5/29/2009 4:54:11 PM
What if Sotomayor Were a Robot Programmed to Think She's Human?
Hypotheticals are flying about judge Sonya Sotomayor, Barack Obama’s recent nomination for Supreme Court Justice.
Have Liberals Learned to Love War?
With President Obama in office, some of the Bush era’s most vociferous antiwar organizations have become peculiarly complacent.
Meet the Soldier Graffiti Artists of the Civil War
Workers renovating a 270-year-old church in Bunker Hill, West Virginia have uncovered the work of Civil War-era graffiti artists. "It's down low. It's up high. It's just everywhere," says local bishop W. Michie Klusmyer.
Are Sex Studies Bad for Sex?
The vast array of sex science available since the 1950s has demystified sex. Today, that research has lost touch with its humanity, according to many researchers, promoting the "medicalization" of sex.
The Twisted Infographics of Lunchbreath
These infographics borrow from the visual vernacular of flow charts, bar graphs, how-to diagrams, and cross sections but inject a subversive and often hilarious viewpoint.
Where Do You Stand on Burning Pianos?
It’s a gut reaction thing. When confronted by a musical composition called “Burning Piano” that involves, yes, playing a piano as it burns, you’re probably going to be curious or dismissive: It sounds either brilliantly subversive or like a horrible waste.
Do You Like It Sitting or Standing?
When Gustave Flaubert declared “One cannot think and write except when seated”, it so inflamed Friedrich Nietzsche that he attacked Flaubert in his book Twilight of the Idols: “There I have caught you nihilist! The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit. Only thoughts reached by walking have value.” Wow.
Image courtesy of Lunchbreath.
5/29/2009 12:41:52 PM
The wisdom of the masses has proven helpful creating encyclopedias (Wikipedia), digitizing books (reCaptcha), and founding a religion. When it comes to book writing and editing, however, that wisdom looks pretty dumb. Tech guru Lawrence Lessig tried updating his 1999 book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, by releasing it as a wiki. After the project was over, he told the ABA Journal:
“I don’t think I’ll ever write a book that way again,” he confesses. “It’s very, very hard. It’s much harder to write a book with collaborative editing than it is just to write the book.”
Source: ABA Journal
5/29/2009 12:18:39 PM
When you write do you need to sit at a desk? Or, are you a lie-on-the-bed, laptop-on-your-chest kind of writer? George Pendle writes for Cabinet that when Gustave Flaubert declared “One cannot think and write except when seated”, it so inflamed Friedrich Nietzsche that he attacked Flaubert in his book Twilight of the Idols: “There I have caught you nihilist! The sedentary life is the very sin against the Holy Spirit. Only thoughts reached by walking have value.”
Nietzsche’s rant against what he perceived as cultural decadence sparked a debate about the ideal physical mode for inspiration that has spilled into our modern ideas about work. Hemingway proclaimed that “writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up.” He was joined by Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll in his Nietzschean preference for active creativity. But Mark Twain, Marcel Proust, and Truman Capote liked to write while lying down. Indeed, Capote called himself a “completely horizontal writer.”
In 1968 designer Bob Probst unwittingly echoed Nietzsche when he bemoaned the grid-like layout of American office spaces, which “blocks talent, frustrates accomplishment. It is the daily scene of unfulfilled intentions and failed effort.” So, he designed the Action Office System, whose moveable partitions were intended to inspire workers to stand and move around. When it came to the link between creativity and physical engagement, it seemed, Nietzsche was right.
However, the ideas behind the Action Office System were quickly co-opted into a means for cramming as many workers as possible into one space. The dream of active work turned into the dreaded cubicle. Sedentary inspiration, it seems, has prevailed.
Sources: Cabinet, The Rumpus (reprinted original article, which is otherwise not available online)
5/28/2009 10:34:25 AM
In the populist rage boiling over about the economic crisis, Michael Lukas on the VQR blog points out that the phrase “pound of flesh” has been perverted by the mainstream press. The quote from Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene III, literally means to “demand the repayment of a debt, no matter how much suffering it will cost the debtor,” according to The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. It is not a small price to pay, as Steven Greenhouse wrote in the New York Times:
Treasury officials thought they would carefully exact only a pound of flesh from Wall Street by letting Lehman fail, helping teach other investment banks not to take excessive risks. ‘But,’ he said, ‘it turned out not to be a pound of flesh that was taken. It was a ton.’
