"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Parody; News; Oppression; Who the Hell Can Tell the Difference?

We're calling bullshit on this one, but the fact that it's impossible to tell for sure is pretty sad:
. . . the teacher was lecturing normally on the different climates of the planet and used the Granada town of Trevélez as an example of a cold, dry climate. As an anecdote, the teacher recounted that just such a climate was conducive to the curing of hams. Then the student asked the teacher not to speak of hams since the subject offended him as a Muslim.
Sillier things have happened. Many of our readers of tender years missed the opportunity to witness -- first hand -- the bastardization of English during the Reign of Feminist Terror. The current terms "fire-fighter," "letter carrier," and "police officer" are all actually literary gems. Back in the day, reflexive correction was more mindlessly accomplished by simply substituting "-person" for "-man." Hence, fireperson, mailperson, and policeperson. The children think I'm making this up, but I'm not.

True story: Thirty-five years ago, in my capacity as a Law Review editor, a young woman submitted to me an article in which she had carefully corrected "priest" to "priestperson" and all pronouns referencing said priest as "he or she." I explained to her that it didn't seem to me immediately obvious that the term "priest" was inherently sexist and that, in any event, the particular person in question was in fact a he. Grasping a teaching moment, I also opined that since the person in question was a Roman Catholic priest, he was necessarily neither a girl nor a woman. I look back now with utter confidence that this last tidbit was thought to be so patently ridiculous that I was not believed. I'd like to think that the young woman grew up to be an Episcopal Priestess, but I don't know that.

So you see it's sometimes very difficult to know if someone's joking or not. These days, the stakes can be high, since the consequences may be more serious than mere social anathema.

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