Re: You could care however much you want.

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That's wasn't the usual tedious usage pedantry. It was more tedious than usual.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:39 PM
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Interesting. "Could care less" is definitely an odd development, since as he points out it doesn't make any logical sense. I think there must be some pragmatic reason or something for it, but I don't know of any research on the topic. And I was similarly unaware of the "hold [down] the fort" thing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:41 PM
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2: Huh. I almost had the last line of the post say, "I bet teo hates this post but might like the ensuing discussion."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:46 PM
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3: Eh, I mean, I'm not crazy about the video, but you're right that he has a much lighter touch than the sorts of people who typically do these things, and the things he does choose to complain about are mostly non-arbitrary cases where there really is some logical oddity. As for the ensuing discussion, that really depends how it goes. If it's just another prescriptivist-descriptivist skirmish or a straight-up prescriptivist judgefest, I'm not going to like it, but there's no way to predict where a thread is going to go.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:50 PM
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One idea I've entertained about "could care less" is that "couldn't care less" sounds awfully harsh to some people, so they try to soften it by taking out the "n't" without thinking about the effect this has on the meaning. That's really just speculation, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:52 PM
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4: Exactly. The latest sex-type thing I posted, which, according to blog history, should have swung towards a discussion of food, instead went for a hundred comments on arthropods (thanks in part to you, I should add; huzzah)! Who knows where we'll end up?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:53 PM
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"I could care less" makes antisense.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 9:55 PM
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6: In case that wasn't clear, I quite enjoyed the arthropod and other-animals discussion.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:07 PM
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8: Yeah, it was interesting. Sure are a lot of people freaked out by arthropods. They don't really bother me. Of course, then the discussion turned to birds.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:13 PM
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I've always figured that "could care less" was fossilized sarcasm--sort of like "piece of work" but with a murkier origin story.


Posted by: micah | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:14 PM
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Eh, I'm on the side of "language evolves; use it how you like," on principle. But I have to admit that "could care less" does sort of irk me, because it really doesn't make sense. Also, color, honor, and etc., still look a bit off to me, but I'm trying to get over it, because I realize I'm just being silly.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:17 PM
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10: That's another possibility. Something like "well, I could care less..."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:17 PM
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I could have my cake and care about it too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:22 PM
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That was extremely tedious and pointless, but on the plus side all the stupid visual gimmicks and explaining obvious ideas at length did remind me of how much I hate the "Krulwich on Science" segments on NPR, both because of all the stupid aural gimmicks therein, and also for the obviously scripted and badly feigned surprise and confusion by Krulwich that are its hallmark. I'm guessing he thinks that acting extremely dumb somehow contributes to explaining difficult concepts, but it just makes me gnash my teeth.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:32 PM
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Also irksome is the apparent assumption that the only way to make science interesting is to add wacky sound effects and idiotic banter.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:35 PM
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because it really doesn't make sense

It's hardly unique in that. Lots of idiomatic phrases don't.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:36 PM
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Whoa, harshman. We know her flight's delayed. But don't take it out on us, bro.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:36 PM
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16: I was going to say that too, but I didn't want to be identified as the harshman.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:40 PM
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the only way to make science interesting is to add wacky sound effects and idiotic banter.

Sounds like a typical day at the office. Oh shit, you mean I've been doing it wrong?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:40 PM
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Oh shit, you mean I've been doing it wrong?

Looks like you have to start over now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:41 PM
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Tiiiired. Don't start over.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:49 PM
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Stop mellowing my harsh, Stanley!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 10:58 PM
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Ah, Sir Kraab just arrived home!

So, we could talk about otter swimming lessons or Danish happybirthdaybusdriver flash mobs. I have nothing harsh to say about those things.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:00 PM
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On preview it looks as though the thread has left the OP behind, nonetheless...

11.1: This works in most cases, but it is interesting that the intended meaning is the reverse of the literal meaning of the phrase. How does such an exactly-wrong usage ever gain traction?

For some reason I was delighted to learn this is an American idiom.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:02 PM
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In other non-harsh news, the new Party Down episode with Steve Guttenberg is pretty great.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:03 PM
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25: I haven't seen it yet! How good was the school fundraiser ep? Soooo goooood.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:14 PM
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14: I really want for Krulwich's stuff to be less annoying, but the editing is like Word Jazz turned up to 11. The one episode of Radiolab I remember based an argument about neurology on a ridiculous interpretation of the Rite of Spring premiere, which taught me only to dislike beloved public radio programs a little bit more.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:20 PM
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27: Exactly. I want to root for it, cause hey, Science!, but it just sucks so bad.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:26 PM
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Is Brokelandish any relation to Brock, or Btock?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:27 PM
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"I could care less" makes sense.

You are open to the possibility of reducing your care units. You are not committed to caring.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-21-10 11:50 PM
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MOST CERTAINLY NOT


Posted by: OPINIONATED BROCK/BTOCK | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:12 AM
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Another example, what does this mean to you?

"Like I give a good goddamn."
"Like I give a shit." or
"I really give a flyin' fuck." delivered with sarcasm.

"I couldn't care less" lacks any level of entertaining irony.

But these are the Unfogged threads I try to avoid. Too intellectual and subtle for me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:32 AM
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you can make some cock jokes if you want, bro


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:44 AM
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I like David Mitchell. We say "I couldn't care less", and I spent a lot of time as a child trying to work out how the American "could care less" worked.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:53 AM
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I use could care less cause it drives my partner insane, and the secret of a good marriage is to do so on a regular basis.

