions. She was terrific — Aretha Franklin — on her passing,” Trump said during a cabinet meeting

Open thread, right?

For light relief, a reasonably entertaining piece about the rightwing panic at the thought of Idris Elba playing James Bond. Money quote (from Richard Spencer):

Make no mistake,a black James Bond would be an act of dispossession far greater than a flotilla of a million refugees.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2018/aug/16/far-righters-james-bond-not-on-your-team-idris-elba?CMP=share_btn_tw

Open thread, right?

For light relief, a reasonably entertaining piece about the rightwing panic at the thought of Idris Elba playing James Bond. Money quote (from Richard Spencer):

Make no mistake,a black James Bond would be an act of dispossession far greater than a flotilla of a million refugees.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2018/aug/16/far-righters-james-bond-not-on-your-team-idris-elba?CMP=share_btn_tw

Make no mistake,a black James Bond would be an act of dispossession far greater than a flotilla of a million refugees.

Actually, I agree entirely.

Albeit not the way that the author meant. I'd say it shows just how trivial a flotilla of refugees is!

OK, which would have been better/worse, a black James Bond or a female James Bond?

Some links, obviously old, for background

https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/female-james-bond/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2018/05/15/you-dont-deserve-a-female-james-bond-or-a-lady-indiana-jones/#3ac05d4b169a

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/02/rachel-weisz-female-james-bond#~o

My wife and I went to see the new Ocean's Eight, half because she wanted to see it, half because the air conditioning. Not to spoil anything, the way they reset why Debbie Ocean (sister of Danny Ocean) wants to rob the jewels is interesting, but it didn't really have the excitement of the first one. Why that is (or why I may think so) is interesting.

FOX News mistook Patti LaBelle for Aretha Franklin, and I suspect tomorrow they will run a photo of Sidney Poitier, mistaking him for Idris Elba, the possible new Bond.

If FOX interviews Elba and they ask him his character's name, instead of replying "Bond ... James Bond", I hope he answers "You can call me Mista Tibbs."

Actually, the runner at FOX assigned the task of hunting up stock photos, when asked by the FOX producer to "find a picture of Franklin ... or any Negro will do .. but NOT Omarosa" found only pictures of William Thomas Junior in FOX's slim Negro file, the actor who played Buckwheat.

Idris Elba is also rumored to be up for the part of Rhett Butler in the remake of "Gone With The Wind".

He reportedly said he would take the part only under the condition that Richard Spencer play Mammy, the part Hattie McDaniel made memorable.

Spencer said he's rather play Iago to Elba's "Othello", because he wants to be typecast as a cruel, manipulative conservative pigfucker.

"You own the libs twice..."

lol.

white people - they have a good 500 year run, in the ~100,000 year history of humanity, and they think they own the place.

Oh, a remake of Gone with the Wind would have to downplay the slavery angle anyway and cut out all the racism in order to not get torn to pieces by the modern conservatives. A black Rhett would be perfect*. The question is, whether Scarlett (Johansson) should use yellowface or not.

*one of the millions of slaves that Jefferson Davis freed and who fought for the South from day one.

Regarding the whole Asian representation thing, it’s become a concern of western media in recent years, as reaction to the latest movie shows...

https://slate.com/culture/2018/08/the-joy-luck-club-needs-to-be-forgiven-by-asian-americans.html
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45179503

As the BBC article points out, rightly, I think, much of this is almost beside the point, with the rapidly growing importance of Asian cinema and TV.

Right now, probably around half my own viewing is Korean TV, which gives a very different popular culture perspective.

Nigel, if you have a Netflix account and you haven't done so already, take a look at Mr. Sunshine, a Korean historcal drama series.

I saw a couple,of episodes, and I’m not completely sold on it.
The cinematography is quite jarring - oversaturated and implausible colours - which is unusual for Korean drama of recent years, where the standards are exceptionally good compared to much western fare. I thought the plotting of the first couple of episodes extremely sketchy... though that isn’t unusual either for even the better Korean stuff, so I might give it another go.

