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The Language Killers Understand

“The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

Ethics of war pop quiz: Is the quote above A) by Barack Obama, B) about Barack Obama, or C) both by and about Barack Obama?

For bonus points, answer your choice of the following essay questions:

1) If killers don’t understand any […]

Why Is There No Opposite Of Analogy?

Tonight, I have discovered a gap in the poetic imagination of the English language. Children in the United States and United Kingdom are taught that poetry often uses analogy, a form of metaphor that likens one thing to another thing.

My love is like a boiled carrot…

But what’s the opposite of an analogy? […]

Improve this Surveillance Chant Sheet

When I was at the national protest against massive unconstitutional surveillance two days ago, organizers were handing out a piece of paper titled “CHANT SHEET.” These were the chants we were supposed to practice and use during the march:

They say wire tap / We say fight back You say land of the free? I […]

Bring Them Back

Shan’t. On the morrow. Fiddlesticks. Old bean. Tarnation. Sup.

I’d like to bring these words and phrases back into common usage. What would you bring back?

English-Speaking Government In North America 404 Years Old

The largest ethnic group in the United States is now people of German ancestry. So, what’s the point of legislation that demands that the government of the United States of America operates in English only? […]

Penn Jillette Slapped with Language Advisory in Video Questioning God. Why?

A 2008 video podcast by Penn Jillette has been slapped with a “L” Language advisory when it appears on YouTube:

But I can’t for the life of me figure out why. This is what he said:

You know this atheism/agnosticism question has been continuing. I’ve got this buddy here in Vegas, Gail, and she’s […]

Breaking News From the 1800s!

About 15,000 people are thought to live on boats in canals in London. Some real gongoozlers can be found over at the Canal Card Collectors Circle, which is affiliated with, but not completely consumed by, the Inland Waterways Association. […]

Theories of Representation and Support for English-Only Policy in the United States Congress

As of this morning, 59 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on in support of H.R. 997, a bill to declare English the national language of the United States and (with some exceptions for national security, criminal justice and the like) to mandate that only English be used in federal and state […]

Clever About Chemicals

The Royal Society of Chemistry cannot issue a public challenge such as this without accepting the complexity of public language. The matter is now in its hands. […]

Kill This Phrase: I'm Really Kind of Annoyed

You’re either really annoyed or you’re kind of annoyed. Pick one.

Republicans Campaign Against Thinking in 2008

Words are what separate us from the other animals of Planet Earth. When Republicans show a distrust of words, they reveal a distrust for humanity itself. […]