It's not an American usage perse, it's just something teenagers started saying a while back to annoy, well, people like David Mitchell. Who, to be honest, is an even bigger pedant than Stephen Fry ever was and often reminds me of those old robots on Star Trek who explode when confronted with a well chosen piece of illogic.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 4:09 AM
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36

Next week: head over heels.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 5:41 AM
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I always thought "could care less" was sarcasm.

Also, I thought the video was harmlessly funny. What is wrong with you people? (Robert Krulwich sucks, though.)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:58 AM
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I interpret "could care less" to mean that you care so little, you don't even care how little you care. "Couldn't care less" means you've put some effort into ascertaining how much you care. "Could care less" means you don't even care how much you care. Presumably it would be possible to figure out the exact size of the iota you care about it, but who cares?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:03 AM
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I like David Mitchell, but he does sometimes belabor his points.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:08 AM
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33: I WOULD RATHER DIE THAN WITHDRAW.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CLARENCE THOMAS | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:09 AM
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I've never thought of it as American usage, I guess. It's the kind of thing you say and then your parents or your teacher mockingly correct you with the same argument as Mitchell. Sort of like asking, "Can I go to the bathroom?" and then your teacher replies, "Oh, I'm sure you can."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:13 AM
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(40 because darn it all, there's too much talk about making cock jokes and not enough of... taking the cock joke... in hand. Or something.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:14 AM
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You do understand that David Mitchell is a comedian? The belabouring of points and acting like an about-to-explode robot is for comic effect.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:28 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:18 AM
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36: Next week: head over heels.

Nah, let's do ass backwards first.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:22 AM
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43: And sometimes it works.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:22 AM
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45: What about ass over teakettle? There is no teakettle! Come on!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:24 AM
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47: Just looked that one up. I had never heard it before.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:26 AM
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I have never heard "I could care less" in a way and context that lends any credence to the "sarcasm" interpretation (though it might have originated that way, I guess).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:30 AM
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There is no teakettle! Come on!

There are teakettles.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:31 AM
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It occurs to me "same difference" (do people still say that?) is similar - it's used to mean "same thing," but its meaninglessness can be a kind of ironic apathy ("nor do I care if you think it's wrong").

I always thought it was a phrasal portmanteau of "same thing" and "no difference," but on reflection that might be wrong.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:40 AM
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Mark Liberman discusses it here and here. He specifically covers the sarcasm claim (Steven Pinker was an advocate) and some similar constructions.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:57 AM
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Cheap at half the price.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:19 AM
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||

Dude at my door just know trying to hand over religious pamphlets (which I declined): "Word of the Lord."

Only in America?

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:30 AM
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Also: Another funny Brit on about bees.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:31 AM
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Cheap at half the price.

Good album.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:34 AM
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My guess: "I could care less" is a contraction of "See if I could care less!" or "Do you imagine I could care less?"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:41 AM
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55: I thought that was going to be a link to this.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:03 AM
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43: he may started to do it for comedic effect, but it's quite clear that he really can't help himself...


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:08 AM
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I'm guessing he thinks that acting extremely dumb somehow contributes to explaining difficult concepts,

Isn't this, like, science journalism 101? The reporter plays the role of the neophyte learner the audience can identify with.

The most common failure of science journalism is making the neophyte learner insistently dumb, so that even after the concept has been explained at the appropritate level, the story simply hammers home the same simplistic point rather than trying to add nuance to it.

One of the things I appreciate about This American Life style nonfiction story telling is that it tries to incorporate a dramatic turnaround. The first half of the piece is hammering on one message, but then new voices or information is introduced which undercuts the message. It is meant to mimic dramatic revelations in popular fiction story telling, but it can work in a nonfiction context to explain the nuances of an issue. (I've been trying to figure out how to built this into my teaching.)

The downside the the TAS style shows up on Planet Money, when they use it to reinforce myths that the financial elite want you to believe. "Here's the populist story line....but wait, as a twist, the libertarians are right! Screw you Elizabeth Warren!"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:11 AM
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57 My thought was an elided "as if."

47/50: Hok mir nitken chainik!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:31 AM
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"same difference"

I say it, but I don't quite mean "same thing" - rather, I generally use it when I'm acknowledging that there is a difference, but that difference is essentially meaningless to the end result.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:43 AM
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how much I hate the "Kr/lw/ch on Science" segments on NPR,

Heh. He's a cousin of mine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:01 AM
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You do understand that David Mitchell is a comedian? The belabouring of points and acting like an about-to-explode robot is for comic effect.

Sure, and I've seen him be quite funny. I just found this bit tedious, and the added special effects really didn't add anything and just seem like a solution (or tech budget) looking for a problem.

Isn't this, like, science journalism 101? The reporter plays the role of the neophyte learner the audience can identify with.

Sure, but Kr/lw/ch overdoes it, and it just comes across as false and patronizing to me.

Good points about TAL's style. I was going to go off about how much I hate Planet Money too, but I can't carry all the weight on this thread.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:07 AM
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Further to 64.1, ranting about grammar/usage really is among the tiredest, laziest routes to throwing together a comedy routine.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:10 AM
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I like Mitchell a lot. Both 'with Webb' and in Peep Show, and, when he goes off on a rant on any one of the zillions of panel shows he's on, the rants are usually funny. I dind't find the linked clip very amusing, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:11 AM
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But he's on the side of the family that I don't have much love for.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:12 AM
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I was musing yesterday how "caretaker" and "caregiver" are synonyms. It's a mad, mad world!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:13 AM
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re: 68

You think they are synonyms? Not in my idiolect they aren't.