Also, it’s on Netflix, and their subtitling is vastly inferior to that of the crowd sourced Rakuten Viki, which despite its faults gives a far better feel for the nuances of Korean language.

With the Netflix connection, the production company may have felt it could spend a lot more on sets and cinematography and overdid it a bit. It's certainly the most lavishly produced Korean drama I've seen so far. The subtitling may be suffering from making episodes available on Netflix shortly after broadcast in Korea. But, being a joint venture, you'd think they could have done them in advanced. Maybe they did and did it not very well anyway. I think, after the first few episodes, the series improves a bit. The first episodes have to introduce a lot of characters, provide backstories and flesh out current circumstances. I like the series but can understand why someone wouldn't. One criticism I've seen is that it's too much of a soap opera.

I like the Viki subtitling too. They provide a more literal translation and then explain the puns and wordplays. Although, with a recent Chinese drama series, the translation was so literal as to be incomprehensible. I had to switch to Drama Fever to understand what was happening. But, with Drama Fever, it's often difficult to tell whether the characters are using phrasing similar to English or the translators are making wholesale substitutions of English idioms and word usage. Viki also subtitles song lyrics which almost no one else bothers to do.

Any time I think of subtitles, I'm put in mind of the ones in the kung fu movies we saw in college. Inevitability, at some point the heroine would get beaten up. The hero (having vanquished her attackers) holds her dying body in his arms and, according to the subtitles, says

Brace up!
I have no idea what an accurate translation would be. But that one always had us giggling.

A lot of the chopsocky movies dubbing and subtitles were translations into American gangland. One time, being bored, I watched one of the movies dubbed in Spanish. Pretty funny as the Spanish dubbing was a translation from the gangland dubbing.

Viki creates subtitles in other languages using the English subtitles. Must make for some sometimes strange translations from the original Korean.

And here may be a look at "what's next?" If Trump chooses to be inspired by his Austrian soulmate.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/austrias-far-right-government-ordered-a-raid-on-its-own-intelligence-service-now-allies-are-freezing-the-country-out/2018/08/17/d20090fc-9985-11e8-b55e-5002300ef004_story.html

and NC GOP is talking about impeaching (or even packing the court to render moot) any NC Supreme Court Justices who vote against the GOP's attempt to put a bunch of "conservative" nonsense into the state constitution via ballot items.

https://www.wral.com/impeachment-of-justices-possible-gop-chief-says/17776194/

The modern GOP does not support the right to vote.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/08/the-art-of-the-troll

Violence against the entire conservative/republican malignity can't come too soon.

Conservative vermin government:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ice-arrests-undocumented-man-driving-pregnant-wife-to-deliver-baby

The conservative vermin who support conservative government and want to kill anyone who disagrees.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/man-charged-with-threatening-to-kill-congressmans-kids

Count, though the linked article doesn't point it out, the congressman in question is a supporter of Trump's immigration policies, and that support is what so upset the man now under arrest.

the man now under arrest.

the dude is 68 years old.

the geezers are the ones to watch out for, they've lived their lives and don't have all that much to lose.

and no, I'm not making a joke.

meanwhile....

h/t Duncan Black

Can't say I can remember anything quite like this happening before. Even including Watergate stuff.

Funny times.

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it.

Rather odd use of the word "furor" I would have thought. What do the correct usage police say, Janie?

You rang? ;-)

My best benefit of the doubt guess is that the writer meant "fury."

If I didn't have actual work to do, I could produce a lengthy blog post every day of instances like this where either there's little to no copy editing being done in the first place (if they thought deadlines were tight back in the day of print media, well....), or if there are in fact copy editors involved, they're not as literate as they should be. Add in the effect of autocomplete.......aiy. (And as with the link someone posted a while back to some self-styled expert on trans issues, the internet has let loose a lot of people who aren't as literate as the more pedantic among us could wish, but who make up for it with pretentiousness.)

Okay, sounds snobbish. But it's irritating to see these high-level, so taken with themselves pundits misusing relatively common words.....The link is to an article in what BJ-ers call FTFNYT, for crying out loud.

