Re: History's greatest monster, runners-up.

1

Some francophone should at least tell me what they're saying in the first video.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:33 PM
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My relatives were visiting recently, and we all went down to the beach. It was fun, but they're weird. Very into having stuff for sandwiches at hand all the time, and very particular about the ingredients they picked, which are just not the ones I would have gone for. I mean, they went on and on about this cheese, which was fine, but it was hardly history's greatest muenster.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:35 PM
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Obama takes it back.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:38 PM
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The dad is going to make the kid into a terror baby.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:39 PM
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3: You and Greenwald can't stick it up your righteous assholes. Along with Amato, Daou, Digby and all the other purist fuckwad asswipes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:44 PM
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In a more positive tone, I direct you to Rep. Jerrold Nadler who makes the point quite well.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:52 PM
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You and Greenwald can't stick it up your righteous assholes

:(


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:54 PM
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7: Fucking typos fucking fuck me. Never mind then, everyone is right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:56 PM
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1 He asks the kid 'did you see the ant' before gobbling up the 'flamby'. Later on he tells her that now that she's eaten her dessert, it's time for her to go to bed, then repeats the same trick.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 9:57 PM
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Salon really wants to buy an Arcade Fire album. Shut up about this totally amazing new band you've discovered, Salon! They are so not the saviors of rock!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:03 PM
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Fucking fuck. Salon really wants me to buy...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:03 PM
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Apparently its a meme


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:04 PM
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Fucking fuck fuckity fuck I like where this thread is going


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:05 PM
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The kid handles it really well. That would have sent my five year old into a screaming floor tantrum.

I'm into day five of being a single parent. Everything is falling apart. How do you people do it?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:09 PM
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You've just got to keep god in the middle, rob.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:09 PM
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That flamby thing is so cruel. Taking dessert from your kid, then laughing about it while they cry. Then you make it better by giving them another dessert, but the damage is done.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:14 PM
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Of course I stand with Digby, Greenwald, Ali Abunimah (linked by Greenwald) and nosflow and against JPS and Obamajello in the face of religious hatred and vilification of Muslims. But I have long given up on never expected courage from the guy.

But hey, is he supposed to say "Damn, a mosque on the site is a terrific idea! Why not two!" After 1st Amendment platitudes, the rest is not his business.

Maybe he should. We not only tolerate difference, we welcome and celebrate it. Encourage it.

Nah. Not Obama.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:15 PM
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Maybe Obama will offer to have Sarah Palin and the Imam come over for a beer, as a way to smooth it all over.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:21 PM
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The kid handles it really well.

I know! Impressive.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:22 PM
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Is no one else amazed at the speed and agility that the father shows while gobbling up his daughter's dessert? He should have his own sideshow.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:23 PM
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That flamby thing is so cruel.

But, funny.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:24 PM
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20: I am most impressed. Especially after watching a bunch of the other flamby videos, in which almost all the other dads screw it up.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:26 PM
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I totally love it when he can't quite swallow it all and starts to crack up as his daughter catches on.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 10:34 PM
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14: It took me awhile to figure this out, but what really seems to work best is single-parenting a somewhat older, relatively self-sufficient child. Especially one who is entertained by the internet.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-10 11:01 PM
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How do you people do it?

Benadryl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:09 AM
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So: kid jokes vs historical events .. 'kid jokes' wins hands down.

(the kid is terrible, she should have gone ballistic & at least stomped the dad in his belly, with both feet at once, ninja-style)


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:17 AM
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so so cruel but oh so funny. And why have children if you can't psychologically scar them for life?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:30 AM
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24. What pseud does she use here? We should say Hi.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:33 AM
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I'm guessing Martin was raised a Roman Catholic.


Posted by: Earnest O'Nest | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:08 AM
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Weird. The comments went wonky. They've mostly disappeared.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:37 AM
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No. I am wildly wrong. I should stop taking bong hits so early.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:38 AM
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27: Exactly. We kept telling the kids, when they bitched about some disliked decision or action, "Write it down to discuss with your therapists later".