Literary minds should forgive Greenhouse for his offense against Shakespeare. Forgiveness, according to the play’s Portia, “is twice blest, It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”
Source: VQR Blog
5/27/2009 5:15:58 PM
Smokers are often viewed with a mixture of pity and shame. People have known that cigarettes are harmful for decades, but many refuse to quit. “We are shunned, shamed, and ashamed,” Amy Atkins writes for Boise Weekly. “We are smokers.”
The mixture of guilt and pride felt by smokers is encapsulated by Atkins’s article. The smokers in her article know it’s dangerous, and that may have been why they started. Atkins respects the anti-smoking laws that are being passed around the country, but acknowledges the libertarian drive to keep the government out of her rights.
She also met her husband on a smoke break. Now he’s trying to quit. She writes:
The chances of him relapsing are much greater if I continue to smoke. But I'm not looking forward to being a miserable, unbearable asshole. I'm between a smoldering rock and an irritable hard place.
I'm cranky just thinking about it. I have to step outside for a minute.
Image by Porcelaingirl, licensed under Creative Commons.
Source: Boise Weekly
5/22/2009 5:17:07 PM
Note to Atheists: Be More Funny
: Religious fundamentalists and modern atheists have something in common: Neither one can take a joke.
Anti-Semitism and the Financial Crisis: A recent Stanford study asked the question: "How much to blame were the Jews for the financial crisis?"
Chevron Thinks You Could Do More: When we named Tzeporah Berman one of Utne Reader’s 50 Visionaries, she told us that it’s essential to transition from hyping individual green actions to pushing for large-scale, legislative change. Guess Chevron didn’t get the message.
The World's Cutest Bento Art
: Feast your eyes on Makiko Ogawa’s adorable bento, which is almost too cute to eat.
Brian Mock Makes Amazing Art from Junk
: Brian Mock creates amazing sculptures from 100% recycled materials (discarded Xerox machines, sewing machines, clocks, tractors, escalators, garden tools, etc.). Lots of folks use recycled materials in their artwork, but few do it in such a refined manner.
Recycle Your Bicycle Wheels in the Garden
: Organic Gardening just made this bicycle geek smile: The May 2009 issue includes simple instructions on how to convert old bike wheel rims into a support for climbing garden plants.
Dark Days for University Presses and Journals
: Some of the most prestigious university journals and presses are on the chopping block, all in the name of preserving “core” academics. But what, asks Ted Genoways, defines an academic core?
Punctuation Mark News: Meet the Interrobang!
: What if there were a way to merge the exlamation point and the quotation mark? You're in luck.
Sex Workers Respond to Craigslist: After considerable political wrangling, Craigslist recently announced that it was getting rid of its “erotic” services section. Instead, the website will have an “adult” services section with a more stringent screening process and a $10 fee. The sex workers who have come to rely on Criagslist for their livelihood have been largely absent from this conversation.
Netanyahu to Obama: Yoou'll Love this Book About Arab Savages
: If Barack Obama ever reads that book Benjamin Netanyahu gave him, he'll be horrified.
100 Things Everyone Should Know About Russia
: You can almost see it from here, but Russia remains an enigma to many Americans, easily reduced to crude caricatures. Start filling in the Ural-sized gaps in your knowledge.
Image courtesy of
5/21/2009 4:30:43 PM
Faith—how we find it, hold it, and sometimes lose it—gives people some of their finest stories to tell. And some of the best I’ve read lately are in the April issue of The Sun, in the eight-page smorgasbord that the magazine calls “Readers Write.” Yes, yes they do.