I'd never use caretaker to refer to someone looking after a person.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:21 AM
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One of the things I appreciate about This American Life style nonfiction story telling is that it tries to incorporate a dramatic turnaround. The first half of the piece is hammering on one message, but then new voices or information is introduced which undercuts the message. It is meant to mimic dramatic revelations in popular fiction story telling, but it can work in a nonfiction context to explain the nuances of an issue. (I've been trying to figure out how to built this into my teaching.)

WHAT? THAT'S TALKING DOWN TO THE AUDIENCE! THAT'S BEING MANIPULATIVE! AND WHAT'S WITH THE BACKGROUND MUSIC? THEY THINK THE AUDIENCE IS A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!

I don't know why people are hating on Radiolab here. How could it be any better? I'm a scientist who understands most of the concepts before they start explaining them in layman's terms, and I feel condescended to roughly 0% of the time by that show. Geez.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:24 AM
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I agree fully with 66, although I've seen a lot less of Mitchell than ttaM has. Also, he has a great last name.

70: I do find Radiolab better than the short Krulwich segments on NPR. Perhaps because Krulwich is balanced out by the other dude, and also because they can go more in depth. I still find they zany noises annoying.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:33 AM
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The downside the the TAS style shows up on Planet Money, when they use it to reinforce myths that the financial elite want you to believe. "Here's the populist story line....but wait, as a twist, the libertarians are right! Screw you Elizabeth Warren!"

That has indeed become predictable.

"So, guy who sounds just like me...what can the government do about this? It seems more complicated than I thought."

"Well, guy who sounds just like me, we've learned today that actions have unintended consequences. Who knows? Nobody can predict what's going to happen, so the government should be careful about whether it does anything at all."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:38 AM
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66: He has one about how he doesn't want taxpayer money going to prop up Scots Gaelic just to mollify nationalist politicians. Here, that sort of talk skirts close to badness, but I have no idea how it "codes" there.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:49 AM
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But I find him largely hilarious and was amused to see how much of "Mark" on Peep Show is basically just him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:50 AM
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49: Me neither.

I'd never use caretaker to refer to someone looking after a person.

Hm. I'd generally use "caretaker" to refer to someone looking after a property. It overlaps partially with "groundskeeper" for me, but has connotations that you're responsible for more than just the grounds -- probably for a house/farm whose owners are absent.

I'm trying to think whether I've ever used it in reference to taking care of a person. Yes, maybe, although in a sort of offensive and patronizing way (e.g., live-in helper for an Alzheimer's patient). Who is Sarah? Oh, she's Mrs. Smith's caretaker.

In ordinary speech I probably wouldn't use either caretaker or caregiver as often as I might say "Sarah takes care of Mrs. Smith" or "looks after." Or maybe, if I don't know Sarah, I would call her the "aide."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:01 PM
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re: 73

It doesn't really bother me.

You'll hear the same argument made in Scotland, by Scots. Particular by Scots-speaking, or urban lowland Scots, for whom gaelic is pretty bloody remote. It's only spoken by about 50,000 people in the entire country.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:08 PM
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I think what nattarGcM and Witt are trying to tell you, heebie, is that if you think "caregiver" and "caretaker" are synonyms, you've got another thing coming.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:09 PM
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ranting about grammar/usage really is among the tiredest, laziest routes to throwing together a comedy routine.

Or a blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:14 PM
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you've got another thing coming.

Rob Halford says this. Not witt and ttaM.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:15 PM
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79: Well really Rob notsomuch says it as screams it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:20 PM
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For some history fun, check out Lizardbreath both arguing for "think" AND railing against "hone in on", all the way back in 2005. Plus ca change.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:26 PM
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76: Oh, I was just musing on how the transposed version of the argument would sound here. Like, someone in AZ complaining that hardly anyone speaks [insert Native American language here] and anyone who does speaks English too, so why can't they just speak English? If a language dies it was meant to! Not with my tax dollars! etc. They'd be an asshole.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:33 PM
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80: While brandishing a bullwhip. Yikes.

Mutch, I'm no relation to the other BL here. I definitely should have seen that coming, given the alliteration that goes on around here. Pseud fail!


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:34 PM
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80.2 Eat a spoiled kumquat or something and all will be forgiven.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:36 PM
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83: No, I like your pseud. I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed Brock changing it for some reason. Anyway, there may be a spoiled kumquat in this fruit basket, but I'm not sure.

Apologies if someone else has already done the honors.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:51 PM
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Wow, I can't believe reasonable-seeming people actually considered that "thing" was correct.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 12:53 PM
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"You've got another thing coming" is much more correct, by the ludicrous standards of these discussions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:03 PM
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87: Well if you think that...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:04 PM
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re: 82

Yeah, and there probably is a bit of the same sentiment at play. Except it's not really parallel.

Gaelic hasn't been the language of most of the Scottish mainland for many centuries,* and was probably never the native language of some of the southern and eastern parts of Scotland, and Gaelic language television and education is really quite well funded.

* it was probably spoken in the part of Scotland I'm from up until the 13 or 14th century, although even that isn't clear.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:04 PM
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85: Is spoiled kumquat some sort of unfogged meme? I haven't been lurking that long. I know about the fruit basket though - thanks, i think.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:05 PM
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Spoiled kumquat is constantly on the verge of memehood. One day it'll pop up, a misleading orange ovoid of memeness, and you'll metaphorically eat it, and you'll regret it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:08 PM
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90: Brock is (in)famous for eating unsound things and then telling us about it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:08 PM
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90: Brock's eating habits are vaguely goat-like. Someone should find the cottage cheese story and the microwaving an egg story for you. I can never find anything in the archives!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:09 PM
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Although I suppose I should have just said "RTFA!".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:10 PM
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Coincidentally, due to it's being kitchen clean-up day at the old apartment I lunched on slightly stale almonds and a can of whole San Marzanos. They were delicious!