Now and then, especially late at night, I write little instructional emails to editors mentioned on web pages. I've done it with boston.com and with our local paper (based in Maine's capital city), and sometimes I get a note back, always gracious, or see an almost immediate correction. Which leads me to believe that the responsible people do care.

*****

I am bemused by statement that McGahn had "at least" three interviews totaling 30 hours.... Those are some danged long interviews....I hope they fed him once or twice along the way.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers still had a chance to keep Mr. McGahn’s insider knowledge from the special counsel. By exerting attorney-client privilege, which allows the president to legally withhold information, they would have gained the right to learn what Mr. McGahn planned to tell investigators and what he might reveal that could damage the president

So glad the doctor (or the correct usage policeperson) is in!

I agree that fury made more sense, and moreover I would have thought that in this extract they meant "asserted" as opposed to "exerted". Damn, I thought the NYT was supposed to be a stickler for this sort of thing.

Geez, I didn't actually read much of it (I rarely read the NYT, why would I want to read a publication that employs Ross Douthat? :-), but I certainly agree with you about exert/assert.

Haberman is one of their stars, isn't she? And the fine print at the bottom of the article says that it appeared on page A1 of the print edition.

Decline and fall.....

That's "asserting" for "exerting", obvs.

Crossed.

Decline and fall.....

Yup.

Thanks Jim Parish.

My drone attacks sometimes turn out to be friendly fire.

For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual.

Except isn't McGahn, as White House Counsel, actually an employee of the US government? That is, his real client is NOT the President, but the nation. Of course, Trump has demonstrated (not least with the Attorney General) that he has no clue that government employees are not his personal employees -- like employees of the Trump Organization are.

Even including Watergate stuff....

Yes, but Nixon was a trained lawyer with some idea of what he was doing; Trump is just flailing around, albeit with the capacity to do serious damage.

Decline and fall.....

Love you both, JanieM and GftNC, but problems with copyediting being the end of the world is so 2016.

I would have thought that in this extract they meant "asserted" as opposed to "exerted".

OTOH, "exerting the privilege" has some interesting possible connotations.

Let me rephrase:

Problems with copyediting being the end of the world is an issue that is so 2016.

I hope I've redeemed myself!


Problems with copyediting being the end of the world is an issue that is so 2016.

Then how much more so the wasting of time chiding people about it?

You can't possibly imagine that I'm going to jump off of my bandwagon and climb onto yours.

I thought that you would recognize that it was good natured. Obviously, I misjudged the seriousness of the situation. Sorry.

Just to be clear, I was joking, and failing perhaps, but in the spirit of friendship.

My "bandwagon" has nothing to do with grammar. I'm most concerned these days about immigrants being treated as subhumans, and being deprived of their children. Also, possibly, being treated as slave laborers.

Don't get me wrong, JanieM. I think your concern with grammar is lovely and fine. Grammar isn't my "bandwagon". Not for grammar or against grammar. I prefer good grammar, but it's not my "bandwagon."

Peace.

sapient, I apologize for the snark. But this seems to be a common refrain of yours: why are people here talking about something that's not as important as what you want to talk about?

You may be able to arrange your life so that you are able to think of nothing else, and talk of nothing else, and do nothing else that's non-essential to your daily life and wage-earning, until all this stuff is resolved, but I'm not, and/or don't want to. I give money to causes, work for a couple of causes, occasionally nag my legislators, but -- I'm not going to stop everything, quit my job, go to law school or social work school, and take a bus down to Texas to work with immigrants. (Or even Portland, where we also have immigrants.)

To the extent that my bandwagon comment wasn't snark, it too was lighthearted. More seriously, commenting about grammar is not equivalent to doing what I can about the immigrant situation. It's more equivalent to, let's say, listening to music, or reading a book, or visiting with friends, or taking a walk in the park, or eating ice cream. Have you done none of those things since parents starting being separated from kids at the border?

I should do more of what you suggest, JanieM.. Some things in my life have come up that have interfered with my focus.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks for responding as you have. I hope your life settles down and you get your focus back into shape. My own focus seems to get less manageable the older I get.....yikes.

