Results tagged “semantics” from onegoodmove

Links With Your Coffee - Saturday

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  • The Language Guy: John McCain's Temper
    I heard today on my local liberal/progressive radio station that John McCain in a display of temper referred to his wife as a "trollop," a linguistic choice which indicates his very advanced age, and as a "cunt," a linguistic choice that indicates that this is not a very nice man, certainly not the sort of man a woman ought to be with. Both illustrate the fact that he has a temper. Fact checking brought up The Atlantic.com's reference to these linguistic droppings.
  • KR Blog » Blog Archive » On Offense
    When I’m writing a story and need a peripheral character run over by a truck, I name that character Charlie Long. Charlie Long was my basketball coach when I was ten years old. Among other encouraging words, he threatened to hang me from the basketball rim by my “dingle-dangle.”

    It happens rarely, but it does happen. My sense of propriety is on the ebb, and I take the opportunity to settle a score. Sometimes, as in the case of Charlie Long, I settle the score multiple time. The only thing cheaper than a cheap shot is a cheapened cheap shot.

    I know that, in these days of Ann Koulter and Michel Savage, there is an increased need for civil discourse. But I’m not talking about what Savagé and Coolter do. These dishonest, repellant social Darwinists call for the real death of hundreds of thousands whenever they open their mouths. I’m talking about something honest and symbolic for my Charlie.

    Christopher Hitchens is pretty good at this. At the end of The Trial of Henry Kissinger, his call for Kissinger’s prosecution, Hitchens points out that, in addition to being a war criminal, Kissinger is also a Big Fatty. A low blow, but also a beautiful cherry on top of a substantive critique.


  • Language Log » Verb tense semantics and how to lie about troop levels

  • Is Obama an enlightened being? / Spiritual wise ones say: This sure ain't no ordinary politician. You buying it?
  • Book Review - 'The Drunkard’s Walk,' by Leonard Mlodinow - Review - NYTimes.com

    (I'm about half way through this book and recommend it highly)
    State lotteries, it’s sometimes said, are a tax on people who don’t understand mathematics. But there is no cause for anyone to feel smug. The brain, no matter how well schooled, is just plain bad at dealing with randomness and probability. Confronted with situations that require an intuitive grasp of the odds, even the best mathematicians and scientists can find themselves floundering.

    Suppose you want to calculate the likelihood of tossing two coins and coming up with one head. The great 18th-century mathematician Jean Le Rond d’Alembert thought the answer was obvious: there are three possibilities, zero, one or two heads. So the odds for any one of those happening must be one in three.

    But as Leonard Mlodinow explains in “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives,” there are, in fact, four possible outcomes: heads-heads, heads-tails, tails-heads and tails-tails. So there is a 25 percent chance of throwing zero or two heads and a 50 percent chance of throwing just one. In the long run, anyone offering d’Alembert’s odds in a coin-flipping contest would lose his shirt.

  • HOW TO WIN THE NEW YORKER CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST