josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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23 May '09 04:47:06 PM

Toulmin’s ‘can’t’ examples from The Uses of Argument:

‘You can’t lift that weight single-handed.’

‘You can’t get ten thousand people into the Town Hall.’

‘You can’t talk about a fox’s tail.’

‘You can’t have a male sister.’

‘You can’t smoke in this compartment.’

‘You can’t turn him away without a shilling!’

22 May '09 04:12:01 PM


21 May '09 04:51:37 PM

'“Behind the overwrought reaction to enhanced interrogations is a broader misconception about the threats that still face our country,” Mr. Cheney says. “You can sense the problem in the emergence of euphemisms that strive to put an imaginary distance between the American people and the terrorist enemy."'

Somewhere, Karl Kraus just scowled.

19 May '09 10:34:34 PM

Snapshots from a trip to Vancouver (via Seattle) I took in April.

19 May '09 10:33:14 PM

H.A. Halpert aka blurryyellow aka lemonyellow (!) is paying close attention to aphorisms &c.

18 May '09 05:05:38 AM

Self-exhortation and all sorts of techniques for disengaging oneself are recommended throughout the Enchiridion, but the first section counsels a level of disengagement that rivals Cartesian extremes:

'From the start, then, work on saying to each harsh appearance, "You are an appearance, and not at all the thing that has the appearance." Then examine it and assess it by these yardsticks that you have, and first and foremost by whether it concerns the things that are up to us or the things that are not up to us. And if it is about one of the things that is not up to us, be ready to say. "You are nothing in relation to me."'

Talking to what one sees, feels, judges, to one's sensations and feelings and judgments, surely mirrors one's separation from those other people one is actually meant to talk to.

16 May '09 03:35:10 PM

A dream: K. as a school principal.

16 May '09 05:30:59 AM

Habermas could be twice as popular with a better publisher in English.

11 May '09 11:34:57 PM

Tim Burke writes about the consequences of the new Star Trek movie's continuity adjustment.