language

use, misuse and cynical manipulation of language in common and specialist speech and writing

Today in Double Standards

Today in Double Standards

I was having a chat about exactly this sort of negativity regarding competent/assertive/expert women this evening: see also classic xkcd on the other side of the coin.

Quick Hit: Angry = Awesome

Quick Hit: Angry = Awesome

Some great angry writing from feminists.

DUFC #69

DUFC #69

Welcome to the 69th Down Under Feminists Carnival. This month read some of the best posts from January 2014.

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

My reading list for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014.

Quick Hit: The Ability to Can

Quick Hit: The Ability to Can

There’s a fine line between mangling one’s own language and being part of its evolution and improvement. Of course, if it’s us (whoever “us” might be), it’s definitely the latter. “I have lost all ability to can.” ….  So I explained the phrase and he seemed fairly disgusted in a what-are-these-people-doing-to-our-language way. My first instinct […]

A little more research wouldn't have hurt

A little more research wouldn’t have hurt

Public humiliation visits every retailer occasionally. But to young women who are a bit on the large side, the embarrassment being visited on clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch must be as delicious as a good public flogging.

Today in tigtog is pedanticer than most: gargoyle vs grotesque

Today in tigtog is pedanticer than most: gargoyle vs grotesque

Architecture: all gargoyles are grotesques, but not all grotesques are gargoyles.

You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

Channeling Inigo Montoya: “Enormity”

Sure, language moves on, yada yada, and usage shifts to what people most like the sound of, and “enormity” in particular somehow sounds more erudite than “enormousness”, so many people think it must be a more correct word for something that is huge or immense. Yeah, no.

Classic Nugget of Awesome: Harriet Jay on Stereotypes, Abused Populations and Survival Tactics

Classic Nugget of Awesome: Harriet Jay on Stereotypes, Abused Populations and Survival Tactics

This 2009 quote from Harriet Jay’s remarkable blog Fugitivus came up in a ManBoobz thread. I wanted to highlight it firstly because it’s marvellous, and secondly to link back to the original post to make it easier for others to cite it.
Stereotypes exist pretty clearly to benefit the current social order, and when somebody enacts the stereotype perfectly, it becomes evidence for the stereotype, and when somebody acts in the complete opposite of the stereotype, they are exceptions and also fall into other very convenient stereotypes …

Not Even Trying To Figure Out If Someone Wants Your Attention Is What Makes You Creepy

Not Even Trying To Figure Out If Someone Wants Your Attention Is What Makes You Creepy

most people can tell by looking at a cat that it doesn’t want their attention; the only thing that makes it hard to figure out whether a woman want[s] to be talking to a man is literally not even trying to.

Methinks 'tis time to update a 'net classic

Methinks ’tis time to update a ‘net classic

The world needs a social justice version of John Baez’ classic simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics AKA The Crackpot Index, to rate our never-ending “feedback” from troglodytes of assorted stripes who are convinced that not only are we Doin It Rong but that we deserve to be threatened into silence for daring to have an opinion in the first place.

When men disagree with others it's a robust addition to free speech, when women disagree with men it's to silence them

When men disagree with others it’s a robust addition to free speech, when women disagree with men it’s to silence them

This time it’s women objecting to sexist content in the professional magazine for the Science Fiction Writers Of America who are causing Deep Rifts™.

BFTP: Who moved that apostrophe?

BFTP: Who moved that apostrophe?

How did a day that grew from West Virginian Mothers’ Work Days from 1858 onwards (where mothers worked together to improve their community), and Mothers’ Friendship Days from 1865 (to promote harmony between former opponents in the Civil War), become what we celebrate now as Mother’s Day?

See the difference that apostrophe position makes?

Vanessa Redgrave as Rosalind

Shakespeare’s Preoccupations

I thought it would be fun to share my list of things I have noticed Shakespeare does repeatedly, and ask if you have any others.