After triggering this, I foolishly went to bed! But from there, and on phone, I would just like to say (and anybody might find this farfetched and disagree), that I think there is a connection, albeit tenuous, between sloppy writing, sloppy thinking, and the phenomena of Trump et al. You don't even need the constant denigration of the "elite" to illustrate it. But anyway, I don't believe noticing and talking about these things detracts from one's concern about the state of the nation.

Good night!

I don't believe noticing and talking about these things detracts from one's concern about the state of the nation.

Hope you wake up early, GftNC.

Please read the following with the lightest of hearts

You do realize, I hope, that standardized grammar and spelling coincided with factories, and standardization of all kinds, good and bad.

That's not to say that clarity of grammar and spelling is a bad thing, but do you really think that, prior to the18th century, people didn't have clear thoughts or were unable to express themselves clearly?

Y'all are neoliberals, are you not? [Just making trouble, and being a pest.]

So, thinking about grammar, form, formulae, etc., what do you think about poetry? Free verse? Rap? What's it all about?

I try not to make mistakes [not so much here]. I'm deeply embarrassed when I do (especially a spelling mistake, and I made a serious one lately). But I don't want to see the US adopt a "literary language" that's at odds with the common vernacular, or what people can say, and have understood, without rules.

Also, GftNC, I think your insistence on some rigorous definition of "fascism" or "Nazi" has skirted the fact of what's happening here in Trumpville. Trump Nation is the American equivalent of Nazi, Fascism. And it just keeps conforming itself more and more to its prototype. We're going to be lost. Maybe because people, early on, refused to call it what it is.

You do realize, I hope, that standardized grammar...coincided with factories...

This is nonsense. But I will leave it to our resident linguistics professor to elaborate, if he should so desire.

what do you think about . . . Rap?

What I mostly think about Rap is that it's fascinating that we found it necessary to create a new form of "music" to disguise the fact that what was really happening was a revival of poetry. Apparently it wasn't thinkable that poetry could be recited in public and appreciated by substantial audiences.

In my opinion, most Rap is mere doggerel. Pretty poor, even for doggerel. But then, that is true of most poetry, too.

Clearly it's not only politics where people have challenges calling things by their right names. ;-)

what I thought was notable about the nyt piece was that the white house counsel spent 30 hours talking about God knows what with Mueller's team.

it seemed, to me, remarkable.

bad English usage is, sadly, hardly noteworthy. even at the times.

to me, rap is sort of a victim of its own success.

if you ever get the chance to check it out in its original habitat - a dj, a sound system, some good smart rhymers, and a party - I think you will dig it. maybe. the spontaneous back and forth is beautiful.

some of the better rappers go well beyond doggerel. not my area, really, if Eric was still around he'd have some thoughts to share.

On 12 July 2000, I read a story in the Boston Globe that has stuck in my memory for two reasons:

1) It included the phrase "former tool and dye factory". This annoyed me, because I believe that no tool and "dye" factory has ever existed in the entire history of manufacturing. Alternatively, I believe it's no wonder that a company manufacturing both tools and dyes went out of business.
2) It reported that the leader of the S&M club which was renting the former factory for its, uhm, meetings was charged with "lending or exhibiting articles for self-abuse", which you have to admit was either made up on the spot by the DA or else have been a fun statute for our legislators to write.

I thought at the time that ignorance of the tool-and-die business on the part of reporters and editors might have something to do with the alleged decline of American manufacturing. But I may have been wrong. Attempting to look up that article just now, I naturally googled "tool and dye" and got many thousands of hits which were want-ads for "tool and dye makers", not just in newspapers but also in trade mags.

As a Thing That Is Wrong With The World, this "tool and dye" malapropism ranks lower than frayed shoelaces, of course. But still. And while I'm at it:

You LEVY a tariff; you LEVEL an accusation.

You MUTE a microphone; you MOOT an argument.

To REPORT (or ruhport, as Bob Woodward pronounces it) is to CONVEY information, not GATHER it.

You clip a COUPON; I have no clue what you do with a KEWPON.

The COUP DE GRACE (koo de grasse) is the final touch, the finishing blow. If "koo de grah" means anything, it means a drink of fat.

