The excellent Mr Pullum highlights the attempts of the Plain English Conspiracy to destroy Donald Rumsfeld. There is, of course, nothing wrong with the example for which they awarded Ronald (as La Vanguardia’s Asian correspondent calls him) their Foot in Mouth trophy; indeed, a glance at their list of previous winners suggests that they have a long-standing grudge agaisnt successful (colonial) centre-right politicians and monopedal ducks.
Language disorders are different from speech disorders, but the whole kerfuffle reminds me vaguely of what I think was the post-Platonic/Stoic/Galenic view of speech. Back then confused people believed that speech was what distinguished humans from beasts and that if you couldn’t talk properly there was obviously something wrong with your soul. A pox on them all: poor language use is not always a sign of idiocy, Richard Gere is probably quite happy the way he is, and I think it’s time we bombarded Derbyshire with the complete works of Mr Chomsky.

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Last updated 03/12/2003

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Kaleboel (4320):

Natural history (512): Natural history is the research and study of organisms including animals, fungi and plants in their environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study.


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