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:57 AM
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"Write it down to discuss with your therapists Unfogged later".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 6:58 AM
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a somewhat older, relatively self-sufficient child. Especially one who is entertained by the internet.

So that's how your mom does it. How do you do it?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:01 AM
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17: Oh noes! I'm on the other side than mcmanus and some guy Greenwald linked to! Y'all should get out of your self-pitying shoes for a second and think about the appropriate stance for the President of the United States to take on specific religious projects,


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:08 AM
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34: I send her away to camp.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:11 AM
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Y'all should get out of your self-pitying shoes for a second

But those are his only shoes, you monster.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:19 AM
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I'm into day five of being a single parent. Everything is falling apart. How do you people do it?

My stint ended last night! Woo-hoo!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:22 AM
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34: Ship Joey off to Uncle CA. They can play PS3 all day.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:23 AM
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JPS is certainly correct that it is not the President's place to make religious endorsements. Obama's statements on this have been correct and complete.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 8:19 AM
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39: But the whole thing I'm worried about is that since Molly went on vacation, I've given up enforcing all the rules we having too much TV, video games, and junk food.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 8:54 AM
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That's what makes Daddy the Fun Parent, Rob. Geez, no one's let you in on the secret yet?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:31 AM
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43

||

I'm polishing up a chapter for incoming first years on why we make you take a math class against your will, here at Heebie U. At the end, there is a long analogy about getting training from your coach, and how you get better at math by practicing, just like at soccer practice.

I can't decide if I should use "he" or "she" for the coach. I'm worried that "she" will be so jarring in this particular, athletic context, where I'm trying to appeal to sullen, uncooperative 18-year olds that the broader message will be lost.

On the other hand, teachable moment, etc.

Thoughts?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:47 AM
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Thoughts?

Where's my penny?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:50 AM
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I'm still polishing it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:51 AM
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I can't decide if I should use "he" or "she" for the coach.

Math professors are allowed to use "they." (Just don't tell neb.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:52 AM
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Singular they, with a link to go read language log.

(on preview, pwned)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:53 AM
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43: If you slip in a girl's name for a kid on the team who's being coached before you call the coach 'she', it won't jar people. Now, that's doing less with the teachable moment than you might otherwise, but it might be a useful middle ground.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:55 AM
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Normally I would, since I entirely approve of 'they'. But other teachers have to teach my chapter in their classes, and I know it would grate on the pedants.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:56 AM
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50

I like singular 'they', but I really don't see the downside of 'she' here.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:58 AM
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51

This is Texas, right? The students will expect soccer to be girly.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:58 AM
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If you make it clear that you are talking about a lesbian gym teacher it will also sound perfectly natural to them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:01 AM
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I know it would grate on the pedants
You say that like it's bad. If I let that sort of thing bother me I would never post on Unfogged, and I think we can all agree we'd all be that much poorer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:01 AM
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If you slip in a girl's name for a kid on the team who's being coached before you call the coach 'she', it won't jar people.

This is a possibility. Right now it's all second-person, "You wouldn't think that watching the coach execute the fancy-pants move means you can do it yourself, would you? But that's what many students think in the math classroom." Etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:03 AM
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I know it would grate on the pedants.

As a registered pedant, I can confirm this.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:05 AM
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51 is a good point. Make it something ludicrously macho like wrestling crocodiles.

"You wouldn't think you could learn to kill fifteen-foot hideously-fanged ichor-dripping alien queens just by watching Ellen Ripley do it, would you?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:07 AM
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||
Can anyone find the comment where I broke down all the anti-immigration canards, e.g. "They come here to take our jobs" vs. "They do nothing but hang out on the street corner all day"

I think it was like 2 years ago.

