links for 2011-08-15

  • "President Obama has been criticized by both left and right for poor communication. That may be true, but the fault lies less with the president than with his adversaries, in particular the members of the Tea Party, many of whom demonstrate contempt not only for the concrete requirements of a social species (like government), but for a more abstract intrinsic human need: language."

    "you can't (no matter how godly, or how powerful, you are) unilaterally decide what words mean. Humpty Dumpty was a big egg perched precariously on a high narrow wall. His need to make English work his way arose from fear about his future. But manipulating language could not save him from his fate."