Listening to the coverage of Trump’s offer to stop the government shutdown, I can’t help but recall the frequent reports that even in his personal business he unilaterally decided not to pay workers and forced them to sue him to attempt to recover the money. He’s literally now doing the same thing with the government and federal workers.

Apparently tigers do not change their stripes.

👓 City names with articles | English Language & Usage Stack Exchange

Read City names with articles (English Language & Usage Stack Exchange)
Typically we don't use articles with city names, e.g. "Seattle" and not "the Seattle." I know at least one exception though which is The Hague. Are there any other city names which we use with the

👓 The “The” | Gothamist

Read The "The" by Doug Gordon (Gothamist)

Why does "Bronx" have to be prefaced with "The?" Why not "A Bronx" or, most reasonably, just plain old "Bronx?"

Thanks, Blaney

The Vatican. The Hague. The Netherlands. The O.C. The Bronx. Unless you are a cartoon character, you can probably name on one hand the number of locations worldwide that are prefaced with the definite article "the." How the Bronx found itself in such esteemed company as the Holy See and the only county big enough for Peter Gallagher's eyebrows is an interesting bit of New York City trivia.

According to The Encyclopedia of New York City, the borough's name can be traced back to Jonas Bronck, a Swedish sea captain from the Netherlands, who settled in the area in 1639 and "eventually built a farmstead at what became 132nd Street and Lincoln Avenue." (Interestingly enough, if the home was still standing today it would only rent for about 25 shillings per month, due to Colonial rent-control laws.)

Bronck's name - Bronck, Bronck's, Bronx...note the pattern - would be given to the river that flows through the middle of the borough. Like the Mississippi, the Thames, and the Nile, most rivers have the function word "the" linked to their names. While no source gives an official date on when the "the" truly took hold, a visit to The Straight Dope tells us when people started referring to the general area surrounding the river's east and west in a more official capacity:

In 1874 about 20 square miles of mainland Westchester county was annexed to New York City. This region was known thereafter as the Annexed District of the Bronx, in apparent reference to the Bronx River, then the district's eastern border. In 1898 the Annexed District became part of the Borough of the Bronx - presumably still referring to the river. After a while, however, people forgot about the river and began casually referring to the entire borough as "the Bronx."

Some other cocktail chatter about the Bronx: not only is it the the only new York City borough connected to the mainland United States but it is also the only one to have a river run right through it. Despite its gritty reputation, about 24% of its land area is parkland, more than any other borough. It's also one of our favorite worlds ending in "x," along with "Jimi Hendrix," "Redd Foxx," and "Xbox."

👓 Why do we use definite articles for some place names, like The Hague? | Slate

Read Why do we use definite articles for some place names, like The Hague? (Slate Magazine)
Former Bosnian leader and accused war criminal Radovan Karadzic did not appear for the start of his trial on Monday in the Dutch city of The Hague....

📑 There are only three places that have a ‘the’ in the front of their name: the Vatican, The Hague, and the Bronx.

Annotated Just Kids from the Bronx by Arlene Alda (justkidsfromthebronx.com)
“There are only three places that have a ‘the’ in the front of their name: the Vatican, The Hague, and the Bronx.”  
—Mary Higgins Clark

🎞 The Illusionist, 2006 – ★★★½

Watched The Illusionist (2006) from Freestyle Releasing
Directed by Neil Burger. With Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell. In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Interesting in its own right but not as solid as Nolan’s film The Prestige which came out almost a month an a half later. While this film doesn’t indicate the method of the primary illusion, which makes this story a bit more mystical, it’s fairly well put together. The summary at the end of the movie is quite similar to that of The Prestige, but not as narratively strong–in particular because it shows us too many things which we hadn’t actually seen on screen and which could only be presupposed by the narrator.

Sadly, I think its box office suffered dramatically because it was initially released in no man’s land in late August and by a small indie distributor rather than a major.

I watched the first half of this two nights ago starting after midnight. I’d taped this ages ago on DVR via DirecTV.

👓 Syntax under pressure | Language Log

Read Syntax under pressure by Geoffrey K. Pullum (Language Log)

According to the Doonesbury site's feature "Say What?" today, Lauren Caitlin Upton, the reigning Miss South Carolina, was recently asked on TV why so many Americans can't find their own country on a map, and her impromptu reply, dutifully transcribed by various sources (though not yet checked aganst the original recording by Language Log staff), was:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and I believe that our education like such as South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should... our education over here in the U.S should help the U.S or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future.