I wish I knew how to search the archives better.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:09 AM
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56: Ichor, ichor i-lay
Jackie-mo feeno i ni nay, jackie-mo feeni nay


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:10 AM
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57.last: Yahoo works very well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:10 AM
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57: Bing works better than Google these days, and what works for me is thinking about the comment thread as a whole for easily searchable phrases.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:10 AM
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56: You think they know about movies made well before they were born?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:10 AM
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61: damn, showing my age. Who are the action heroines these days? Lara Croft, right? Buffy the Vampire Slayer?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:13 AM
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||

I've said this before elsewhere, but I love that my direct deposit checks are made out to "Dr. Heebie Geebie, Phd, Phd". I would truly feel insecure with fewer than three honorifics.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:14 AM
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43: You should use the impersonal "he", and omit the phrase "teachable moment."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:15 AM
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63: Do you have two Ph.D.s and an M.D.?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:17 AM
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64: Why?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:18 AM
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Ze answer to heebie's question is obvious.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:20 AM
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Another advantage of divorce: you are a single parent for a couple days, and then you get a break. off and then on. Rinse and repeat.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:22 AM
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Huh, Bing only got me 4 hits, vs hundreds on Google. I suppose there's a trick to it. Also, now I'm worried that I wrote that particular bit on Crooked Timber. Drat. It was a nice set of correspondences too.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:24 AM
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65: Nope! I just require much fanfare.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:24 AM
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57: I'm not remembering it, but the conceit was that you could pair off anti-immigration slurs into self-contradictory pairs? If it might have been that far back, are you looking under Minnea rather than Natilio?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:26 AM
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69: Try this.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:29 AM
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66: Because the goal of the chapter is to inculcate a tolerance for math class, and the introduction of dissonant language would interfere with this. I'm not sure that any consciousness-raising effects really justify a departure from clear prose; most of these kids have probably had female gym teachers. If hg were referring to an unnamed president or CEO, there might be a case, but even then I'd err on the side of effective writing that communicates what it's supposed to. Also, teachable moment is an awful phrase.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:31 AM
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"Teachable moment" doesn't actually appear in the actual essay.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:33 AM
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66: Because the goal of the chapter is to inculcate a tolerance for math class, and the introduction of dissonant language would interfere with this.

You're convinced that it couldn't possibly, say, make female students feel more comfortable and included? There are some psychic costs to not rocking the boat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:33 AM
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It is true that the female students are more likely to already be scared and cooperative in their math class, instead of scared and uncooperative, and so the target audience for this essay has more males than females in it.

On the other hand, I decided to let them rise to the occasion and demonstrate that they are mature enough not to be thrown by a female soccer coach. Expectations and normalizing and all that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:35 AM
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What's the teachable moment, anyway? "Women can be gym teachers too?" I think they probably know that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:38 AM
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70: Dr. Geebie, Math Woman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:39 AM
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I just have a hard time seeing young college students who are irritated that they have to take math being enlightened by the soccer metaphor, no matter what pronoun you use. "Yeah, maybe I could learn the fancy moves if I practice, but I don't want to play soccer, so why bother?"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:40 AM
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75: Convinced? No. In fact, it very well might. It might make others annoyed. I just think heebie should write as clearly as she can, and the for the plurality of her audience this probably means "he." The kids are already getting force-fed loads of new concepts; anything she can do to make the mountain of stuff they must read less jarring will be rewarded with marginally less disregard.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:43 AM
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77: Either using a feminine pronoun won't be surprising at all, so no harm done, or there's some level on which when you identify a hypothetical person as a (soccer coach/basketball coach/tinker/tailor/solder/sailor) most people visualize a man and are a little jolted by a feminine pronoun. And to the extent that assumption exists, it's not a positive, and it's good to disrupt it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:43 AM
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"Yeah, maybe I could learn the fancy moves if I practice, but I don't want to play soccer, so why bother?"

The first 2/3 of the essay are about why they have to take the class. The soccer metaphor is just "How to succeed in your math class". I don't think they'll be quite as resistant as this.