You can get a taste of Sun readers’ faith online (pdf). Of the vignettes not included in the excerpt, here are two of my favorite passages:
On a child’s decision to pursue a career in dance: “I watched my daughter dance with joy on her face, and I finally understood that to be an artist requires faith. People who paint in garrets, rehearse in walk-ups, write poetry in parks, and practice en point until their toes bleed do it because they believe in art. They believe that their passion will sustain them. And somehow it does.” —Gerry Befus
On a sister’s joyous announcement that God has spoken to her: “When I read her e-mail, I laughed out loud. Then I felt embarrassed for her. I imagined her friends forwarding it to their co-workers for a good chuckle. Even my religious parents acknowledged it was strange. My other sibling and I still talk about her story with puzzlement and disapproval. But part of me is jealous that my sister believes in something so firmly that she doesn’t care if others laugh or not. Part of me envies the comfort she finds in God and religion. Part of me wants badly to have her faith.” —C.E.
Source: The Sun
5/19/2009 3:24:18 PM
If you love an old fashioned grammarian throw down, we've got a good one for you. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of William Strunk and E.B. White's The Elements of Style and Geoffrey K. Pullum isnt celebrating. In a delightfully vitriolic essay for The Chronicle Review, Pullum complains that the tiny guide "does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students' grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it."
Brutal. Then, in the very next breath, this: "The authors won't be hurt by these critical remarks. They are long dead." You get the distinct sense that Pullum would have been glad to see the book buried with the men who made it. "Both authors were grammatical incompetents," he writes. "Strunk had very little analytical understanding of syntax, White even less. Certainly White was a fine writer, but he was not qualified as a grammarian."
Pullum isn't pissed about the style advice, which he calls "mostly harmless"—all of his punches are aimed squarely at the grammar rules and the grammar itself:
"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs," they insist. (The motivation of this mysterious decree remains unclear to me.)
And then, in the very next sentence, comes a negative passive clause containing three adjectives: "The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place."
That's actually not just three strikes, it's four, because in addition to contravening "positive form" and "active voice" and "nouns and verbs," it has a relative clause ("that can pull") removed from what it belongs with (the adjective), which violates another edict: "Keep related words together."
"Keep related words together" is further explained in these terms: "The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not, as a rule, be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning." That is a negative passive, containing an adjective, with the subject separated from the principal verb by a phrase ("as a rule") that could easily have been transferred to the beginning. Another quadruple violation.
A 50th anniversary is a big deal, and Geoffrey K. Pullum knows how to party.
Source: The Chronicle Review
5/18/2009 4:00:47 PM
Difficult economic times have caused universities across the country to turn their budget pruning knives on some of the most prestigious journals and presses in history, all in the name of preserving “core” academics. But as Ted Genoways asks for Virginia Quarterly Review, “What—or where—exactly is a university’s academic core?”
His manifesto on the future of university presses and journals laments the short-sightedness of administrators like Michael Martin, Louisiana State University’s (LSU) new chancellor, who recently announced that he may shut down both LSU Press and Southern Review. Together these two venerable institutions boast an impressive dossier of published writers, including historians Stephen E. Ambrose and C. Vann Woodward, poets T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens, and authors Eudora Welty and Katherine Anne Porter. Yet, Martin has placed the press and journal on his chopping block, stating the need to “protect the academic core of LSU first and foremost.”
So, what defines a university’s academic core? Enrollment and marketability? The New York Times recently reported that enrollment in the humanities—that blanket term for history, religion, philosophy, and English—is down, and that humanities departments need to justify their existence. In a society increasingly focused on business, science, and technology, an English degree may feel more like a luxury than a necessity. Yet these days an MBA isn’t necessarily going to land you a job, either. In light of the recent economic instability, it’s a wonder that universities would let the market determine anything.
When it comes to determining a university’s academic core, cultural and historical relevance should play a factor. The work produced by LSU Press and Southern Review has undoubtedly shaped America’s cultural landscape and identity. Genoways praises the foresight of former LSU President James Monroe Smith, who first proposed both the press and the journal back in 1935:
“Today, James Monroe Smith looks like a genius for recognizing that great universities extend well beyond the edges of their campuses. They reach out to the larger world, they challenge and engage the public, and the most effective and enduring way of doing so remains the written word. How will history judge today’s university presidents if they fail to protect these legacies of publishing excellence their forebears have entrusted to their care?”