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:12 PM
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Here's the egg and microwave thread.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:15 PM
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And here's the cottage cheese saga.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:16 PM
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And as long as we're delving in the archives, you need to read this in order to really understand Brock.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:21 PM
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Let's just make it Brock History Day.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:25 PM
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I've read all those threads and still don't feel like I understand Brock.

Also, you haven't even begun to tap the Btock archives.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:27 PM
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100: True. But someone else needs to take over this project. I've got to go to a baby shower.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:35 PM
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But where is the actual Brock? It seems impolite to read all that without some sort of permission, or blessing.

FWIW, I've always kind of liked heebiescousinlab. One feels condescending to the hosts in the beginning, but by dint of their earnest efforts they win your respect. The interviews can be pretty good.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:40 PM
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102.1: I just realized this is totally ridiculous, even hypocritical. A lurker saying this!! Anyway, I imagine there's metaphorical spoiled kumquats in all those links.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 1:44 PM
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Brokelandish, your psued makes me wonder if you're in the East Bay.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:03 PM
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83: Mutch, I'm no relation to the other BL here. I definitely should have seen that coming, given the alliteration that goes on around here. Pseud fail!

Why not Outlandish then? (Or Inlandish?) That way no one will thing you are Btock.

75: Hm. I'd generally use "caretaker" to refer to someone looking after a property. It overlaps partially with "groundskeeper" for me, but has connotations that you're responsible for more than just the grounds -- probably for a house/farm whose owners are absent.

I have heard it used as: "She's such a nut, she needs a caretaker." "The caretaker at the asylum says she is doing well." I never heard caregiver until a a decade or so (two? No...) ago, which it suddenly came into fashion. I recall reading the term in books and the like from back in the day. That said, it does tend to overlap a bit with groundskeeper in the sense of being a menial job.

m, so nyah


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:06 PM
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104: I assume you've seen those T-shirts. Almost as bad as 'Berzerkeley.' You're in NorCal as well, no? (Sorry, no time to RTFA.)

105.1: I think 'Broken Landish' might be more appropriate, but not helpful wrt B/ock. Or 'Break Landis,' if you're L/nce Armstr/ng.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:32 PM
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Posted by: Vato | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:33 PM
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106: How about "Matt Weiner"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:41 PM
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Sacramento, most times. Temescal, when I'm in Oakland.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:42 PM
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107: Shame on you, vato.


Posted by: Ray Moscas | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 2:56 PM
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|| To Bave, if he's around and listening, I just started that book. Excellent recommendation. Thanks. |>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:03 PM
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I like Krulwich, regardless of the goofy overproduction. But I'm generally insensitive to being condescended to. I'm easily bored, but hard to insult along that axis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:04 PM
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It's comin' on Blyme's day at the beer, and da granma's archic and otylose, wahs time fore?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:24 PM
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108: I don't think that means what I think it means.

109: Temescal is nice, though I worry about post hipster-gentrification. There used to be a Casper's there, or maybe still is.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:31 PM
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||

He's got his flaws, but yay Ray Bradbury:

I'm completely library educated. I've never been to college. I went down to the library when I was in grade school in Waukegan, and in high school in Los Angeles, and spent long days every summer in the library. I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest.
[...] I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven.

||>


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:32 PM
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111: Glad to hear it.

I endorse Cryptic Ned's remarks on Radiolab.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 3:57 PM
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another language question: is the use of 'partner' instead of spouse something like using 'homosexual' for gay, a way of sounding more clinical?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 4:22 PM
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"could care less" makes sense as a dig-pretending-to-be-a-concession -- shorthand for saying that while one doesn't care very much about the issue, one could, theoretically care even less. An insult by offering a pittance. The Brits should like it, I'd think.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 4:35 PM
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117: I've not heard married people use this term for their significant other. IME people assume using 'partner' means one isn't straight, as if that is implied by using a non-heternormative term. My former partner and I used it in lieu of boy/girlfriend, which sounds too teenagery, and roommate, which although true sort of misses the point. It's quite accurate, actually.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 4:47 PM
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I like "partner," and have heard married straight people use it. The problem is that it is irritating. I guess I tend to use it when I don't know someone well, as in a question, because the information I want is not necessarily usually specific to sexual orientation or marital status.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 5:04 PM
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I use "partner" for my unmarried SO. Partly for reasons of solidarity, the same reasons I refuse to answer questions about my preference, and partly because I can't think of a better word.

But I really feel a need to troll on the political dimensions of FW. The project of increasing the carrying capacity of language while slowing down or even devaluing interpretation is critical in our current age of twittertalk.

And it is ontopic to a grammer thread!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 5:20 PM
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The DE and I use it for each other. It's easier than "Domestic Partner" and doesn't freak as many people out as "Significant Bimbo/Studmuffin".


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 5:40 PM
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||

No more masturbating to Martin Gardner.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:04 PM
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"Partner" is pretty much the least troublesome option for unmarried members of a couple, though funnily, I consider use of that term to signify a big step in a relationship. Before you're ready to introduce someone as your partner, you're kind of stuck, at least if you're squicked out by boy/girlfriend. "Significant Other" or "S.O." I can't abide.*

* This might be because a professional friend of my ex once exclaimed upon meeting me, "So you're the S.O.!" This somehow registered as similar to "the wife" (why not use my name?) and I confess I was without speech for a moment or two.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:06 PM
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This might be because a professional friend of my ex

You are doing well to get rid of people who hire friends.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:11 PM
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No more masturbating to Martin Gardner.

