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How to write well

I’m still in vacation mode, so here’s a link to a list of solecisms posted by Steven Pinker, who teaches at Harvard. Pinker’s a good guy, but I confess I’ve never run intosome of these goofs; perhaps I don’t hang around with Harvard types enough.

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I don’t know why I’m being so hard on comics lately. Usually comic artists are pretty careful about their use of language, and I have a lot of respect for them, what with having to not only draw, but also write, two very different skills, neurologically speaking. This one is from a comic I don’t read regularly. I saw a link to it on a website that I do read, and this was on the first page. I got locked onto the solecism and haven’t read anything else. It looks like it might be a nice adventure tale for those of you who like that sort of comic, PG rated, I suppose. The comic is called Valkyrie , by ByFernando Heinz Furukawaand I don’t know what the comic is about. Shame on me for generalizing after looking at only one page, but judging from the non-human sidekick and the cleavage, it looks like it’s aimed at boys in their early teens. The link is to the page where I got this cell.

The speaker might be in character to make the goof, and the artist actually knows better, right? After all, with a Spanish/German/Japanese name, he ought to be really good at English, right?

You know what the mistake is, right? We have a nominative being used as a direct object. Nominative is the general term for what my English teacher called the subjective case, because it was used for the subject of sentences. In every other Indo-European language (far as I know) they call it the nominative.

Remember your English teacher saying that with the imperative, you have an implied subject, “you”? So “Sit down” is really “(you) sit down.” Or in this case, (you) let Sandra and ME deal with your son’sabduction.”

I brought your attention to this example because this mistake most often happens with compound objects of prepositions (it was between him and I) and less often with a direct object. It often happens in the writing and speech of people who fancy themselves as edumacated. They picked it up from being corrected as children, when they started to say something like “Me and Tom went fishing” and the authority figure at hand said, ” ahem. Tom and I went fishing, and is that why you are so muddy?”

If we are to believe Bill Maher — and, for the record, I don't — booking pig anus found in the bottom of a packageof chitlins with sentienceMilo Yiannopoulos was an elaborate bit of subterfuge intended to shine a light on how repugnant Yiannopoulos's views and actions are.

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Given all that has transpired since Friday’s show, how do you feel now about your decision to have Milo Yiannopoulos as a guest, and how those segments transpired?

Well, let’s recap. About a week ago, I went on Van Jones’s show, and somebody asked me about the booking. I hadn’t really gotten into the details of Milo yet. He was just getting on my radar. I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Then we had Milo on, despite the fact that many people said, “Oh, how dare you give a platform to this man.” What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage. And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.


Later in the interview, Maher refers to Yiannopoulos asa brat. Who's not a "monster" but someone who's just a prankster.

You know what he is? He’s the little impish, bratty kid brother. And the liberals are his older teenager sisters who are having a sleepover and he puts a spider in their sleeping bag so he can watch them scream.

In a vacuum, Maher's assertions would seem to be correct. Since his appearance on Real Time , Yiannopoulos has lost a prominent speaking engagement, a lucrative book deal, and his job. Mission accomplished. But if you actually watch the one-on-one interview, Maher doesn't just provide a vindicating national platform forYiannopoulos's hate, he's so aggressively convivial with him that it almost feels like flirtation. It's two White men revealing in how their shameless immorality allows their pervasive mediocrity to flourish. The damage to Yiannopoulos's career that followed was incidental, not intentional. You watch it and come away thinking that Maher believes he's looking at and talking to a 30-years-younger version of himself. Which he was.

This can be seen directly in the Times story. Because the young mother featured in the piece followed medical advice and took the standard-of-care medication for opioid addiction in pregnancy (Subutex, a form of buprenorphine), she initially lost custody of her child. You read that right: her child was taken from her because she did the right thing to protect the both herself and her developing baby.

Why? Because, being unable to distinguish between addiction and dependence, many child custody agencies, law enforcement groups, and even judges, believe that being on methadone or buprenorphine is not really what they label as "clean." They don't understand that when patients are appropriately stabilized on these medications, they are top air jordans 4 rose
and can love, work, drive, and parent as well as anyone else, according to the data.

This is why the AP now says that addiction and dependence should not be conflated—and also why it recommends not using terms like "clean" or "dirty" to describe people with addiction, when in or out of recovery. This kind of language is highly stigmatizing and is not used in relation to any other kind of medical problem. Similarly, the AP calls for "person-first" language, which, again, is commonly used for conditions widely recognized as medical like schizophrenia, but is a form of respect denied to those maligned as "addicts."

The AP also urged reporters to stop using the terms "substance abuse" or "substance abuser" because they, too, are stigmatizing and have been dropped by the DSM. The word abuse is associated with harm to others like "child abuse" or "sexual abuse"—it creates the impression that the person taking drugs is abusive. Indeed, one study in the International Journal of Drug Policy found that even the best-trained clinicians—those at Master's and even the doctoral level—were more likely to recommend incarceration or other punishment if a case history described a patient as a "substance abuser" as opposed to "having a substance use disorder."

The Washington Post piece , regarding communities' struggle to pay for the overdose treatment naloxone, trafficked in a more subtle form of stigma. While frequently using "addict" as a noun and questioning whether people with addiction—unlike with other disorders— air jordan classic 87 black
, it also quoted a sheriff making a medically impossible claim.

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