They're generally very good-natured about their resistance, if that makes sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:50 AM
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Of course, I'm against the impersonal "she" in almost any context, and even I recognize that this among the least bad.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:56 AM
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Perhaps they will think the soccer coach is a fey homosexual, as they understand to be typical for the sport, and that said coach prefers a feminine pronoun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 10:58 AM
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Also, soccer is a decently big sport for us. Sports in general are really big here. I think 1/3 of our students are student-athletes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:03 AM
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You could use the name of the soccer coach. Or, to be funny, use the name of the football coach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:06 AM
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83: That really seems like a weird thing to be 'against'. It's that much of an esthetic problem, or a distraction, or whatever for you? I'd think most people might possibly skip a beat, but no more than that, and plenty of readers wouldn't even do that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:06 AM
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You could use the name of the soccer coach

Oh, that's actually a great idea!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:07 AM
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I know you asked, Heebie, but the thing to do from here is to ignore all dissenting advice. Taking other people's feelings and opinions into consideration leads to boringness.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:08 AM
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89 to 89.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:09 AM
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63: Do you have two Ph.D.s and an M.D.?

Or two MDs and one BA, and she be teachin' math with no delay.


Posted by: A Guest | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:11 AM
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Also, you should sex it up a bit:

"Do it again," Coach Ashley barked, her erect nipples visible through her sweat-drenched jersey.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:12 AM
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Ze answer to heebie's question is obvious.

The use of invented third person pronouns is one of those language things that really annoys the fuck out of me. Something about the combination of cutesiness and willful refusal to use the perfectly good words we already have.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:13 AM
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93: Probably for the same reason as you reject them, I sort of enjoy those invented words.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:14 AM
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Although now, by saying "At practice one day, Coach S says..." vs. "At practice one day, Coach H. says..." I've implicitly assumed the reader is on Men's Varsity or Women's Varsity.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:15 AM
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95: which has a better record?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:18 AM
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96: Which has more prominent nipples?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:19 AM
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Coach S. I think. I like him better, anyway.

They're both men, so it doesn't make any assumptions about the gender of the coach any more. But it assumes the gender of the student. Now I've got some awkward "Coach S or Coach H demonstrate a new move....He blah blah blah..." construction.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:20 AM
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Choose women's varsity, and let the male students feel girly for a while. It won't kill them. Also, the whole thing is now concrete enough that they should understand it.

Alternately, you could make up a name for a hypothetical player, rather than talking about "you."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:24 AM
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100

98 to 97, no backsies.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:24 AM
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101

99.2: Kobe.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:26 AM
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87: Yes, I suppose it's an aesthetic thing. The impersonal she is difficult to use well, and its overuse is symptomatic of one of the greater failings of American writing, namely taking liberties with one's readers. But, if you're going to use it anywhere, it might as well be in a freshman math orientation brochure.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:53 AM
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This guy is probably either a great parent or a terrible one or maybe a little bit of both.

All I can think when I watch that effortless gesture is he probably gives mindblowing head.


Posted by: Jimmy "Greatest Monster" Carter | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 11:54 AM
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104

taking liberties with one's readers

What does that mean?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:07 PM
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105

103 should really be from Bill "23rd Greatest Monster" Clinton.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:18 PM
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93: It annoys the fuck out of me as well, maybe a little for linguisto-aesthetic reasons but also just because when I read "ze" I associate it with a kind of adolescent, meet-me-on-my-terms self-righteousness that we've all enjoyed subjectively at some point but that gets you nowhere. Worse when it's about a comparatively unimportant issue standing in for an important one, like pronouns for real problems about gender.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:22 PM
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107

I associate it with Ze Frank and thence with fingers in food.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:23 PM
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108

ALRIGHT, WHO'S BEEN PUTTING THEIR FINGERS IN THE JELLO!!??


Posted by: ENRAGED JEFF DAHMER | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:28 PM
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109

AND WHO DO YOU HAVE TO EAT TO GET ANY RECOGNITION AROUND HERE?


Posted by: ENRAGED JEFF DAHMER | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:29 PM
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109: Some straight dudes, I'd guess.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:35 PM
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111

"Ze" mostly is a depressing reminder of how good the right wing is at manipulating language, and how terrible the left wing is. No matter how fair and inclusive "ze" is, it will never catch on. On the other hand, the phrase "ground zero mosque" is now everywhere, although it is completely inaccurate.