If you're a knight. Knaves may commence masturbating to Martin Gardner.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:31 PM
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Two professors at local nearby university who are coupled-up on a long-term basis (but not married) apparently use "life partner" to describe their relationship. That usage has a vaguely positive ring to me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 6:38 PM
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OT: I'm not sure what to make of this, a piece by George L/akoff on something called the PETRA legislation proposed by HUD designed to restructure public housing toward what La/koff describes as its privatization.

It's the first I've heard of this, though I haven't been reading terribly widely lately.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:23 PM
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129:Well, you know, din't wanna troll, but Paul Rosenberg expressed my opinion perfectly. Worse than Bush. Worstest ever.

Emerson just got a diary promoted at OL


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:36 PM
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And Mary Catharine doesn't understand why I hate the guy. Fucking Selling out....aww, never mind.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:38 PM
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Oh god, Bob, you fucking moron. Seriously, it's bad enough in ordinary circumstances, but you are so hilariously, mind-numbingly, wildly off the mark, here.

Love it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:42 PM
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Obama became president and just over a year later, my gutter fell down. That never happened with any other president.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:46 PM
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129: Bob, I'm not jumping to broad conclusions until I read more about the issue.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:46 PM
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133, cont.: And I don't mean read more about the issue of whether Obama is the worstest president ever. That's overkill, and you have to know that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:49 PM
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||

Damn you, Juan Castro!

|>


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:51 PM
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135: indeed!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:53 PM
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Here's the bill. At least I think it is the latest version. Googling "Petra HUD Congress" brought a few links from people criticizing the bill, but they all are for places that cite the link in 128, not that provide more information.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:55 PM
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So in re: bob's hilariously poorly informed barfing, I feel like this is one of those moments when the blogosphere is revealed to you, Oz-like. A whole succession of people bloviating foolishly on a topic about which they know literally nothing, set against the best, most involved secretary HUD has had since probably Johnson's era. What is the secretary doing? Trying to make HUD into a functional, manageable orginazation, by taking an absurd crazy-quilt of legacy subsidy programs and streamlining them into the three that have been proven over the past thirty years to (a) work and (b) be immune to Congressional fuckupery. What are the bloviators trying to do? Oh, you know, assuage the terrible loneliness of their existences.

I'm sure that doesn't apply for Lakoff, actually. He's probably procrastinating on account of having a scientific paper due, and god bless him for it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:57 PM
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I didn't actually read all of the google hits, but enough to suspect that all of the negative reports have one source.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 7:58 PM
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138.last: Yeah, it gave me pause that this was coming from Lakoff, actually. Hence my 128, which might well have read: Huh? Really? Why isn't anyone else mentioning this, that I've noticed?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:07 PM
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I like Lakoff; he's a pretty good scientist. He is manifestly not a policy guy, let alone a housing expert.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:08 PM
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Golly, who to trust:George Lakoff or Sifu Tweety?
Who to trust:Paul Rosenberg or Sifu Tweety?
Who to trust:John Emerson, who is at Open Left and not here for good reason, or ST?

What kind of arguments to trust:Rosenberg's long analysis with citations or Sifu Tweety's "you fucking moron" and "people bloviating foolishly?"

Trust in Obama's care for the poor and working class or be suspicious that Obama is too cozy with the banking industry? How can I ever know?

I am spinning like a top with the confusion about authority.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:10 PM
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Well, either he's gone off the deep end into knee-jerk suspicion, or there's something to be seen there. I'm not going to try to work it out now -- it's too late in the evening -- but I am a little surprised that a quick google only turns up references to the Lakoff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:12 PM
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Lakoff has done some interesting linguistic work, but he's not very popular among other linguists both because he works in a theoretical tradition that isn't very widely accepted and because he has a reputation as a bit of a jerk. (I have no idea how merited that last part is.) I haven't paid close attention to his political writing.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:15 PM
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Rest assured bob, I have no desire to -- nor expectation I will -- ever convince you of anything. I mostly derive a certain mordant thrill from pointing out what a cretinous troll you are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:15 PM
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Apologies, Bob -- I hadn't clicked through to the link to Rosenberg that you gave in 129.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:17 PM
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140:And parsimon, I thought you were of the few open minds left here who I believed was not controlled by the sifu tweety/knecht ruprecht bullying yelling insulting ad hominem style of persuasion


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:19 PM
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145:No, tweety, you are really trying to buly everyone else, not me.

I could link to where you call pgd or stormcrow "fucking idiots" for engaging me

You are a swinging dick bully always looking for a victim


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:22 PM
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It's worth pointing out that the Rosenberg post cites the Lakoff post as the source for its outrage. Both then cite a post from an LA-based advocacy organization which seems to be the source ofthe conclusion that PETRA is "a scheme for the privatization of Public Housing."

I haven't read enough about PETRA yet to know whether that conclusion is correct, but I'd be cautious about counting Lakoff and Rosenberg as separate sources on this, since they're both amplifying the original post from LACEHH.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:23 PM
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147: I haven't done any ad hominem/bullying here as far as I can tell. I'm really not concerned about the side question of who can establish dominance or authority -- I'm just interested in the damn issue, this PETRA thing. Unfortunately I don't speak a lot of economics, so I'm not sure I have the chops to figure out whether it's a dreadful idea or not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:23 PM
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Everybody should check out the dynamic 128 129, 130 and then 131 to understand who Sifu Tweety was trying to intimidate. It wasn''t me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:32 PM
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At a very first read, LACEHH seems to have at least one valid concern, if it's true that PETRA would permit public housing landlords to discriminate on the basis of income, etc.

On the other hand, their concern that public housing authorities might use loans from banks to make capital improvements to public property seems a little overblown.