Sources: Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times, Business Week
Image by jeffpearce, licensed under Creative Commons
5/18/2009 3:34:36 PM
A review of the new book of poems by Pulitzer-winning poet Rita Dove tells the story of a man who could have changed the history of classical music. Instead he disappeared. Here’s Teresa Witz reviewing the book for The Root:
Way, way back in the day, there was an Afro-Polish violinist, a biracial child prodigy of such virtuosity that even Beethoven felt compelled to dedicate a sonata to him. There were honors and accolades and patronage from a prince.
But fortunes changed, as poet laureate Rita Dove describes in her novel-sized book of poems, Sonata Mulattica: A Life in Five Movements and a Short Play. The violinist, George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, and his composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, performed the sonata together to thunderous acclaim.
The goodwill between them evaporated as the two quarreled over a woman. Beethoven furiously erased Bridgetower’s name and scribbled the name of another violinist when he dedicated the sonata.
That is how the “Sonata Mulattica” became the “Kreutzer Sonata,” one of Beethoven’s most famous works. Through that one fit of jealous retribution, Beethoven wrote Bridgetower out of history.
The Polish black virtuoso, once famous, now forgotten.
Thanks a lot, Ludwig.
5/18/2009 2:22:12 PM
In 1962, Manhattan ad man Martin Speckter wanted a punctuation mark that would “express that hard-to-capture middle state between excitement and inquiry: incredulity.” He merged the question mark and exclamation point into one symbol, dubbing it the “interrobang,” a portmanteau of “interrogate” and “bang” (printers’ jargon for an exclamation point). The symbol never caught on, as most typewriter companies were hesitant to add a new key.
But technology has evolved, and the interrobang could finally have its day as the punctuation mark for the twenty-first century. “Spekter can even be said to be a pioneer, anticipating our present predilection for shorthand and abbreviation,” writes Paloma Friedman in Maisonnueve. “The very technology that allows for the interrobang’s wider dissemination—e-mail, text-messaging and online games—is also the ideal medium for it.”
Friedman champions the interrobang, noting its “capacity to pique interest and reinforce the effect of frenzied sentences” such as "She said what!?" or the ubiquitous "WTF!?"
5/15/2009 6:59:33 PM
Word nerds are probably familiar with Barbara Wallraff’s regular columns for The Atlantic. In her ongoing space dedicated to “Word Fugitives,” readers write in asking for a word to describe a certain experience, situation, or person. Wallraff then collects all the suggestions and presents the best.
One of my favorites originated back in November. A reader sought help to find a word for “people with absolutely no horse sense when using public transport or in crowds. You know, the ones who get off the top of the escalator and stop dead, people who swerve into your path, people who walk four abreast.”
Oh, we know. We’ve all been plagued by these pedestrian offenders. Well now you can take your pick of non-expletive things to call them: impedestrians, obliviots, bipediments, ignoraimlesses, in-the-wayfarers, and speed bumpkins all were proffered. My personal favorite though: detourists. It won’t help in getting them off the streets (or lessening our annoyance), but at least now we know who they are.
Source: The Atlantic
5/15/2009 5:01:21 PM
Here are ten of our favorite posts from the past week at Utne Daily. Have a fine weekend.
How to Build Your Own Nation!
What reasonable person wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to build a small island nation all their own? Good news: Modern land-moving technology makes it easier than ever.
The Terrifying Geography of Jobs Lost
Humbling. Terrifying. Numbing. There is no other way to describe this animated "Geography of Jobs" map, which tracks job loss and job gain beginning with 2004.
Eight Misperceptions About Contemporary Art
Misperceptions about contemporary art keep audiences from effectively engaging it," writes Paddy Johson, who has constructed a list intended to empower the gallery-goer.
Punk Rock Activities for Grown-Ups
Draw tattoos on Henry Rollins, play punked-out word games, and color this picture of Iggy Pop! It’s all in Aye Jay’s new Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book.
Being Good: It’s Harder Than You Think
Let’s go out on a limb, but not too far, and assume that most people want to behave ethically. Bringing those intentions to fruition is more difficult than you might anticipate.
A Drug to Weaken PTSD
It seems like “science fiction,” one psychologist concedes—but taking a blood pressure drug after writing about a traumatic experience seems to alleviate the emotional distress associated with the memory.
Dressing Ourselves to Death
By snapping up rack after rack of cheap, mass-made clothing, we’re making ourselves all look alike, trashing the planet, and mistreating our fellow humans.