Those who enjoy laughing at stereotypically pretty young women (yes, Miss Upton does appear to be blonde) for stereotypically lacking intelligence will get a few giggles out of this one. And they will probably not reflect on whether they themselves have ever sounded similarly stupid when speaking spontaneously under pressure and under lights, in response to an unexpected question under circumstances that made them feel they are expected to talk.

👓 Language Log is strong | Language Log

Read Language Log: Language Log is strong by Geoffrey K. Pullum (itre.cis.upenn.edu)
A small point, while I think of it, at the risk of seeming a tiny bit pedantic, concerning how to make reference to Language Log. You may have noticed, from other websites or our occasional direct quotations from them, that there are many people who write things like "I really enjoy the Language Log". To take a random example, this page from the website of the radio program Here and Now says The "Language Log" is an online hub where linguists trade thoughts on all aspects of language. And another site said (and we really are flattered and grateful): the website of record for die-hard language buffs is the Language Log, acknowledging in the following sentence: The Language Log, I admit, is not for the faint of heart (see it here). Many thanks for the praise; but for the non-faint of heart, it's "Language Log", not "the Language Log". If I may use the terminological distinction drawn in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language in pp. 517ff, recently mentioned here), Language Log is a strong proper name, not a weak one.

👓 Casey Affleck Addresses Sexual Harassment Allegations | Variety

Read Casey Affleck Apologizes for ‘Unprofessional’ Behavior Amid Me Too Backlash by Tara Bitran (Variety)
In an interview with the Associated Press, Affleck admitted to contributing to an unprofessional environment on the set of “I’m Still Here,” which was shot in 2008 and 2009. “I tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. And I regret a lot of that,” Affleck, who directed, produced, and co-wrote the film, said. “I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss. I don’t even know if I thought of myself as the boss. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”

Someone has either coached him and/or he’s got a great publicist helping him out. He was never eloquent enough to pull off statements like these in my experience.

👓 Static Indieweb pt2: Using Webmentions | Max Böck

Read Static Indieweb pt2: Using Webmentions by Max Böck (Max Böck - Frontend Web Developer)
How to pull interactions from social media platforms like Twitter back to your own site, using Webmentions, webmention.io and Bridgy.

Clear and lucid tutorial for adding Webmention to one’s Eleventy-based static site.

👓 Static Indieweb pt1: Syndicating Content | Max Böck

Read Static Indieweb pt1: Syndicating Content by Max Böck (Max Böck - Frontend Web Developer)
How to automatically publish content from a static site on Twitter, using Eleventy and Netlify's lambda functions.

A nice little article with some excellent code examples for those who want to follow along.

👓 Chris Aldrich’s Directory List | Kicks Condor

Liked Chris Aldrich’s Directory List by Kicks Condor (kickscondor.com)
This is cool. I think @c does incredibly generous work—and a lot of it is reading and discovering people out there. I’m shocked at how many people he reads and responds to. And this wiki page. Taking the time to pitch in on a little niche of the Indieweb—I find that very inspiring. I want to look around and contribute something like this another niche out there (tultywits) that I admire.

Kicks, you’re far too kind…

👓 Impeach Donald Trump | The Atlantic

Read Impeach Donald Trump by Yoni ApplebaumYoni Applebaum (The Atlantic)
Starting the process will rein in a president who is undermining American ideals—and bring the debate about his fitness for office into Congress, where it belongs.

Just the sort of great, historic writing that The Atlantic is well known for creating.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

As a House Judiciary Committee staff report put it in 1974, in the midst of the Watergate investigation: “The purpose of impeachment is not personal punishment; its function is primarily to maintain constitutional government.” Impeachable offenses, it found, included “undermining the integrity of office, disregard of constitutional duties and oath of office, arrogation of power, abuse of the governmental process, adverse impact on the system of government.”  

January 18, 2019 at 07:36PM

The question of whether impeachment is justified should not be confused with the question of whether it is likely to succeed in removing a president from office.  

January 18, 2019 at 07:41PM

Here is how impeachment would work in practice.  

January 18, 2019 at 08:01PM

The Nixon impeachment spurred Charles L. Black, a Yale law professor, to write Impeachment: A Handbook, a slender volume that remains a defining work on the question.  

January 18, 2019 at 08:07PM

In fact, the Nixon impeachment left Weld with a renewed faith in the American system of government: “The wheels may grind slowly,” he later reflected, “but they grind pretty well.”  

January 18, 2019 at 08:12PM