I'm inclined to withhold judgment until I see NCSHA's analysis.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:33 PM
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From the link in 149:

The leveraging of Public Housing to make capital improvements will set a dangerous precedent of taking out mortgages on other public property to pay for repairs. One can imagine a future where public schools, libraries, our national parks, etc, are mortgaged to banks in order to make improvements.

I'm not an expert on public housing, but that sentence seem to have been written by somebody who has never heard of a municipal bond or noticed how a school district actually pays for capital improvements. (Granted, the usual practice is to tie the loan to a revenue stream, not a piece of real estate.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:40 PM
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Thanks, emdash.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:41 PM
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I spent too much time thinking and got pwned by emdash.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:42 PM
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I've never heard of the proposal in 128, but I'd caution everyone against letting an emotional reaction against bob's tone lead you away from skepticism. My general precepts these days tend toward:

1. Watch the feet, not the rhetoric

2. If corporate America isn't bellowing, it's because their ox isn't being gored

3. One of the few things that can come close to matching the havoc wreaked by deliberately destructive public policy is the arguably unintended consequences of well-intentioned technocratic public policy

From public health to public education to civic planning to homeownership, the last two decades have brought us a number of bright, expensively educated liberal-leaning technocrats who have studied their issue in depth and come up with what they thought were efficient, streamlined, right-reactionary-proof proposals. And a lot of times they've even gotten those proposals enacted.

In general, the consequences have been lousy for poor people, progressives, and -- IMO -- the general long-term well-being of the middle class.

So my bias leads me to think that even if every word in Sifu's 138 is true (and I'm fairly convinced by it), that's no assurance that the results bob is screaming about won't actually come to pass.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:44 PM
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(Granted, the usual practice is to tie the loan to a revenue stream, not a piece of real estate.)

This is a trivial difference? I would guess they do understand how improvements are financed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:46 PM
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I don't disagree with much of anything in Witt's 156, although as a liberal-leaning technocrat, I tend to think I do an OK job.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:55 PM
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157: Well, if they financed something really stupid, the local housing authority might have an easy way out by not paying the note. But, it doesn't seem that different. You still have government agencies needing to satisfy private lenders to get their funding.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:58 PM
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Having now read the post by the advocacy organization linked in 149, a few other thoughts:

Please note that the legislation is unclear on which entity will actually own the property after conversion, whether the Public Housing Authority or a Public/Private partnership or a private developer. The law currently states that in order to convert Public Housing, ownership must change.

If this is an accurate read of the law, that's a rather gigantic point not to have clear at this point in the legislative process. The charitable read on that would be "They just haven't clarified the language yet," but I'm not inclined to the benefit of the doubt and I'd lean toward "They know exactly what it will be and they just don't want to admit that it's a done deal."

there is no protection against PHA's overleveraging the property (other than a review by HUD)

(If true), that seems especially idiotic in light of recent history.

banks will put pressure on the owners to choose only the most desirable tenants financially, those with higher incomes, stable employment, good credit history, etc.

I can't imagine why they wouldn't. It's bad business practice to let your assets depreciate, and poor and vulnerable people are by definition more likely to drag down the value of your investment, because being poor and vulnerable means that you are more powerfully rocked by the vagaries of life (not to mention more prone to encountering them). One might even say that this reality is why we have public housing rather than Hoovervilles.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 8:59 PM
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there is no protection against PHA's overleveraging the property (other than a review by HUD)

I was going to write "The overleveraging would be a problem only for the banks that made the stupid loans." Then I remembered the past two years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:06 PM
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the local housing authority might have an easy way out by not paying the note.

And doing what to the municipal general credit rating? You do understand how many municipalities are going bankrupt, and how many others are slashing services and pensions and jobs in order to avoid default?

Rosenberg calls this "Shock Doctrine" The neo-liberals, and Obama is a fanatic, are very slick at it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:06 PM
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162: The city I live in has been broke since 2003. I'm well aware of the problems and I am unaware of any painless solutions to them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:10 PM
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For Pittsburgh at least, being able to shed some past debt obligations would be a big help. It isn't like we could borrow money to improve services as things are now. Not even bankers are that drunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:15 PM
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I'd loan Pittsburgh money. But I'd want Troy Polamalu's hair as collateral.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:17 PM
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How about Ben R's ballsack?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:18 PM
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I'm not sure how the tranches would work.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:21 PM
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It seems to tranche itself from what I hear.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:22 PM
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It's not surprising to see a move to privatize public housing, and while I think it's pernicious and typical of this administration's ambivalence towards the public sector, I don't think it's an advance for selling off libraries and schools. There's just no love left in this country for publicly administrated housing -- it's so widely seen as such a failure, far more than Section 8 or bond-financed affordable housing, far more than even the much-belittled public schools, even the urban ones. Very little love lost.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:24 PM
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167: When it gets cold, all the tranches rise together.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:27 PM
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ATM: Should I have a root beer float while watching Sherlock Holmes? Or would that be too decadent?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:29 PM
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Anything less would be insufficiently decadent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:31 PM
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So it's one of those Buddhist razor's edges. You're screwed either way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:31 PM
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A warning: a root beer float might not be what you think it is. ATM.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:33 PM
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Turns out it's just the right amount of decadent.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 9:34 PM
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In ari's attic there is a picture of a grossly overweight man suffering from gout.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:19 PM
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This is not a good movie. And yet, people I trust liked it! Plus, Robert Downey! This is a conundrum of sorts.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:34 PM
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I haven't been involved with affordable housing issues for over a decade, but I generally trusted the National Low Income Housing Coalition's take on the issues.