Ugly Endangered Species Deserve Protection, Too
The majestic whooping crane and the adorable polar bear tend to get plenty of attention from conservationists. Less charismatic animals, like the Choctawhatchee beach mouse, need attention, too.
Murder, Corruption, and Inciting Financial Panic on Twitter
A Guatemalan Twitter user has been arrested for inciting “financial panic” after a bank and the Guatemalan president were accused of taking part in murder.
If Only Darth Vader Had a Segway
VICE debuts their newly-invented sport: Sabersegging, and sends a special correspondent out to sqaure off against a Jedi master.
Photo courtesy of Joel Sartore.
5/15/2009 4:08:47 PM
Thanks to the always profound Mexico City-based blog Toxico for this lovely Henry Miller quote:
I give all I have to give, voluntarily, and take as much as I can possibly ingest. I am a prince and a pirate at the same time. I find that there is plenty of room in the world for everybody–great interspatial depths, great ego universes, great islands of repair, for whoever attains to individuality. On the surface, where the historical battles rage, where everything is interpreted in terms of money and power, there may be crowding, but life only begins when one drops below the surface.
Toxico is much more than a blog—it’s a Mexico City-based cultural project that organizes lectures, classes, and exhibitions. “Creativity is not a luxury,” one member writes on the organization's website. “It is indispensable.”
5/15/2009 3:49:32 PM
Reading Tom Zoellner’s book Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World (Viking) is a great way to wrap your head around many of the technical, geographical, and ethical issues surrounding nuclear power and nuclear weapons. By learning exactly how we came to turn an odd yellow rock into an agent of phenomenal promise and danger, you’ll be better informed to decide the wisdom of reviving nuclear power and letting nuclear weapons proliferate.
One of the book’s most memorable sections is about William L. Laurence, the public relations man who hyped the atomic bomb for the U.S. government. Laurence was a science writer for the New York Times who became so enthralled by nuclear weapons that he became their paid P.R. man while covering the science beat, a brazen conflict of interest that was kept secret until the day after the bombing of Hiroshima.
Zoellner chronicles Laurence’s almost spiritual conversion to the religion of the atom and unsparingly critiques his writing style, which was so over the top that the White House once sent back a press release draft for being too exaggerated:
Laurence never met a classical allusion that he didn’t like, or attempt to employ. ... Uranium was to Laurence, at various points, ‘a cosmic treasure house’ and a ‘philosopher’s stone’ or a ‘Goose that laid Golden Eggs,’ which ‘brought a new kind of fire that lead to ‘the fabled seven golden cities of Cibola.’ These messianic word-pictures of a life to come, though wildly overoptimistic , helped to create in the American public a generally positive and hopeful feeling about the dawn of the new atomic age.
Laurence, known as “Atomic Bill” to some, won a Pulitzer Prize for his Times series about the making of the atomic bomb—a prize that journalists Amy Goodman and David Goodman have said should be rescinded. Not only was Laurence on the War Department’s payroll, they contend; he also wrote stories that debunked the deadly effects of gamma ray radiation even as Japanese bomb victims lay dying.
Fairly, Zoellner notes that Laurence himself had misgivings about the “great forebodings” of the nuclear age, and once characterized the human race’s dilemma in his typically dramatic style: “Today we are standing at a major crossroads,” he wrote. “One fork of the road has a signpost inscribed with the word Paradise, the other fork has a signpost bearing the word Doomsday.”
It might have been as close to the truth as he ever got.
Sources: Viking/Penguin, Common Dreams
5/11/2009 4:25:59 PM
Writing a story in the 140 characters allowed by Twitter is nearly impossible, but Dan Baum has managed to do it. Baum chronicled his rise and fall as a staff writer for the New Yorker in bursts of fewer than 140 characters. Reading his page in chronological order from the bottom up, with all the unnatural line breaks, can be disorienting. But the story has wit, a plot, and plenty of windows into one of the most sought after jobs in writing.
Here are four Tweets that provide a good example of his Twitter narrative (Twarrative?):
“I must say, though, the office itself is a little creepy. I didn’t work there. I live in Colorado. But I’d visit 3-4X a year.”
