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TotD: Thomas Szasz on Language

Reli­gion and the jar­gon of the helping/hindering pro­fes­sions are com­prised large­ly of lit­er­al­ized metaphors. That is why they are the per­fect tools for legit­imiz­ing and ille­git­imiz­ing ideas, behav­iors, and per­sons.

Ordi­nary lan­guage com­bines all of these qual­i­ties. It can be used lit­er­al­ly and pre­cise­ly, to con­vey mean­ing; metaphor­i­cal­ly or poet­i­cal­ly, to move peo­ple; or ‘reli­gious­ly,’ […]

TotD: Why is English spelling so odd?

From David Crys­tal, The Fight for Eng­lish: How lan­guage pun­dits ate, shot, and left, by way of Delancey Place.

In spelling, the [Eng­lish] lan­guage was assim­i­lat­ing the con­se­quences of hav­ing a civ­il ser­vice of French scribes, who paid lit­tle atten­tion to the tra­di­tions of Eng­lish spelling that had devel­oped in Anglo-Sax­on times. Not only […]