One reason I really support "they" as a gender neutral singular pronoun is that it fits with people's natural speech patterns already. I think some of the resistance to it comes form the feeling that leftists have that it doesn't count as an improvement unless it really puts people out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:45 PM
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112

I also think "they" is best, and "ze" sounds like you're pretending you're Pepe Le Pew.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:48 PM
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113

In other circumstances, that might be a plus.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:53 PM
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114

111 has the right idea. Something like this could work: "Coach H. demonstrated an advanced move. Ground zero mosque can do it, and you can too."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 12:57 PM
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115

113: What circumstances, other than chasing?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:01 PM
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116

111: exactly. "Someone left their [oh why is it always umbrella or something?] linotype machine &c." is perfect because people already say it anyway.

Also 112 made me/them/zir laugh.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:02 PM
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Also I hate the convention that you can't start a sentence with a symbol.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:03 PM
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118

117: That convention is what drove Prince to change his name back.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:05 PM
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115: Entertaining 5-year-olds, for one.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:05 PM
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120

Wooing cats?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:07 PM
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121

Sneaking into parties in Georgetown.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:07 PM
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72: Thanks! That was it!

Hard to believe I was ever that earnest. Oh, the halcyon days before Obama was elected!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:19 PM
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Hard to believe I was ever that earnest

Good grief, I hope you're not going to stop. I would be put out.

111.last: I think some of the resistance to ["they"] comes form the feeling that leftists have that it doesn't count as an improvement unless it really puts people out.

Hogwash. It's grammatically incorrect, that's all. It doesn't have anything to do with leftism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:31 PM
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It's only grammatically incorrect because it is defined that way.

What is the difference between inventing a new word and defining it as the correct part of speech, and redefining an existing word as the correct part of speech?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:34 PM
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122: I used yahoo's advanced search and it was the second result. However, I wouldn't have known to spell your name in the correct order if it wasn't for the mini met-up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:34 PM
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I can't decide if I should use "he" or "she" for the coach. I'm worried that "she" will be so jarring in this particular, athletic context, where I'm trying to appeal to sullen, uncooperative 18-year olds that the broader message will be lost.

Coming to this late, but why is there any question re: having a female coach in your example? Sometimes people are male--we say he, sometime they are female--we say she. Female coaches exist--likely even at your university. Do you think they will be shocked to hear a hypothetical where every actor is not male? I find this surprising, but if so, there is no time like the present to start shocking them, because life certainly will do that for them in due course if you do not.

This is quite a different problem from the one aluded to above where you are trying to avoid the slightly unwiedly (although I sometime wield it) he/she in situations where you are trying to be general. Also 123 last.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:43 PM
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See 76. You already won.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:45 PM
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Heebie should make it a Nordic female swimming coach, out of respect for the memory of ogged.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:46 PM
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124: I agree. Grammar can evolve just as well as vocabulary.


Posted by: Di Kotimy. | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:47 PM
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127 to George Washington.


Posted by: George the Third | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:48 PM
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Let me put in a plug for "it." Not only is it shorter than "they" it is also unambiguously singular. Plus you could imply the coach is a robot before the big scene at the end where the it goes crazy and starts killing people unless they know basic freshman math.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 1:53 PM
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I think you should make the coach a female and a lesbian. That will shake up their preconceptions but good!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:01 PM
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Hogwash. It's grammatically incorrect, that's all.

Hogwash. That's an ignorant thing to say, that's all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:08 PM
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Hog-wash. I'm grammatically-incorrect. That's awl.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:09 PM
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What is the difference between inventing a new word and defining it as the correct part of speech, and redefining an existing word as the correct part of speech?

I'm not particularly in favor of "ze," and it's not the case that we must choose between invention of a new word, and redefinition of an existing word. I actually don't have a problem with "he or she" or "s/he" or "she or he." I somewhat favor them, since they point up the fact that the actor in question might be of either sex. I also think people could get used to "s/he" or "he or she" or "she or he" fairly easily. I don't see that this would be an awful burden.

Adopting "they" as a solution is not only -- let's face it -- screamingly grammatically incorrect, it avoids the problem, which is the default identification of any given subject as male.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:10 PM
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It's always the same. It's just a shame. That's all.