“It’s not exactly like being in a library; it’s more like being in a hospital room where somebody is dying.”
“Like someone’s dying, and everybody feels a little guilty about it.”
Source: Dan Baum’s Twitter Page
5/8/2009 1:10:02 PM
Nostalgia and homesickness are pervasive emotions in an era when people often migrate far from their birthplaces. Carol Guess evokes these feelings in her prose poem “Nebraska,” a lyrical exploration of the nuanced, shifting relationships between people and the places they first called home.
A few excerpts:
In Nebraska the sun is a terrible lion which will chase you down the road you live on… Nebraska has cakes slathered in icing so thick bakers drown at birthdays…You know how not to get killed in Nebraska. How to drive in whiteout as if parting the sea.
When you first begin to think of leaving Nebraska the sky splits open, drowning the prairie in rain…Nebraska says, “Is this really what you want?" Nebraska says, "If you leave you can't come back."
Sometimes at night you miss Nebraska. You scrunch your pillow into a giant mouth and kiss it, saying, “Oh darling Nebraska, you big hairy bison,” and other things you are ashamed to repeat in daylight…
Then one day you wake with a craving for icing. You go to the bakery in this town by the sea. The baker is trim, and offers you wafers, delicate crackers made without eggs…Take me back, you think. You don’t say this aloud, but pack your bags, fill the tank with gas.
Source: Mid-American Review
Image by The Truth About…, licensed under Creative Commons.
5/7/2009 4:55:05 PM
Writers overuse the em-dash—that all too convenient of punctuation marks. By employing the em-dash too often—whether out of laziness or a lack of creativity—they neglect the simple pleasures of the semicolon. Lionel Shriver writes for Standpoint:
These days, the semicolon exudes an aura of the fusty, the fastidious, and the defunct; of mildewed stacks, tight hair buns, and prissily sharpened pencils; of hesitancy, diffidence, and uncertainty, in contrast to the em-dash, which exudes a spirit of strength, flair, and decisiveness.
5/7/2009 3:40:02 PM
There is little left to say about Studs Terkel's classic oral history of working America. In fact, there is little left to do with Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do—it's already been a radio drama and a broadway musical. Now, thanks to comic-book author Harvey Pekar, Brown University's Paul Buhle, and 18 graphic storytellers, it's a graphic novel.
We'll let the work speak for itself. Enjoy.
Images courtesy of The New Press.
5/4/2009 11:48:54 AM
I had a dream that I was back in the house I used to share with 11 other college students in Washington, D.C., and apparently I was also Barack Obama's girlfriend. He was one of my roommates and also the President of the United States. There was a huge, Dr. Seuss-like pile of dirty dishes in the sink. It was my turn to wash them, and I hadn't done my duty. President Obama was on television in the living room, giving a speech. All my roommates were eyeing me with anger and contempt, crossing their arms and saying things like, "You think you're so special? Just 'cause you're the President’s girlfriend doesn't mean you don't have to pitch in and do your chores." In spite of their judgment, I felt comforted and safe, like no matter what happened, Obama would be home soon and make everything okay.
I had this dream before I heard about Sheila Heti’s Obama dream-collecting project through Utne’s Shelf Life and Great Writing blog. Now I feel like I’m part of some larger collective consciousness.
Image by springhill 2008, licensed under Creative Commons
Sources: Utne Daily, Geist, I Dream of Barack
5/1/2009 4:19:01 PM
Changing language is no cause for concern for many linguists and lexicographers, Ben Yagoda writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Contrary to popular belief, expert wordies are interested in “charting and interpreting recent and historical changes in the way English is written and spoken, not interested in labeling those changes as ‘mistakes,’ and even less interested in decrying such so-called errors as evidence of a decline in American civilization.” Yagoda recalls a panel discussion on language whose audience was distraught by the use of “impact” as a verb and “their” as a singular pronoun, but the experts didn't seem too bothered.
The audience should probably get used to it, as such changes are likely to continue. With native English speakers diminishing, the language will change to better reflect the lives of those who use the language. Annalee Newitz argued for Utne Reader's November-December issue that this linguistic evolution should be embraced, not derided.
Source: The Chronicle Review of Higher Education, Utne
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