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1956 Hugo Nominee List Rediscovered
This is great, and what wonderful stories those were! I don't think I started reading sf (in a form suitable for a six- or seven-year-old: Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, Young Readers' Science Fiction Stories, etc.) for another year or two, but when I graduated to adult sf in the early '60s I went back and read all the "classic" stuff voraciously, and all the nominated names are familiar to me. Thanks for the nostalgic blast!

The only Worldcon… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:13 AM on September 24, 2017
Seems to be by this person.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:54 PM on September 24, 2017
> Tell it to Connie Willis.

I'm not convinced on the fall versus lunge thing there but it's not like HE isn't pretty much a total jerkoff in every aspect of his life, so he doesn't really get benefit of the doubt.


Connie Willis is a woman. Are you thinking of someone else?
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:52 PM on September 25, 2017
Oh! Sorry for misunderstanding.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:53 PM on September 25, 2017

Sun Studio & Muscle Shoals
> One of the interesting bits of the Motown tour (which I totally recommend) was having the guide explain (and then demonstrate) how some of the physical characteristics of the building were key to achieving the sounds that they recorded

I realize we're discussing the physical characteristics of studios here, but I can't let this pass without mentioning an even more important key to achieving the sounds that they recorded.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 9:17 AM on September 25, 2017

"The Vietnam War" transcripts?
> I don’t know about transcripts, but there is a companion book.

From everything I've read, the companion book is terrible, a badly produced doorstop tossed out for an easy extra profit. I think bluecore's solution is the best you're likely to do.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:55 AM on September 24, 2017

"It inappropriate to compare the salaries of 2 people that I manage."
It's totally appropriate; Mitch simply doesn't want to deal with it. Since you're responsible for the people under you, it's your job to make him deal with it, though of course you will want to do so in a way that pisses him off as little as possible. Emphasize the fact that the woman is frustrated and her departure would harm the company.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:29 AM on September 22, 2017

Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right
> I think may suggest the reason why, after a youth spent reading science fiction, I turned away from it towards actual history.

> I think the field broadened out to include more than these Old White Dudes

Can we not do this? Gingrich and Pournelle are not in any way representative of "classic science fiction," and to lump all sf writers before, what, Octavia Butler? together as "Old… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:54 AM on September 21, 2017
> my eyes opening to what was already there, you know?

Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to come off as attacking you personally or your comment in particular, I was just pushing back against a general attitude I see a lot of these days (get off my lawn). We were all young and ignorant once!
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:53 AM on September 21, 2017

The last Nazi hunters
It's a very long article (by Linda Kinstler), so for those who don't want to immerse themselves in it, here's the takeaway:
Many of the Nazis convicted in the trials that followed Nuremberg were released in the 1950s, when a series of amnesty laws passed by the newly minted West German parliament reinstated the pensions of Nazi soldiers and paroled 20,000 Nazis previously jailed for “deeds against life”. According to the German historian Norbert Frei, nearly 800,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:40 AM on September 20, 2017
Also, they misspell minuscule as "miniscule." That's how you know it's the Grauniad.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:42 AM on September 20, 2017
> German government actively demanded of Greece, using economic blackmail

Man, nothing ever changes.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:05 PM on September 20, 2017

And say, do you want to make a deal?
Who knows what this will bring, but kudos for a great post title. (Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?)
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2017

Paper reference library
Seconding The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage (you can get the Concise version if it's more readily available—I have both, and as far as I can tell they're pretty much the same); it's the only usage manual worth having, because it presents the linguistic facts, tells you the arguments for and against, and lets you make up your own mind.

On atlases, if you're serious about them you want the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:39 AM on September 19, 2017

These are truths. Guard them, because you worked so hard to find them.
I enjoyed the article but I'm commenting to give proper kudos to:

> "this is what a woman looks like after injecting enough male sex hormones to build a miniature model of the patriarchy in her endocrine system"

That, folks, is writing.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:57 PM on September 18, 2017

the "eldritch energies" of whiteness
That's great:
It is therefore really unfair to quote Sanders arguing that class is more important than identity, merely on the basis that he did say that. Coates can provide all the statistics about racism as the real cause of Trump’s election he wants; deep in my heart I know the problem was alienation of the working classes.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:20 PM on September 17, 2017

To the staff of Radio London's German service
Great piece (by Abby d'Arcy); thanks for posting it! This is really telling:
"You should be happy to live under socialism," were the words of welcome from a young officer as he arrived at the prison. "Under the Nazis we'd have had you up in smoke a long time ago."

Those words have stuck in his head. The identification with the Nazis.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 1:20 PM on September 17, 2017

Besides "To an Athlete Dying Young"
That was Pindar's whole career; here's an introduction, and if he sounds interesting there are lots of translations—just google around till you find one you like.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2017

Close friend making ignorant comments. How to deal?
You should absolutely be willing to walk away—the friendship as it stands is doing you more harm than good—but in honor of your (former) close friendship and your feelings about it, you might consider telling her openly and fully what you have told us here, and letting her know that it's her choice: she can be friends with you or she can continue being an ignorant racist. She can't have both. Don't worry about saying it in a nice way that tries to not make her feel bad, because… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:05 AM on September 17, 2017

An inexplicable failure to defend the most vulnerable
Eric Baković had a good post about this at Language Log, with lots of links. I linked to the Open Letter to the Linguistic Society of America at LH, and I'm glad to see the story hit the blue. I saw this shit going on at my undergraduate college in the late '60s-early '70s and at my grad school (linguistics department) later in the '70s, and I'm appalled that it's still not only going on but being ignored and covered up by universities. This needs to stop, and the women who are putting… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:52 AM on September 17, 2017

"Great travel writing makes no pretense of objectivity,"
Ha, I figured out the Blanch/Herbert connection back in 2008! Blanch is a delightful writer and the book is a lot of fun, but she's no scholar, and any particular fact should be verified elsewhere before you accept it.