National Low Income Housing Coalition Commends HUD for Recent TRA Proposal

I'd say there are legitimate concerns, primarily the fact that these properties will be on 30-year contracts following which they will revert to market unless HUD exercises a right of first offer to purchase (and how likely is that?). Thought it's not clear that the useful life of some of these properties is longer than that if they continue in the hands and maintenance departments of local authorities.

But this, from Lakoff, is just crazy:
With rents set above market rates, the mortgage risk would be attractive to banks. Either they make a huge profit on the mortgages paid for by the government. Or if the government lowers what it will pay for rents, the property goes into foreclosure. The banks get it and can sell it off to developers. . .The banks and developers make a fortune, with the taxpayers paying for it.

A 10 percent rent premium over market to own a building populated entirely with low-income tenants, suffering no doubt from significant deferred maintenance, and subject to extensive HUD compliance requirements does not exactly create a dream investment opportunity. And the legislation provides that in the event of a foreclosure the property remains subject to the rental assistance contract.

By the way, that scary 10 percent premium is already being paid to landlords of section 8 voucher tenants, with taxpayers paying everything above 30 percent of tenant income. And public housing authorities can already convert public housing to private sector use by providing tenant-based section 8 assistance and selling a property.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:43 PM
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In ari's attic there is a picture of a grossly overweight man suffering from gout.

Is it of me, ari? Because there must be one like that of me somewhere. I believe the sum total of my eating today was beignets, prosciutto, a mini frittata, fried shiners (little whole fish), ham and butter sandwiches, ice cream, pasta with veal and pork sausage, and a tartufo. Oh, wait, I did have some green beans with fiddleheads and ramps, so I guess that cancels everything else out.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 10:55 PM
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beignets

Umm, donuts.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:00 PM
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That was to have been, "Mmm, donuts." Alas.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:01 PM
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But wait, are these beignets of your own fashioning? Or is there a purveyor of beignets near you?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:02 PM
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I think you're all fabulous for taking bob so very, very seriously.

So!  Public Housing is not a ruined concept, but it is a ruined concept in this country as administered by HUD, because HUD is a clusterfuck.  The idea that you take public housing and convert it to privately owned housing with project-based vouchers is almost 40 years old, and (surprisingly, given that congress has been fighting it almost as long) wildly successful.  Project-based Section 8 vouchers are different from per-unit S8 vouchers because the owner of the property is highly restricted by deed from raising rents or changing the terms of the convenant.  This is important, because individual S8 vouchers have turned out to be very complicated to administer!  This is not the case for project-based S8.  Project-based Section 8 is so successful, in fact, that in spite of the fact that it was originally only authorized for like two years, in the Carter administration, preservation of project-based Section 8 properties has become one of the major goals of affordable housing advocates nationwide.  Meanwhile, truly public housing has withered on the vine.  Is this because truly public housing has no chance of succeeding?  No indeed!  It is because truly public housing was adminstered by HUD, and HUD is ever-so-susceptible to the whims of Congress, and Congress are a bunch of shitheads.  Also, of course, because HUD has been vastly mismanaged for decades (because every secretary, unlike the current one, has been picked purely for political patronage).

So what's happening here?  The current HUD secretary is trying to move HUD-administered properties away form the corruption-prone, oft-GOP-congress-administered public regime (which, incidentally, kicks tons of money back to GOP-oriented managment-company donors) and towards project-based subsidies, which (a) work extremely well, (b) have languished since Reagan came into office and (c) are highly regulated in a way that's pretty immune to changes in Congressional administration, short of attempts to kill their funding entirely (which happened a couple times under GWB and the GOP congress).

So given all these facts, it's actually pretty fucking complicated to figure out whether noted troll bob mcmanus is actually being a troll, or if HUD is, in fact, being run quite astonishingly well these days.

If I grasp the whole picture, here.I think you're all fabulous for taking bob so very, very seriously.

So!  Public Housing is not a ruined concept, but it is a ruined concept in this country as administered by HUD, because HUD is a clusterfuck.  The idea that you take public housing and convert it to privately owned housing with project-based vouchers is almost 40 years old, and (surprisingly, given that congress has been fighting it almost as long) wildly successful.  Project-based Section 8 vouchers are different from per-unit S8 vouchers because the owner of the property is highly restricted by deed from raising rents or changing the terms of the convenant.  This is important, because individual S8 vouchers have turned out to be very complicated to administer!  This is not the case for project-based S8.  Project-based Section 8 is so successful, in fact, that in spite of the fact that it was originally only authorized for like two years, in the Carter administration, preservation of project-based Section 8 properties has become one of the major goals of affordable housing advocates nationwide.  Meanwhile, truly public housing has withered on the vine.  Is this because truly public housing has no chance of succeeding?  No indeed!  It is because truly public housing was adminstered by HUD, and HUD is ever-so-susceptible to the whims of Congress, and Congress are a bunch of shitheads.  Also, of course, because HUD has been vastly mismanaged for decades (because every secretary, unlike the current one, has been picked purely for political patronage).

So what's happening here?  The current HUD secretary is trying to move HUD-administered properties away form the corruption-prone, oft-GOP-congress-administered public regime (which, incidentally, kicks tons of money back to GOP-oriented managment-company donors) and towards project-based subsidies, which (a) work extremely well, (b) have languished since Reagan came into office and (c) are highly regulated in a way that's pretty immune to changes in Congressional administration, short of attempts to kill their funding entirely (which happened a couple times under GWB and the GOP congress).

So given all these facts, it's actually pretty fucking complicated to figure out whether noted troll bob mcmanus is actually being a troll, or if HUD is, in fact, being run quite astonishingly well these days.

