Category Archives: Language

Knowledge, Science, Facts, Logic, Truth, and Persuasion

This post was inspired by my friend Kerri. In May, I wrote a post about Mental Health Awareness Week. It was kind of a jokey post about how I’m trying to have a conversation about mental health, and I didn’t even know there was a week, or a month, set aside for it. I said […]

I Don’t Have the Words

After reading my two-parter about why it can be so hard to talk about depression, a friend sent me this article: 18 Words for Sadness & Depression That Don’t Exist in English. It is exactly what it sounds like. Some of the words are helpful. For instance, the Pitjantjatjara (aboriginal Australian) word “Watjilpa” apparently describes […]

Writing Assistants

Pretty much every time I go online, I get ads for Grammarly. It’s actually one of the few targeted ads that I get that makes sense. I write a lot and I’ve been teaching others how to write for over a decade. But I find that the ads have the wrong effect on me. Every […]

Quick Questions: Language and Measures

It’s common to hear people complaining that America doesn’t use the metric system. It’s easier, it’s universally understood (outside of America), it brings the scientific community together, and on and on. Do these same people believe that everyone should just start speaking the same language? If not, what’s the relevant difference? Share This:

Taste and Colors

I often say that there are only six colors: blue, green, red, yellow, orange, and purple. You wouldn’t think so, but this upsets a lot of people. On the low end, people will point to a box of 64 crayons. Others say there are infinite colors. If you count black, white, and gray (not really […]

Privilege

Ugh. Make it make sense! Challenge accepted. What are you talking about? I’m going to make it make sense. Picture this: They gathered in the conference room with the usual chit-chat. The project manager closed the door bringing everyone to attention. “Big news, everyone. Big news. We got a new job. The K Boys were […]

Adventures In Parenting – Bad Words

I’ve recently had two interesting conversations with my daughter about bad words. I’m going to tell you about the second one first. She was watching YouTube. I wasn’t really paying attention until my daughter said, “She’s going to get demonetized.” I looked up and asked why. My daughter said, “She just said shiitake mushroom. YouTube […]

What Are We Really Saying?

Eric Schwitzgebel wrote a recent blog post called Love Is Love, and Slogans Need a Context of Examples. The post makes the point stated in its title. Slogans, taken on their own, are mostly meaningless. If you took someone with no knowledge of the fight for marriage equality in the US, and said to them, […]

Connections

The song Levon, by Elton John (@eltonofficial) and Bernie Taupin (#bernietaupin), opens with the line: Levon wears his war wound like a crown He calls his child Jesus ‘Cause he likes the name And he sends him to the finest school in town Then, there’s a line in Elton John’s and Bernie Taupin’s song Tiny […]

Just

For a year now, people have been telling me that COVID is not just the flu. That’s how they always say it, “just the flu.” I always think to myself, “Just?” Used that way, “just” implies that the flu is no big deal. “Meh, it’s only the flu.” According to prevention magazine, millions of people […]