Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and The English Language

by David Ottlinger ___ However else we might evaluate her burgeoning career, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been a great success in inspiring think-pieces. The freshman congresswoman has been a gift to all political writers in search of a subject. Whether one agrees with her and the causes she champions is a matter of complete indifference. Either way, it has become almost […]

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Some Things to Keep in Mind When Engaging with the Gender Identity Debate

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The political battle over sex and gender continues to escalate, with increasingly consequential results. Adolescents and pre-teens are finding themselves confronted with opposite-sexed bodies in changing rooms, toilets, and other places where they undress.[1] Female athletes are watching their potential fortunes dim in competition. [2] Homosexuals are being criticized and often berated for being same-sex, […]

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Inventing Religion

by Mark English Nouns and adjectives like ‘religion’ and ‘religious’ can be seen as more or less useful classificatory terms. More – or less – useful, as I say. The standard view is that there are various sets of practices (customs and rituals) and grand narratives and beliefs (concerning spiritual or magical beings and powers) to which different human groups […]

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Notes on Culture and Language

by Mark English Having written recently about shared narratives and their role in creating a common culture, I thought it might be worthwhile to try to develop a few of the points I have been making and to clarify the foundation – personal and intellectual – upon which my claims rest. Now, the idea of a common culture – whether […]

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Language and Meaning

by Mark English The topic of eliminative materialism (or ‘eliminativism’ as its current manifestation is usually called) has been the focus of some recent debate. What prompted this piece, however, was a brief discussion in a comment thread about a very specific kind of eliminativism which applies to language and which is known as semantic (or meaning) eliminativism. My original […]

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Cosmopolitan

by Margaret Rowley Multiple news sources have detailed Stephen Miller’s recent accusation hurled at Jim Acosta of “cosmopolitan bias,” an insult that has been recently and repeatedly levied at so-called “left-leaning” news networks. Acosta: This whole notion of they have to learn English before they get to the United States, are we just going to bring in people from Great […]

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This Week’s Special: George Orwell’s, “Politics and the English Language”

by Daniel A. Kaufman Orwell’s influential essay, published in 1946, when considered alongside his “The Prevention of Literature” (1946) and the Appendix to 1984, “The Principles of Newspeak” (1949), offers a powerful picture of language and its abuse, especially in the arena of politics.  It is one of those essays that seems more prescient with each year that passes, which […]

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