June 24, 2020
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Tag: Language

A Land of Noise and Confusion

An old Scottish nursery rhyme suggests that names or in a more general sense, words can never hurt anyone. It misses the point that language can be carefully crafted to control and manipulate an entire population into a state of social conformity...

Big Words

My adult daughter likes to use big words, such as “polymath” and “bloviation.” Her favorite word is “sesquipedalian,” which means someone who likes to use big words. The only place in print I have ever seen this word was in three different...

More Language Peeves

More Language Peeves

It must have happened during one of those moments when I wasn’t looking, but there’s no question that it did happen. I’m referring to the disappearance of fractions in communication. Here are two sentences that I recently encountered, not in casual...

Language Peeves

Language Peeves

The TV newsperson was commenting about a story concerning the Boston Marathon bombing when she said, “The story just doesn’t jive with the facts.” I tried very hard to picture a story dancing with some facts, but I just couldn’t. The problem was not...

The War Against Sexist Language

The War Against Sexist Language

Washington state governor Jay Inslee recently signed a bill that goes a long way toward ending biased language in state documents. The new law originated in the House, where it won a 70-22 victory. It then passed the Senate unanimously. That brings...