Posted by: Phil Collins | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:10 PM
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You all should stop washing your hogs; it makes them feel coddled and less likely to eat Republicans.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:11 PM
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Adopting "they" as a solution is not only -- let's face it -- screamingly grammatically incorrect, it avoids the problem, which is the default identification of any given subject as male.

How does "they" avoid the problem, if "ze" would have solved it?

Also, seriously, "screamingly"? I smell grammar privilege.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:12 PM
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133: All I meant is that "they" is pretty much a plural. Is that not true? If it's not, I withdraw my comments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:13 PM
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Maybe we should go with "moose". It's plural. It's singular. It's Canadian. Who will stand with me?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:14 PM
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We will.


Posted by: US Army | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:17 PM
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Adopting "they" as a solution is not only -- let's face it -- screamingly grammatically incorrect

The Chicago Manual of Style "recommends a 'revival' of the singular use of they and their, citing its venerable use by such writers as Addison, Austen, Chesterfied, Fielding, Ruskin, Scott, and Shakespeare."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:21 PM
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I also think people could get used to "s/he" or "he or she" or "she or he" fairly easily.

How's that been working out so far?

I can get on board with prescriptivism to the extent it preserves useful distinctions in the language. The distinction between "grammatical" and "ungrammatical" for their own sakes is not one of those.

Also, "ze" reminds me of this place. I smell brandade with Thai herbsprivilege.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:22 PM
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Informative. Unfortunately, according to the linked article, the Chicago Manual of Style has abandoned that eminently sensible recommendation in its newest edition.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:24 PM
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re 127. Oops. Sorry. This is what I get for letting work interfere with my lurking.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:25 PM
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135: Does "you" in a singular context bother you as grammatically incorrect? Singular "they" isn't a recent innovation, as oudemia points out (it actually predates Modern English entirely -- Chaucer uses it). Considering it grammatically incorrect comes from the same 18thC pedants who decided that because you can't split an an infinitive in Latin, we shouldn't in English.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:27 PM
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I would describe using "they" as a singular as "not grammatically incorrect", in that people use it as a singular all the time, to the universal comprehension of all, and also in situations where it is clear to all why "they" is being used rather than "he" or "she".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:29 PM
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Does "you" in a singular context bother you as grammatically incorrect?

I only use "you" for singular. For plural, I go with "yunz."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:30 PM
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146: the same 18thC pedants who decided that because you can't split an an infinitive in Latin, we shouldn't in English.

Aka Language's Greatest Monsters.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:31 PM
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148: The only "yinz" I heard all weekend in Pittsburgh was some Steelers-garb-clad guy telling a group of (mixed gender) people, "Yinz bitches should move!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:32 PM
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When I say I love you, I mean some of you all. Very specifically.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:34 PM
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150: It doesn't get used very frequently in Oakland or the East End. I go with 'yunz' as a spelling, because I mostly hear it from one person and that's how he says it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:35 PM
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After almost a decade in Pittsburgh I don't think I ever overheard anyone say "yinz". You're lucky.

"'n'at" was frequent at all but the highest strata of society though.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:35 PM
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Singular "they" isn't a recent innovation, as oudemia points out

I see! And in fact, once neb took issue, I realized that. Okay, okay. It's still going to sound off to me in formal writing, and the idea that we might teach schoolkids that the singular pronouns are "he, she, it, or they" will take some getting used to.

Apologies to all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:37 PM
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153: Where did you spend all of your time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:37 PM
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What does "n'at" mean?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:40 PM
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139: This is the thing. It is plainly plural in a grammar text but often singular in usage. "Someone left their" is surely much more common than "Someone left his/her." It's just that currently it's mostly used in cases of ambiguity and when people start using it in situations where there is no ambiguity but a possibility of gender bias, it sticks out, like when Bill Clinton made "grow" a transitive verb (outside of the conext of farming..."grow the economy" was the original prominent usage I think) which it now certainly is.

