Miscellany 3

And more. Another item from Normblog, that made me laugh a good deal. About people who pontificate in a repetitive repetitive manner about clichés and the end of civilization as we know it. I know people like that, I’ve been trapped at dinner tables and in cars with them on more than one occasion. (Some people even think I do that! Would you believe it!) Drone drone drone they go, droning about droning bores. Rather the way I am now. I’ll let Norm tell it:

Not only that, there are ‘more dangerous’ clichés, says Mortimer, like ‘”the war against terrorism” when we aren’t at war with any country’. One reads this sort of thing so often now, I’m thinking of charging a small fee to explain in simple language to those a bit on the slow side usages of the word ‘war’ not involving simple bilateral conflict between sovereign states. Anyway, Mortimer regrets that ‘political ideas have become clichéd’, and laments a lost time ‘when sentences and our language were used to mean something and sound well’. Harrrrumph! I invite entries of no more than thirty words saying in the most clichéd way you can that we’re going down the tubes because of slack speech patterns.

Good old days, verbs as nouns, they don’t, nobody, any more, you used to be able to, why I remember when, subjunctive, they when they mean he, heorshe, politically correct, between he and I, a good book, tv, youth culture, time was, Orwell, never use a long word when a short one will do, tell what you know, simple, good Anglo-Saxon, Latinate, jargon, sociologese, schools these days, illiterate, teachers, Book of Common Prayer, coughcough hack wheeze.

That was fun. Next. There are a lot of interesting items at Cliopatria. This one for instance on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and a critique of it in ‘Dissent.’ The author of the critique comments there too. And then there’s this and this on the departure of Invisible Adjunct – which has caused a lot of reaction in blogoville, but the comment at Cliopatria is particularly interesting since it comes from colleagues. IA is a historian. Historians regret her departure. This whole adjunct thing is – well, let me put it this way, it’s the market going one way and ethics going another. PhDs are a dime a dozen therefore we can underpay and overwork them therefore we will. Peachy.

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