👓 Conservative Bible Project aims to rewrite scripture to counter perceived liberal bias | NY Daily News

Read Conservative Bible Project aims to rewrite scripture to counter perceived liberal bias (NY Daily News)
The Conservative Bible Project's authors argue that contemporary scholars have inserted liberal views and ahistorical passages into the Bible, turning Jesus into little more than a well-meaning social worker.

Another thousand years from now portions of the “christian” bible will have strayed so far from the original that they will be completely unrecognizable. You can choose to reinterpret them into a new modern setting, but it still doesn’t change the words that were originally inscribed.

👓 The The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets | Jason Kottke

Read The The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets by Jason Kottke (kottke.org)

The Atlas of Endangered Alphabets is a collection of “indigenous and minority writing systems”, gathered together in the hopes of collecting information about reviving interest in these alphabets. From the about page:

In 2009, when I started work on the first series of carvings that became the Endangered Alphabets Project, times were dark for indigenous and minority cultures. The lightning spread of television and the Internet were driving a kind of cultural imperialism into every corner of the world. Everyone had a screen or wanted a screen, and the English language and the Latin alphabet (or one of the half-dozen other major writing systems) were on every screen and every keyboard. Every other culture was left with a bleak choice: learn the mainstream script or type a series of meaningless tofu squares.

Yet 2019 is a remarkable time in the history of writing systems. In spite of creeping globalization, political oppression, and economic inequalities, minority cultures are starting to revive interest in their traditional scripts. Across the world, calligraphy is turning writing into art; letters are turning up as earrings, words as pendants, proverbs as clothing designs. Individuals, groups, organizations and even governments are showing interest in preserving and protecting traditional writing systems or even creating new ones as way to take back their cultural identity.

👓 What the earliest fragments of English reveal | BBC

Read What the earliest fragments of English reveal by Cameron Laux (bbc.com)
The earliest fragments of English reveal how interconnected Europe has been for centuries, finds Cameron Laux. He traces a history of the language through 10 objects and manuscripts.

👓 SNAFFLE definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Read SNAFFLE (Cambridge English Dictionary)
snaffle meaning: 1. to take something quickly for yourself, in a way that prevents someone else from having or using it: 2. a type of bit (= a metal bar held in a horse's mouth to control it) usually with a joint in the middle. Learn more.

One of my favorite things about reading The Economist is finding edge case Britishisms that aren’t used in American English.

👓 Scots Word of the Season: ‘Leerie’ | The Bottle Imp

Read Scots Word of the Season: ‘Leerie’ (The Bottle Imp)
Leerie n. a lamplighter, who lit gas lamps in towns and cities (before electric light)
The word leerie is perhaps best known nowadays from the nostalgic poem ‘The Lamplighter’ by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). The character, ‘Leerie’, is depicted as a romantic wanderer who charms th...

I have to wonder if traffic on the site has picked up for this word based on the recent opening of the film Mary Poppins Returns?

It seems that leeries are just as pictuesque and poetic in other incarnations as they are depicted in Mary Poppins Returns. Why the romanticism for such a menial and dirty seeming profession?

👓 The Racist Politics of the English Language | Boston Review

Read The Racist Politics of the English Language (Boston Review)
How we went from “racist” to “racially tinged.”

Yes, we need to be more careful with our words and move back to more specific language.

👓 How the media should respond to Trump’s lies | Vox

Read How the media should respond to Trump’s lies by Sean Illing (Vox)
A linguist explains how Trump uses lies to divert attention from the "big truths."

I like that he delves into the idea of enlightment reasoning here and why it doesn’t work. This section of this article is what makes it a bit different from some of the interviews and articles that Lakoff has been appearing in lately.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

I take your point, but I wonder if Trump is just kryptonite for a liberal democratic system built on a free press.  

The key words being “free press” with free meaning that we’re free to exert intelligent editorial control.

Editors in the early 1900’s used this sort of editorial control not to give fuel to racists and Nazis and reduce their influence.Cross reference: Face the Racist Nation from On the Media.

Apparently we need to exert the same editorial control with respect to Trump, who not incidentally is giving significant fuel to the racist fire as well.
November 20, 2018 at 10:11AM

A lot of Democrats believe in what is called Enlightenment reasoning, and that if you just tell people the facts, they’ll reach the right conclusion. That just isn’t true.  