Why this is even being discussed, I think, is that most of us here are descriptivists because it goes with the rest of our politics but have a longstanding habit of prescriptivism that at some point we came to identify with our intelligence. I'm guessing I'm not the only person on here who has at some point felt/expressed frustration over their/they're/there errors but also thinks willful disavowal of language change tends to have some ugly baggage tied up with race and class.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:42 PM
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156: "I decline the collision damage coverage."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:43 PM
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It means "no, thank you"?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:45 PM
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What does "n'at" mean?

"and that".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:45 PM
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157.2 nails it shockingly well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:48 PM
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160 might be more accurate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:51 PM
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Also, people say "gum band" instead of "rubber band" and "pothole" instead of "anti-tank barrier."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:55 PM
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It's a contraction of "and that", but it means "et al.".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:57 PM
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have a longstanding habit of prescriptivism that at some point we came to identify with our intelligence.

Not intelligence so much as formal training. There's formal speech (and writing), and there's informal. Regardless of the widespread informal use of "they" or "their" in the appropriate cases, I still would never use it in a formal paper. That's not really anything to do with intelligence; just with the ways of formal language that I've learned. Perhaps "they" will come to be used in formal speech, in which case I'd get used to it.

It's really just, in my own case, about the training I received.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 2:59 PM
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165: In formal writing, "his or her" would seem to work perfectly well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:00 PM
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If you die from a poisonous snake bite, that's known as "hiss and hearse".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:02 PM
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166: In legal writing, the tendency is to avoid pronouns if at all possible by repeating the noun. But this sounds awful, and it shouldn't spread outside of legal writing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:04 PM
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Apparently, Vaudeville isn't dead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:04 PM
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Oh Stanley.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:06 PM
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168: The plaintiff, hereafter known as "ze," is seeking relief....


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:06 PM
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Prescriptivism run amok.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:10 PM
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I need to warsh my clothes dahntahn. After my trip to the Jahnt Iggle. Ya jagoff.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:13 PM
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The Burghers have been laughing at nosflow's pseud the whole time, haven't they:

neb v. "to put one's 'neb' [nose] into a discourse or argument intrusively or impertinently; to pry, to nose around; hence v. phr neb out to mind one's own business"; n. busybody


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:17 PM
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161 is exactly right.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:30 PM
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Since my pseud is "nosflow", I'm not sure what that definition has to do with it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:36 PM
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Pseudo-nickname, then?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:40 PM
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Did more people here just get hit by a ridiculous storm? I just tried to drive home only to find every route blocked by trees across the road. There are cars with smashed-out windows all over the place. It's nuts.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:49 PM
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What if the coach were a robot? Problem solved!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:50 PM
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178: I didn't notice, but maybe it is about to move northeast?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:50 PM
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174: "neb" is Scots; interesting that it's Pittsburger as well.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:53 PM
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As far as I can tell from wundeground.com, it looks like the storm that came through here might have hit Philadelphia, but is moving pretty much directly east, so it will miss New York to the south. There's another nasty-looking storm over Newark, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:54 PM
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179, 131 would like to speak with you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 3:56 PM
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Down on Wall Street, it's raining hard and there's some serious thunder going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:00 PM
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I didn't mean a killer robot. Maybe it just maims lazy students.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:02 PM
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184: enough, one would hope, to wash all the scum off the streets.


Posted by: Travis Bickle | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:14 PM
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184: Still nothing up here (UES).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:37 PM
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184: Jesus is punishing you guys for Cordoba House.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 4:42 PM
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181: I'm not an expert, but I've never heard 'neb' used that way here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:53 PM
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Did more people here just get hit by a ridiculous storm?

I thought you were talking about the thread at first, and thought this was a great turn of phrase.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 5:53 PM
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Finally managed to drive home. Whole town is without power. Grocery running on backup generator, most people don't understand traffic light out = 4-way stop. At least my phone has a full battery.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 6:05 PM
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190: Similar semantics to "ugly stick"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 6:08 PM
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188 -- No, Jesus is punishing them for not being in Missoula.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 6:09 PM
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OT: I still can't break 11 minutes per mile, but I can now jog 3.4 miles all at once. At about 2.5 miles, it got easier and I started to feel a bit better. The experience was kind of like breaking through a screen door (the old kind, before they became "storm doors").