While we do what we can to Make America Decent Again, trying to Make America Literate Again is probably a waste of time, of course. But collusion with sloppy English should still be refudiated.

--TP


You people sure are full of furor about this grammatilogical whatchamacallit.

TP, I was smiling along for a while, then "KEWPON" made me laugh out loud.

Next to "koo de grah" you can put "memwah" and "oMAZH" -- MEMOIR and HOMAGE pronounced by people who apparently think they're French words.

Between 2008 and 2012, half the people on the radio decided that the cool kids say "candiduht" instead of "candidayt." I'm pretty sure I never heard the former pronunciation before 2012, although I've since read that it has been around in the upper Midwest for a long time. It's just an example of how fast these changes can move. Transitional-phase-wise, I've heard people use both pronunciations in the same sentence.

As the upper Midwest mention implies, some of the pronunciation stuff is a matter of regional dialects. You should hear how "roof," "root," and "route" are pronounced out where I grew up (NE Ohio). The former have the same vowel sound as "took," and the latter is pronounced like "rout."

On first coming to New England, I wondered why path didn't always rhyme with bath, or half with calf. Funny, I now say roof, route, and root the New England (?) way. But I still say the "a" in path, half, calf, and bath the way I grew up saying them. (Same sound as in "fan," what the nuns taught us to call "short a.")

Finally, for tonight, having consulted a few sources other than my own irritable sensibilities, I see that "furor" can mean rage or anger, although acc' to Garner its use for that meaning is rare.

And I’d always spelled it furore....

You LEVY a tariff; you LEVEL an accusation.

Although it is more or less the business of the WTO to level tariffs....

furore/furor: British vs American spellings, acc' to sources.

There's plenty of that going around.

E.g. from here (part of Oxford University Press):

Verbs in British English that can be spelled with either -ize or -ise at the end are always spelled with -ize at the end in American English.

We had go-rounds about this back when I was doing a lot of editing at work. We're an international company, and European clients often wanted "British English." I had to tell my bosses that I could leave British English intact where I recognized it, but couldn't really generate it ad hoc -- this isn't my real work, after all, nor am I British. Anyhow, I said, if the Brits can't decide amongst themselves whether to use -ize or -ise, I felt perfectly justified in doing it the American way.

TP -- by the way, I can see remembering "tool and dye" and "lending or exhibiting articles for self-abuse," but is there some reason why you remembered the date of the article as well?

I mean, I remember a lot of trivia (less--or is it fewer?--than when I was younger, to tell the sorry truth), including a lot of dates. But the date of a newspaper article? That's impressive.

Janie, Janie, Janie,

Have I ever given you cause to believe I have such a steel-trap mind as all that?

No, the whole credit belongs to the Globe's archive database (subscription required) and its search capability. Unable to remember the exact phrasing of the charge -- which I was NOT about to try all variations of as search terms -- I searched for "tool and dye" and the article (including its date of publication of course) came up.

BTW, one of the articles the search kicked up had to do with the notorious case of the British nanny who was being tried for murder in the death of a baby in Newton(?). The judge in the case ruled that involuntary manslaughter was the only appropriate charge. A glitch occurred when the judge tried to issue his ruling on-line to meet some sort of procedural deadline: the judge's ISP was a Brookline company called "Software Tool and Die", a provider that can reasonably claim to be the world's first public ISP, and can surely claim to have a decent sense of humor. At the critical moment, a Boston Edison crew working in the street outside the STD office unintentionally cut power to the building, causing the judge's ruling to be published late. Sure enough, the Globe article on the matter referred to the company as "Software Tool and Dye".

--TP

I can do without either candy dates or candy duds.

Anyhow, I said, if the Brits can't decide amongst themselves whether to use -ize or -ise, I felt perfectly justified in doing it the American way.

I realise you’re trying to get a rise out of me, but you must recognise it’s not going to work.
:-)

My own personal favoirite is licence/license - noun/verb in English.

You are entirely sensible to have dispensed with the -ce version.

