Comments on reality

The real problem with three people sleeping in one bed isn’t so much congestion as that the person in the middle doesn’t need blankets — she’s already hot — and that means that one of the people on the sides is at some point in the night deprived of blankets as middle-girl flips them left or right.

The real reason I like the Scathing Online Schoolmarm, Margaret Soltan, isn’t so much that she reports on scandalous injustices in North American universities (that’s the scathing part), as that she corrects, in square brackets, the grammar, style, and diction of the passages she quotes (there’s the schoolmarm). It’s windmill-tiltingly charming, and her edits are pretty solid.

The real intention behind the “descriptivist/ prescriptivist” distinction in Grammar Studies isn’t clarification but obfuscation. All descriptions are prescriptive. All prescriptions are descriptive. Bill Walsh is right that what’s really going on—always—is a grammatological version of George Carlin (baruch hashem) on cars. Anyone going faster than me is a maniac. Anyone going slower than me is a moron.

The real irritation in my morning spam filter isn’t the ads for penis enhancements but the messages that say “you look like an idiot oona_eisenstadt.” I realize that the mark between my two names means I shouldn’t take this personally, but it still makes my heart sink.


3 thoughts on “Comments on reality

  1. George Carlin? I thought I’d come up with the maniac/moron example to illustrate a problem with Aristotle’s account of the mean.

  2. Yes, I get the “stupid face” comment too. And I know it to be false, but perhaps not “beyond a doubt.” Which is where I get annoyed.

    Picton’s far away, unfortunately. I’ve never heard of anyone going there. You’ll have to tell me about it.

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