Repentant linguist is repentant…to a point.

Allow me to start with an anecdote from my post-college days working as a temp at Cambridge University Press. My job was to enter book orders, both individual and commercial. Academic and professional conferences generated huge stacks of individual orders and I would be entering them for days.

After one such conference, I found that I was entering a book order for Noam Chomsky, the man responsible for probably the majority of the material I’d learned for my brand new BA in Linguistics. There was only one title selected, and I moved on to enter the shipping information.

There were scratch-outs everywhere. Noam Chomsky filled out the address form incorrectly. He also messed up when adding in the tax.

We all make silly mistakes. No one is immune. Not even Noam. Continue reading

And now…The Airing of Grievances

Merry Christmas, everyone! Oh wait, what if you are British? Happy Christmas, then! Oh sorry, you’re Jewish? Happy Hannukah! Channukah? No? Maybe you celebrate Kwanzaa? How about I just say Happy Holidays! Oh, I see, you object to political correctness. Okay, well then, how about I just say Have a nice #*$@^&% day, then? Hmmm?

May the Force be with you this holiday season.

When did it become so damn hard to wish someone a Happy Whatever-You-Celebrate? These days, we even get lambasted for saying Happy Holidays because we’re not ‘keeping the Christ in Christmas’ and this, apparently, marks us as godless tree-hugging liberal heathen soldiers in the so-called War Against Christmas, and earns us eternal damnation.

What if we’re just trying to be nice?

How have we become so focused on only the words while ignoring the intent? Continue reading