I will leave it to our resident linguistics professor to elaborate

You rang? Sorry, I was defeating the forces of fascism had an orchestra practice for the weekend. Sapient, while I can see why you might suggest there was a correlation between grammar correction and factories (i.e. the Industrial Revolution) (and certainly mass media and greater social mobility creates the conditions where language is used as a marker and is therefore subject to use to maintain social divisions) a little thought would suggest that standardization comes whenever a language is set out in written form. This is from Nicholas Ostler's book Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin.

Scholars' adaptations of grammatical theory to Latin gave the language a new source of status, putting it effectively on a par with Greek even at this, most abstract level. But there was another motivation for developing grammar, one that brings us back to the schoolroom. Foreigners aspiring to learn the language well, especially as it began to change, needed instruction on what was good style; seeing examples of it held up for imitation was no longer enough for learners. Grammatical theory began to be presented, often in simplified form, in the classroom. The word barbaros / BARBARVS came to at least as commonly used to denigrate failures in grammar and style (in Greek or Latin) as to point something out as truly foreign. A. Gellius, a scholar of the second century AD, naturally described a correct usage as NON BARBARE DICERE, SED LATINE 'saying it not barbarously but in Latin'.

And while such implicit snobbery against the outsiders continued to prevail, a curious fact was missed. Already by the first century AD, Latin scholars had demonstrated that Greek was not the only language reducible to rule, even if those very rules were inspired by looking at Greek. Other languages too could have a grammar.

Lest one think that I'm suggesting that Janie and GftNC are engaging in snobbery, I am not, just trying to indicate that standardization didn't come in with the first factory, so the argument seems more like a 'oh, and by the way, your tie is ugly' kind of argument i.e. an argument tagged on the end to piss another person off.

The question of Rap is also raised. I don't share wj's view that it is 'mere doggerel'. In the episode on Black English in America from The Story of English (1986), they present a street poet and it's easy to see the line from the oral poets to rappers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UutNB2OzUjs

check out about 41:00

Is it doggerel? Well remembering Sturgeon's law, if you were around when Homer and the other bards were singing for their supper, you might say yeah, that's crap, so wj is probably right that 'most Rap is mere doggerel", but failing to see that it is a Western (and human) heritage is a mistake, imho.

This I didn’t know: the likely origin of ‘mhmm?’ -
https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2018/08/17/606002607/ready-for-a-linguistic-controversy-say-mhmm?

sapient, I don’t usually respond to your remarks to me about terminology for the administration, but in recognition of your recent efforts I am doing so one last time.

I said here on ObWi before the 2016 election that I believed a Trump presidency would be an existential threat to what I called the American project, by which I meant the better angels of your aspirations, or even the past status quo. Nothing that has happened has changed my mind, to the contrary in fact. But I still get to choose what words I use. I understand that you are doing your version of “God’s work” with immigrants and asylum seekers for example, and I applaud and support you for it, as I have always made plain. I can even see that you may think you are doing vital work in trying to persuade the unconvinced of the heinousness of the Trumpsters, to avoid a population walking blindly into a dictatorship. But nobody here, certainly not I, can be classed as the unconvinced, so your attempts to strong-arm me into calling them what you and the Count want to call them, rather than what I want to call them, are both misguided and a distraction from what I presume is your real goal, which is to say fighting them. There have been other villains in history, apart from the Nazis (which word certainly describes some Trump supporters), and there will be others in the future. I do not intend to let kneejerk reaching for the names of the last great bogeymen circumscribe my own reaction to them.

@Nigel :-)

*****

lj has sort of covered it, but I want to add that attention to grammar and usage is not the least bit in conflict with appreciation for rap, free verse, or the "vernacular."* It's a false equivalence--whether a misunderstanding or a deliberate gotcha, I don't know--to suggest otherwise. In fact, something like free verse by definition needs "unfree" verse, i.e. "the rules" (real or imagined), to play off of. Rap similarly. Those arts don't violate the boundaries of "correct" forms so much as they expand them, maybe interrogating the very notion of "correctness" as they go.