If I grasp the whole picture, here.

... on preview, listen to Blandings, f'real.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:02 PM
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That could have been pasted less.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:03 PM
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Maple-glazed, ari.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:04 PM
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Maple-glazed ari is a delicious ari.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:13 PM
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He is manifestly not a policy guy, let alone a housing expert.

But who amongst us is a housing expert? or a health care expert, or an expert in whatever? Are we not supposed to express a (historically well-grounded) scepticism toward the privatization of public goods just because we're not officially certified experts in a given field?

Also, Sifu, I think your 131 and 145 are a bit, well, over the top. If you don't want to read what Bob has to say, why not just ignore him? Your repeated and vehement insistence that he should be ignored would seem to belie your point.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-22-10 11:34 PM
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I think that with all do respect to Sifu, one reason for kneejerk worrying is that public housing has been a poster child for 'reform'. By that I mean taking a welfare program that has very serious problems, and which liberals are happy to agree that it could use some serious overhaul, and using those problems to simply downsize it, fucking those for whom even deeply flawed subsidized housing is better than depending on the tender mercies of the market.

No donuts to offer, or even pączki, but a nice improvised duck breast recipe. Do your standard sauteed duck breast cook briefly in a small pan at high temp on the skin side, turn down the heat, cook forever on the flesh side, notice it's still raw, repeat the forever till it's rare or medium rare. Drain the majority of the fat, but leave a healthy amount in, add a small amount of finely minced garlic and a large amount of even more finely minced rosemary, simmer for a minute, add some chicken broth and fresh squeezed lemon juice, reduce by about three quarters, add a tiny bit of cornstarch, and voila. Serve with baked potato and sauteed green something. Be careful to not add too much garlic or lemon juice because either could overwhelm everything else rather than complementing it.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 12:44 AM
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I think that with all do respect to Sifu, one reason for kneejerk worrying is that public housing has been a poster child for 'reform'. By that I mean taking a welfare program that has very serious problems, and which liberals are happy to agree that it could use some serious overhaul, and using those problems to simply downsize it, fucking those for whom even deeply flawed subsidized housing is better than depending on the tender mercies of the market.

All "due" respect. But sure, all this is true (see e.g. Hope 6), but that makes it a little funny that an actual positive step (which, as I may or may not have said above in the drunken, double-pasted comment I don't feel like revisiting) which is expanding on of the few bright spots (let alone actually paying a bit of attention to multi-family) is being greeted with wailing and gnashing of teeth. I suppose it might be possible to prefer the malign neglect of the Bush era to any actual changes at HUD if you didn't know anything about HUD, but if you do, this is really good news.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 6:39 AM
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If there is one thing we know about the Obama administration, it is their ability to cynically use the hopes and dreams and idealism of their supporters to cover their callous corruption.

As with HCR and finance reform and Afghanistan and climate change/energy and SCOTUS appointments, I'll wait for the fine print and implementation and outcomes instead of applauding my own optimism.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 7:17 AM
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But who amongst us is a housing expert? or a health care expert, or an expert in whatever?

Experience shows that being an expert in something does not necessarily grant you greater credibility in unfogged discussions.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 8:45 AM
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greeted with wailing and gnashing of teeth

I call overstatement. A few people out there seem to be wailing and gnashing teeth, and bob agrees with them, which is his prerogative; other people out there have examined the proposed legislation closely (LACEHH, linked in 149 upthread) and have issues with it. Here on this blog, people are discussing the matter calmly, noting that it's worth examination, and pointing out pros and cons.

If you have a broader argument against wailing and gnashing of teeth, as performed by Lakoff, or by Rosenberg over at Open Left, you could talk to them in their respective places, since they can't hear you here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 10:36 AM
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190.1: Unfortunately I suspect this is true, but the idea that voters should have hopes, dreams, and a sense of optimism concerning politicians is part of the problem, because it leads to apathy and backlash. Some aspects of his presidency are disappointing, but not surprising, considering his record.

As for the HUD issue, i haven't had time to read the fine print, but it furrows the brow, for sure.


Posted by: Brokelandish | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 11:23 AM
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Yes, Bob does agree with the teeth-gnashers, based on his standard reasoning:
1. Obama is history's greatest monster
2. He is implementing policy x
3. Therefore, policy x is monstrous

It is his prerogative to do so, and equally sifu's to find it ridiculous.

Neither lakoff's piece nor rosenberg's appeared to reflect any pre-existing knowledge of or compensatory research regarding either affordable housing or real estate finance, and to the extent there turn out to be actual concerns with the legislation, but not the misleading ones they raised, it does not retroactively justify their posts.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 11:50 AM
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it does not retroactively justify their posts

Right. Nobody said it did.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 12:03 PM
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By the way, I don't think that's the order of Bob's reasoning (I think it goes in exactly the reverse order), but this is not a referendum on Bob or on Sifu.

I know I should drop this, and I will in a bit, but I'd like to clarify: the HUD issue was raised initially, as far as I can tell, by LACEHH. Lakoff and then Rosenberg then picked it up and ran in a teeth-gnashing direction with it. It came to my attention, anyway, at that point, and I asked a question about it here. I credit Lakoff with having pointed to the issue, then, whether or not I accepted his judgment on it. Not all hysterical blog posts are worthless just because they're hysterical in tone.

Does this justify his post, then? Well, I guess I temper what I just said in 195: it does to the extent that I didn't let the hysterical tone get in my way. One might wish that Lakoff had written a more temperate post, but whatever. Dismissing outright anyone who writes accompanied by wild gesticulation is foolish.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-23-10 12:22 PM
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