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The Decline and Fall of the English Language: New at Reason

A candidate like Donald Trump would be popular in a country where emoticons are popular. A. Barton Hinkle writes:

Emoticons are knee-jerks; like many of Trump’s supporters, they express reactions rather than thoughts. So it should come as no surprise that a society in which emoticons are a popular mode of communication would see the rise of a candidate whose policy ideas contain all the detail and refinement of a Mr. Yuck poison label.

Language, by contrast, evolved to convey complexity; sloppy language thus indicates sloppy thinking—as when Trump told Anderson Cooper, “Sometimes they’ll say Donald Trump wants single payer because there’s a group of people—as good as these plans are and by the way your insurance will go way down, you’ll have better plans, you’ll get your own doctor, which Obama lied.”

Well put, sir!

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Atlas Shrugs

Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, tells a story about what happens when the men of the mind go on strike. [Spoiler Alert: Plot details revealed ahead.] The book’s protagonist, John Galt, is an engineer who decides he is no longer willing to live in a society where others assert a claim over the…
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I am feeling the Johnson!

I am feeling the Johnson! via Leslee Petersen. My neoreactionary friend Mytheos tagged me on an oldie-but-goodie from Slate Star Codex, which many people who read me say I should read more: All debates are bravery debates. It’s a good piece, and something I think about when people dislike my writing. Sometimes it’s because it sucks. … [Read more…]

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