I talk about grammar and usage because I enjoy it, the way some people enjoy talking about baseball or beer or butterflies. Mostly I punch up: I'm bitching about the fncking New York Times, not the person-in-the-street who wouldn't know a subjunctive from a subway stop. (I'm not all that sure about the subjunctive myself.) I'm frustrated with the fact that the educational system in this country gave up a long time ago at teaching people to write well. The people whose writing I edit (for pay and as a volunteer) are smart and well-educated, and almost none of them can write a coherent paragraph composed of one sentence flowing into another, embodying a thought train, to save their lives.

*"The vernacular" reminds me of the saying, "A language is just a dialect with an army and a navy."

Ah, the roads not taken.

the battle of 'frahg' vs 'fraug' has been raging in my household for 22 years now.

What I mostly think about Rap is that it's fascinating that we found it necessary to create a new form of "music" to disguise the fact that what was really happening was a revival of poetry.

IMO, the history of rap is fascinating. 'talking blues' is an obvious predecessor. white folkies were doing it in the 60s, but it goes back to the 20s at least. and there are examples of preachers doing the classic rap cadence (ex. the one in Rapper's Delight) as far back as the 1940s. while the whole 'two turntables and a microphone' setup, where a DJ spins two records to keep the groove going seamlessly forever while rapping over it, can be traced to a specific party held in an apartment.

just trying to indicate that standardization didn't come in with the first factory, so the argument seems more like a 'oh, and by the way, your tie is ugly' kind of argument i.e. an argument tagged on the end to piss another person off.

It wasn't an attempt to piss people off, and thank you for sharing your expertise. It's truly a fascinating topic.

This is a handy rundown of the history of English spelling and standardization. Most of the important initiatives to standardize came with Samuel Johnson in the UK (18th c.), then Noah Webster in the US (18th and 19th c.). Standardization and conformity were important for a lot of reasons, manufacturing and trade among them. In any case, people spoke and wrote in English for a long while before standardization. Perhaps standardization is more about empire than factories.

so your attempts to strong-arm me into calling them what you and the Count want to call them, rather than what I want to call them

Thanks for the response. That has not been my attempt. My attempt has been to defend my own use of the term, and to draw parallels to a historical situation that is well-known to most people in my general demographic. I don't believe that I've ever insisted that you use the term.

To conclude my part in this conversation, let me just say that I admire good copy editors immensely, and believe that language is often at its best when precision and care are taken to select the most descriptive term. I wish I were better at it. However, when taking other people to task, if meaning is clear, small mistakes in spelling, word usage, or even grammar are (IMO) somewhat trivial. It's fun to detect these errors, to learn more about words by looking them up, and certainly to shame a major newspaper (especially one that deserves criticism for other reasons). In truth, though, since newspapers struggle financially, I'd rather have more reporters than copy editors (although, ideally, all would be employed and well remunerated).

sapient: Also, GftNC, I think your insistence on some rigorous definition of "fascism" or "Nazi" has skirted the fact of what's happening here in Trumpville...We're going to be lost. Maybe because people, early on, refused to call it what it is.

GftNC (and sapient quoting her): so your attempts to strong-arm me into calling them what you and the Count want to call them, rather than what I want to call them...

sapient: That has not been my attempt. My attempt has been to defend my own use of the term...

Maybe.

Thanks for that link, cleek. Hard to stop watching more of the Jubalaires.

JanieM has touched on one of my peeves: US pronunciation of French words. Of course we use French words here too: we pronounce them somewhere between English and French, depending on how familiar we are with French pronunciation and how affected we're willing to risk sounding. Whereas it's apparently normal in the US to use an unenglish pronunciation which would be anywhere near correct only if the words came from some unknown language almost entirely unlike French.

"Filet", especially as pronounced by waiters, is a prime example. It sounds like "fellate" with a silent "t". Someone somewhere has been told that French stresses final syllables, which is not wholly wrong, and exaggerated it absurdly. While not bothering in the slightest with what French vowels actually sound like.

In JanieM's example, "mémoire", unlike "memoir", is a French word, but "memwah" is not a French pronunciation, which ... ok, I'll stop ranting. For now.

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