Egg's off, bacon's off, bread's off, tea's off. English is on though.
I was intrigued to read about research into what fruit flies think of organic food. Apparently they like it:
“By nearly every measure, including fertility, stress resistance and longevity, flies that fed on organic bananas and potatoes fared better than those who dined on conventionally raised produce.”
“Conventionally raised produce?” I beg your pardon? For thousands of years mankind has grown plants and raised animals organically, that is to say naturally or as close to naturally as makes no difference. In my naivety I would call that “conventional”. The mere fact that for the past century or so we’ve contaminated our soils with fertilizers, polluted our produce with pesticides and abused our animals with pharmaceuticals to grow ever more and more at greater and greater profit does not mean that the practices of millennia suddenly become “unconventional”.
But it’s a neat trick. You see how it’s done? You just call whatever you want by something else. Suddenly industrial agriculture and factory farming are “conventional”. As if by magic, stuffing patients with billions of dollars of pills becomes “mainstream”. Clever isn’t it? Notice how the other, less profitable practices are given those strange, weirdo labels like “alternative” and “organic”. It’s what happens when we let interested parties hijack the language and stand it on its head. Some 2,500 years before 1984 a Chinese philosopher warned of this danger:
“When words lose their meaning people lose their freedom.” (Confucius)
How many uses of the word “slug” do you see above? Can you write one sentence for each in the comment box below?
illustration courtesy Andy Singer
When we “resolve” to do something, we decide firmly to do it. It’s like a promise to ourselves. The verb is “resolve” and the noun is “resolution”. Typically, at the start of each year, people make New Year’s Resolutions such as:
- I will stop smoking
- I will lose weight
- I will make more money
- I will be nicer to people
What New Year’s Resolution(s) did you make this year?
How many uses of the word “scale” do you see Read on »
Can you make one sentence for each of the four Read on »
Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa, soon-to-be former President Sarkozy of France, is the first of the three principal war criminals responsible for launching a massive NATO bombing campaign on Libya in 2011 that maimed and killed thousands of civilians to be kicked out of office by his own electorate - and beyond presidential immunity. Read on »
A short story by Josef Essberger
She was walking lazily, for the fierce April sun was directly overhead. Her umbrella blocked its rays but nothing blocked the heat - the sort of raw, wild heat that crushes you with its energy. A few buffalo were tethered under coconuts, browsing the parched verges. Occasionally a car went past, leaving its treads in the melting pitch like the wake of a ship at sea. Otherwise it was quiet, and she saw no-one.
In her long white Sunday dress you might have taken Ginnie Narine for fourteen or fifteen. In fact she was twelve, a happy, uncomplicated child with a nature as open as the red hibiscus that decorated her black, waist-length hair. Generations earlier her family had come to Trinidad from India as overseers on the sugar plantations. Her father had had some success through buying and clearing land around Rio Cristalino and planting it with Read on »
“There are three rings involved with marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.”
Woody Allen (1935-) American actor, comedian and director
ring (noun): a small, round, metal band that you wear on your finger
involved with: connected to
engagement ring (noun): a ring that a man gives to a woman when they decide to marry
wedding ring (noun): a ring that a married person wears
suffering (noun): a bad and painful feeling
Marriage is a chain so heavy that it takes two people to carry it - sometimes three.
Variously attributed to Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) French writer and Alexandre Dumas (son) (1824-1879) French writer
Original: Les chaînes du mariage sont si lourdes qu’il faut être deux pour les porter; quelquefois trois.
chain (noun): a series of connected metal links (used, for example, for pulling heavy objects or confining prisoners)