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:03 PM
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Lacerating?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:03 PM
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192: Exactly!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 7:04 PM
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177: his impliedopseud.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 8:04 PM
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194: That's always been my experience -- once you can do two miles or so comfortably, more distance is much easier to add. I can't tell you much about running fast, though. I get all excited when I'm in good enough shape to run ten minute miles.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 8:53 PM
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I was very happy with how easily I was able to add distance. This is was my fourth run in the since I stopped four years ago and I'm back to the old distance. I think my walking helped. On weeks when it wasn't way too hot, I was averaging over 15 miles a week. Those walks were only 25% slower than my current jogging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:12 PM
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Huzzah, Moby! (In personal trudging news, I did a new personal best of 3.92 miles today, saddening only because I was sure I hit four miles.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:16 PM
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That's great. Don't worry about the .08 miles. That's shorter than the line at the new Dunkin Donuts by me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:23 PM
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I was going to say. .08 miles? I can spit that far.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:27 PM
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YouTube please.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:30 PM
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I measured it only after the fact. I added a leg mid-run to the run I'd been doing and figured it put me over.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-16-10 9:30 PM
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I added a leg mid-run to the run I'd been doing and figured it put me over.

Next time add two, and simply canter to the finish.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 2:15 AM
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205 cracked me up.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 5:49 AM
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YouTube please.

You spelled neighbor wrong.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-17-10 6:00 AM
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"Howard Dean Says Cordoba House Should Be Built Somewhere Else"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 4:37 PM
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208: Jesus. Is insanity a virus? Can we start quarantining people?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 4:48 PM
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Oh wow.

He also said: "I think it's great to have mosques in American cities. There's a growing number of American Muslims. I think most of those Muslims are moderate. I hope that they'll have an influence on Islam throughout the world, because Islam is really back in the 12th century in some of these countries like Iran and Afghanistan where they're stoning people to death. And that can be fixed. And the way it's fixed is not by pushing Muslims away, it's by embracing them and have them become just like every other American -- Americans who happen to be Muslims."

Howard?

Wow. What's wrong with him? He sounds like a 5th grader trying to write an opinion paper. Maybe the delivery is better than the transcript renders it? Perhaps his audience is a roomful of Glenn Beck fans, so the words are tailored accordingly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 5:21 PM
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This whole fucking country is nothing but asshole white supremacists.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 5:21 PM
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Fuck, that quote makes me want to stone politicians and right-wingers even more than those awful truth ads make me want to smoke.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 5:47 PM
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Well at least Ted Olson (who should have been disbarred for his activities during Whitewater) continues to aspire to redemption. 9/11 Widower Ted Olson: Obama Was Right On Cordoba House.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 5:57 PM
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213: The Olson turnaround makes me wonder (in facile fashion) about his new wife. Does anyone know anything about her? I imagine Eva Marie Saint, urging him toward The Good.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:00 PM
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214: Holy shit. If you Google the new wife's name, you find lots of looney truther articles insisting that the new wife *IS* the old wife with plastic surgery.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:04 PM
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Huh. $2300 to Rudy in 2007, but $2000 to BHO in 2008.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:06 PM
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Good job oudemia, now they have to kill us all.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:09 PM
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If you're willing to take a very generous view of it (the 5th grade book report standard), the quote above contains nothing literally false or, apart from the "becoming Americans" bit, even objectionable. He wouldn't be in danger of failing the fifth grade, which is more than I can say of some of his colleagues.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:11 PM
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211: Mm -- the form of the words is similar, but maybe Christian supremacist? Judeo-Christian supremacy? (I'm really shocked for some reason; I thought Dean had his head on straight, I really did, and I'm not quite past "What? What?")

It's not particularly the statement that the community center should be built elsewhere; it's the language. The xenophobic, imperialistic tone is what gets me. Assimilate, or be destroyed.

Sorry, I'm still kind of shocked.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:16 PM
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He wouldn't be in danger of failing the fifth grade

This made me laugh, fm. Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-10 6:28 PM
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