November 20, 2018 at 10:12AM

🔖 ❤️ GeorgeLakoff tweet on neutral language in journalism

Liked a tweet by George Lakoff   on TwitterGeorge Lakoff on Twitter (Twitter)

👓 Why keeping The Economist’s style guide up to date is a battle | The Economist

Read Why keeping The Economist’s style guide up to date is a battle by Ann Wroe (The Economist)
The editor of our style guide on new rules, older folk and the plurality of data

👓 I Wonder Who Wrote That Melania Trump Tweet | Huffington Post

Read I Wonder Who Wrote That Melania Trump Tweet (HuffPost)
Definitely not Donald Trump in a wig, that's for sure.

Certainly crazy, and I don’t even think they mentioned anything about her actual style or the fact that English may be a second language for her? I can’t wait to read conspiracy theories surrounding this. Is he keeping her imprisoned? Poisoning her while he keeps her “alive” on Twitter?

🔖 [1803.09745] English verb regularization in books and tweets | arXiv

Bookmarked [1803.09745] English verb regularization in books and tweets by Tyler J. Gray, Andrew J. Reagan, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Christopher M. Danforth (arxiv.org)
The English language has evolved dramatically throughout its lifespan, to the extent that a modern speaker of Old English would be incomprehensible without translation. One concrete indicator of this process is the movement from irregular to regular (-ed) forms for the past tense of verbs. In this study we quantify the extent of verb regularization using two vastly disparate datasets: (1) Six years of published books scanned by Google (2003--2008), and (2) A decade of social media messages posted to Twitter (2008--2017). We find that the extent of verb regularization is greater on Twitter, taken as a whole, than in English Fiction books. Regularization is also greater for tweets geotagged in the United States relative to American English books, but the opposite is true for tweets geotagged in the United Kingdom relative to British English books. We also find interesting regional variations in regularization across counties in the United States. However, once differences in population are accounted for, we do not identify strong correlations with socio-demographic variables such as education or income. [.pdf]

🎧 Maggie Haberman | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Maggie Haberman by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
To make sense of President Donald Trump's first year in the White House, many have come to rely on Maggie Haberman. The powerhouse reporter for the New York Times talks with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg about how her career covering New York City politics for the tabloids has given her a unique view of Trump. To Haberman, Trump's brashness and need for approval are partly products of his distinct experience of New York City.

A fascinating interview to be sure. There’s some subtlety particularly about Donald Trump that is injected here that I wouldn’t have thought about previously. I certainly don’t have more hope as a result, but I do have a lot more nuance in how he functions and interacts with others. There is some particularly fascinating discussion on language/linguistics which impinges on some of the discussion in my article Complexity isn’t a Vice: 10 Word Answers and Doubletalk in Election 2016.

👓 Steven Pinker Explains the Neuroscience of Swearing | Open Culture

Read Steven Pinker Explains the Neuroscience of Swearing by Matthias Rascher (Open Culture)
Pinker talking about his then new book, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, and doing what he does best: combining psychology and neuroscience with linguistics. The result is as entertaining as it is insightful.

Continue reading “👓 Steven Pinker Explains the Neuroscience of Swearing | Open Culture”

🔖 Want to read: From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett

Bookmarked From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition, 496 pages (February 7, 2017))
One of America’s foremost philosophers offers a major new account of the origins of the conscious mind.

How did we come to have minds?

For centuries, this question has intrigued psychologists, physicists, poets, and philosophers, who have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled ability to create, imagine, and explain. Disciples of Darwin have long aspired to explain how consciousness, language, and culture could have appeared through natural selection, blazing promising trails that tend, however, to end in confusion and controversy. Even though our understanding of the inner workings of proteins, neurons, and DNA is deeper than ever before, the matter of how our minds came to be has largely remained a mystery.

That is now changing, says Daniel C. Dennett. In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, his most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought.

In his inimitable style―laced with wit and arresting thought experiments―Dennett explains that a crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Language, itself composed of memes, turbocharged this interplay. Competition among memes―a form of natural selection―produced thinking tools so well-designed that they gave us the power to design our own memes. The result, a mind that not only perceives and controls but can create and comprehend, was thus largely shaped by the process of cultural evolution.

An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers, scientists, and thinkers, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain anyone eager to make sense of how the mind works and how it came about.

4 color, 18 black-and-white illustrations

🔖 Want to read: From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett

 

Why Do Canadians Say ‘Eh’? | Atlas Obscura

Read Why Do Canadians Say 'Eh'? (Atlas Obscura)
The story behind Canada’s most distinctive verbal tic.

Continue reading “Why Do Canadians Say ‘Eh’? | Atlas Obscura”