Tag: words

Worms, Roxanne! Worms!

November 16, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More
Worms, Roxanne! Worms!

New Oxford American Dictionary blog editor Lauren Appelwick is reporting “refudiate” as the 2010 Word of the Year, joining past recipients “unfriend”, “truthiness” and so many other wonders of the internet age. Lexicographer Susie Dent makes her subjective choice each year (many collected here). As she is employed by the Oxford University Press, additional credibility is lent to her selections I can only assume by virtue of “Oxford” and “University” being used in the same sentence. Thus, an internet search for “word of the year” often tags the “Oxford” or “Oxford Dictionary” or some similar modifier to the “WOTY”.

I have fun fracturing the mother tongue all the time. But I don’t expect any of my misconstruations to make their way into the lexicon of American English. Particulalry when they are disavowed as mistypes then claimed intentional.

I don’t know about you, but for me, “Oxford” unfairly or not conjures up images of staid and primped stuffed shirts. Make no mistake. They never got over our insurrection and are mocking us again. And that is ginormously discombobulating.

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Daniel Dennet discusses “The Computational Perspective” to evolution

September 30, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More
Daniel Dennet discusses “The Computational Perspective” to evolution

Edge.org recently posted Daniel Dennett’s discussion of “The Computational Perspective.” At the linked site, you’ll find the video of Dennett’s lecture, along with Dennett’s PowerPoint slides. Dennett’s focus was whether things that are more complex can result from less complex things. Dennett assures us that the answer is yes, and that this is exactly what Darwin demonstrated. darwin-insight-we-dont-need-to-know-how-to-make-machines This same principle was demonstrated by Alan Turing: turing-insight The net result is “competency without comprehension.” For the second half of his talk, Dennett applied this same principle to the magnificent aspects of human culture, including the words of our languages, which have “tremendous replicative power.” culture Dennet concludes that humans are the effect of the purposes of life, not the causes. We tend to project our views back onto nature, and we have the capacity to “discover the reasons everywhere in the tree of life.” Looking forward, we are also “the first intelligent designers of the Tree of Life.” At the this same page at Edge.org, you can also view 45-minute lectures regarding evolution by Alvaro Fischer, Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Helena Cronin, Nicholas Humhrey, Ian McEwan.

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Meandering in Portland at night

October 26, 2008 | By | 2 Replies More
Meandering in Portland at night

I’m still attending a consumer law conference in Portland Oregon. After today’s sessions, I took a walk in the dark. As I often do, I brought my small consumer grade camera with me(SD1100IS). Here are some of the things I noticed while walking through downtown Portland tonight. Who would have thought that you might run […]

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Inventory of word used in the State of the Union Speeches since 2001

January 29, 2008 | By | 6 Replies More
Inventory of word used in the State of the Union Speeches since 2001

This inventory was published by the NYT. You can see what the Bush Administration wants us to think about (and what not to think about) by reference to this graph.  Also, check the President’s plummeting approval ratings at the bottom of the chart.

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