May 21, 2012
I have been brooding for the past week over a part of a comment at the Language Log post "A half century of usage denialism," in which Deniz Rudin writes: "Descriptivism is an investigatory approach to the formal study of language, and it is uncontroversial in linguistics departments because it is the only sane approach - nobody opposes descriptivism in biology, or argues for a prescriptivist physics. Prescriptivism, on the other hand, is a branch of etiquette columnry - prescriptivists advise us of what the more embarrassing solecisms are, so that we can in avoiding them be judged by the cultured to be one of their own. " Now I know where this is coming from.
January 30, 2012
We're all waiting for the big fight of the season. I mean, that's why we are watching -- right? I kinda wish they would just get to it, but the producers are clearly dragging this one out and setting up for a big finale. At least that's my prediction. On this episode the ladies jet-set to Africa. I'm wondering who picked this location. Is it symbolic since they fight like animals? I mean, Africa is beautiful and all, but not really the place for six uppity gals from Atlanta who stuffed tons of shoes and bags into their Louis Vuitton luggage.
November 7, 2011
So are candidates flying coach on a commercial flight fair game for fellow passengers? Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that a Florida woman sat next to GOP candidate Mitt Romney on a two-hour Delta flight from Jacksonville, Fla. to Boston and found him aloof. She reported that he seemed uninterested in engaging in chitchat with her or any of the other passengers, although he did take a photo with at least one of them. The woman said Romney spent most of the flight reading a newspaper and working on an iPad - with headphones on, of course.
September 13, 2011
I just happened to catch the opening ceremonies and Sept. 11 tribute prior to the Ravens-Steelers football game. It was a beautiful ceremony with a fantastic U.S. flag covering entire field. The organizers should be commended. Beautiful, that is, until it was marred by the ignorance and stupidity of a few Baltimore players who chose to keep their skull caps on while holding the massive flag. This makes me sick! Did the coaches, team officials or NFL executives not brief these players prior to the ceremony?
March 2, 2010
I am always proud to see the swell of patriotism surrounding the Olympic Games, but I saw a trend this year that took some of that pride from me. Our country's greatest, most visible and recognizable symbol has become a fashion accessory. I was horrified to see three fans at a curling event, bare-chested, each with an individual U, S and A on their respective torsos wearing the flag as a cape. This alone is a violation of flag etiquette that states our flag should not be worn as an article of clothing, but worse, when not standing and cheering, they were sitting on it!
July 15, 2009
Men do it. Women do it. School kids do it. Parents with children in tow do it. Elderly women do it. Lawyers do it. Tourists do it. In all likelihood, if you're in Baltimore, visiting or living here, you do it, too. Jaywalk. It's dangerous, like street-corner Russian roulette. It's illegal, at least for half the day. But cops don't seem to consistently enforce the regulation, and the stern-looking, whistle-blowing traffic officers assigned to the Transportation Department are only authorized to write tickets for offenses committed on wheels.