The other day I was on a conference call and we were discussing which tags and keywords should be included in a collaborative online database.
The terms “substance use” and “harm reduction” were both on the list. I suggested we add “addiction.”
Some other people on the call said that we don’t use that term anymore, because it’s considered stigmatizing. Nowadays we prefer the term “substance use.”
I deferred to their expertise and dropped it, but I keep thinking about it. Not about addiction per se, but about how and why language changes. We decide a certain (Read more…)
By: Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive: Last week, the Associated Press ditched the demeaning and exclusionary term “illegal immigrant”. Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in 2011, responded with: “It was inevitable. It was just a matter of time.” The New York Times called the [...]
The post New York Times reconsidering the term ‘illegal immigrant’ appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
Back in the late 1990s, I wrote an essay about the “controversy” over who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare. I wrote, then, Not everyone agrees that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. The challenge to his authorship isn’t new: for the last … Continue reading →
A quest undertaken by the youth of Great Whale to solidify the traditional bonds between First Nations By: Chief Stan George Accompanied by one experienced guide, 6 youths from the community of Great Whale, located in Northern Quebec on the shores of Hudson’s Bay, have commenced a sacred quest that is [...]
The post Journey of Nishiyuu: A quest to solidify bonds between First Nations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis.
For Boethius, it was the Consolation of Philosophy*. For me, it’s literature. Not to write about it so much as to read it. Consolation from the act of reading. And read about literature. Sometimes literature is made more meaningful, brought … Continue reading →
What is propaganda? The word gets thrown around easily by people who obviously mean “anything we dislike or don’t agree with.” It’s a pejorative often used by a small group to describe anything official that any level of government puts … Continue reading →
Foolosopher. What a wonderful word. Not much in use these days, but it ought to be. It is a portmanteau word, first used in English way back in 1549*, according to my copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. It … Continue reading →
Arigata-meiwaku (Japanese): An act someone does for you that you didn’t want to have them do and tried to avoid having them do, but they went ahead anyway, determined to do you a favor, and then things went wrong and caused you a lot of trouble, yet in the end social conventions required you to express gratitude
via 25 Handy Words That Simply Don’t Exist In English | So Bad So Good.
For more handy words, click on the link above.
Filed under: Interesting Tagged: language
Moidered. It sounds like something from the Three Stooges. Or maybe something Tony Soprano would say.”I moidered him.” But it actually means “crazed,” according to Samuel Johnson in his famous dictionary of 1755. It’s long since left the stage of English usage. … Continue reading →
Here’s a fun little video from TED about the evolution of English. This video describes the early days of English’s changes. Some of the more recent alterations are not included, such as the extensive use of pirate terms, robot machine R… . . . → Read More: mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: How did English evolve?
As predicted the dropping of the mandatory long form census last year is starting to be felt in the statistical results being collected. First problem: Language Data.
New language data may be skewed as a result of shift to voluntary census survey – The Globe and Mail.
Filed under: Politics Tagged: census, language, qubec, Science, statistics
… these data seem reasonable. There is most def a gap between the attitudes of anglos and francos on both sides of the river re: language and support for Canada. I’m not a big fan of these types of surveys, but these results intuitively seem about right. (5) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario
There are a host of commonly used words in the English language which I like to call quasi-religious. Words like soul, spiritual, fate, mother nature, energy, and the like. These are words which have two sets of connotations, one which is spiritual and one which is largely secular, whose different meanings often get used interchangeably.
Take the soul. On the one hand there is a mystical connotation. It is something separate from the body, which may well survive after the body dies, and is dualist in the sense that its nature is fundamentally different from the physical world we experience. Likewise,
. . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Religion and Language: Quasi-Religious Terminology
The Endangered Languages Project is a new initiative run by Google to catalog languages that are threatened because of globalization. As nice as it is that the people on the planet are finding more languages in common, we still need to encourage people to embrace languages that aren’t as popular.
“We have so many languages which are in danger of dying, and though there has been work done by linguists to document these languages, there are nowhere near enough linguists to do that,” said Anthony Aristar, professor of linguistics and co-director of the Institute for Language Information and Technology at
. . . → Read More: Things Are Good: Google to Catalog Languages
CBC is asking the question, “Should we use gender-neutral pronouns instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’?“ Citing Sweden’s addition of a gender-neutral pronoun to the National Encyclopedia and a news story last year about a Toronto couple who wished to raise their child genderless until the child decides, and asks:
Do you think language should be gender-neutral? Why or why not? Or, is this going to far in the quest for equality between genders? Does changing the language make a difference?
Speaking for myself, I’m not terribly oppressed by “she.” The only times I was ever close
. . . → Read More: Dented Blue Mercedes: CBC: Should we use gender-neutral pronouns instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’?
I no sooner published my first word rant and immediately more common travesties of language sprang to mind. Part two will be more of a rapid fire format, as there is a lot of ground to cover.
..And Get One Free!
As alluded to in Part 1′s final paragraph, ‘…and get one free’ tacked on the end of a sales pitch is marketing verbal violation at its worst. ‘Free’ means ‘at NO cost’. When advertisements use it, they mean ‘at no ADDITIONAL cost’. This a huge and very important distinction. “If you pay $, you get x and a FREE
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: A Rant on Words Part II
I hate the word ‘utilize’.
There is an art form to selecting words. One mustn’t be drab, nor overly verbose. Large words should be used for clarity and precision in terms of expressing one’s intent. They should NOT be used to merely for the sake of making the speaker sound smarter or more official. As my wonderful philosophy professor once lectured, this makes your writing [or speaking] ‘fluffy’. It takes up lots of space, but has little substance. Further, if one is hellbent on using an impressive sounding word, make damn sure it means what you think it means. When
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: A Rant on Words
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made it clear his government will not reopen the abortion debate. But Stephen Woodworth, the Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre wants to reverse course. And force Parliament to enact a …Read More
Written Language (circa 3200 BC)
The Printing Press (circa 1440 ) (Johannes Gutenberg)
Radio Broadcasting (circa 1910)
Television Broadcasting (1928/1936)
The Internet (1969) (ARPANET)
Smart Phones (1992) (RIM BlackBerry 1999)
What language do you think progressives should use to try to communicate with the average Canadian viewer? . . . → Read More: Excited Delirium: Media Messaging – Using the ‘Right’ Terms
Wittgenstein described language as a city. Three’s the Old Town with its twisted streets and the new suburbs that are neatly organized. The entire city is constantly changing and growing.That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but is language evolving enou… . . . → Read More: Yappa Ding Ding: Esperanto is Old School