> I always knew that there were strong Islamic influences in 'Dune'

Well, this is not so much Islamic influence as specifically North Caucasian influence. There is nothing Islamic about Chakobsa or kanly.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:49 PM on September 16, 2017

Codswallop and hogwash
> To answer the question, I'd say 1) people care about languages, more than most specialities; and 2) so much data is easily accessible, in the form of a dictionary. Few other fields make the cherries so easy to pick.

I agree with the estimable zompist.

> What did you call me?

Hey, update your goddamn blog and I'll stop calling you names!
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:45 AM on September 16, 2017

“...the longest winning streak in the majors in more than a century.”
I never cared much one way or the other about the Indians, but this is great, and I really hope they can keep it up and be uncontested champeens of the win streak.

> Which is to say, a win streak with a tie in it isn't a win streak. ESB is wrong on this.

No, you need to read the Grant Brisbee link (and thanks to Fizz for mentioning the authors' names!)—the tie was a No Game and does not count.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:40 PM on September 15, 2017

The Final Journey of Anders J. Smedsvik
Great piece (by Anders Fjellberg); thanks for posting it!
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 7:46 AM on September 15, 2017

A Singular Man, 1926-2017
From the NYT obit:
In a strange twist, after Mr. Donleavy had been pursuing legal action against Olympia for years to regain the book’s copyright, he ended up owning the Paris company, having sent his wife to slip into an auction and buy it for a relatively small sum in 1970 after it went bankrupt.
What an odd world this is!
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 10:39 AM on September 14, 2017

Big windows to let in the sun
.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2017

Je n’y croyais plus
What a great piece (by Nadja Spiegelman)! It's full of wonderful bits, like "There is a plaster statue of Jesus, which Cassignol, as a joke, once brought over to the church next door, announcing that he’d found its lost Saviour." But this is just bizarre:

The bureau does not have a dedicated number to call

Why on earth not? That's nineteenth-century technology—they can't say "Oh, it's hard to keep up with the times"!
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:52 AM on September 13, 2017
> Yes, a language where "plus" is a negative...

No it's not. Ne ... plus means 'not ... any more,' and it works just the same way. Can we perhaps not get onto a stupid derail about stupid cultural/linguistic stereotypes?
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:11 AM on September 13, 2017
> Plus takes on a negative meaning.

Only if you omit the "ne," which yes, is done colloquially, but it is not part of standard French. In any case, the structure of French grammar has nothing to do with logical thought.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:11 PM on September 13, 2017

Reacting to threads and comments
> Yesterday I loaded up Fanfare vaguely wanting to check in on a conversation, and then I realized the conversation I wanted to check in on was Destiny 2, and there wasn't going to be a Fanfare for it. Which is fine! But it's also interesting that my first instinct was to go to Fanfare.

I have zero interest in video games, but I don't see why they couldn't be added to Fanfare if people want them there.

*waits for cortex to… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 1:59 PM on September 13, 2017

Obits: Not Such a Nice Guy?
I am sympathetic to the nil-nisi-bonum attitude towards regular people, but not politicians and other wielders of power. I said nasty things about Reagan in his obit thread and will do the same about Henry Kissinger. Fuck these people.
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 3:39 PM on September 10, 2017
> Oh, good, here comes the completely unnecessary commentary (bordering on concern trolling) about all the good literature we're missing out on.

There's more than enough excellent art by decent people to last many, many lifetimes, in which time many more decent people will create even more excellent work. The insinuation that anybody will somehow be deprived of some kind of necessary part of their being by missing out on the work of horrible people needs to
… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 7:03 AM on September 12, 2017
> We get to choose what we want to consume.

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.

> And frankly, those of you who are lecturing the rest of us that we should somehow feel obligated to watch or read content created by someone who has done things we find repulsive or that are undeniably abusive of other human beings is astonishing.

But this is wrong and disingenuous (as is… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 9:05 AM on September 12, 2017
Then why the anger and pushback against those of us who separate life and art?
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 9:14 AM on September 12, 2017
> I read it as more a, "your loss" sort of statement.

Yes, exactly. I'm sorry if anyone felt differently.

Look, here's how a reasonable conversation would go (and I've had many such):

A: Man, Pound was great. "See, they return; ah, see the tentative/ Movements, and the slow feet..." Nobody else wrote like that!

B: Yeah, he was a good poet; unfortunately,… [more]
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 10:39 AM on September 12, 2017
> FWIW, what I've been trying to say is that my position is pretty much in line with "B" in your example, not this.

Then we're good, and I'm sorry I pushed back so hard. I guess I have a hair trigger about this!
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2017
...or what cortex just said.
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2017
> Baudelaire: hated, hated, hated Belgians.

This gave me a good laugh which I very much needed, so thanks!
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 1:53 PM on September 13, 2017

Would you heed this letter if you were a liquor store manager?
> I appreciate all the advice about "putting this pressure on strangers", but come on, these are shops that sell alcohol and have a legal requirement to supply it responsibly.

I appreciate your legal approach but come on, you're talking about adding a perpetual extra burden to already frazzled and probably ill-paid employees. Like most people are saying, this is not a good idea. The OP should find another way to keep from buying booze.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 6:09 AM on September 13, 2017

I am afraid of privilege, of ease, of entitlement.
I recommend that last link, which ends with a bit of hope:
Having said so, the scandal involving Latin American presidents and leaders has some good signs. First, there is movement within civil society that has its epicenter in Brazil denouncing generalized corruption. It is likely to spread out to other countries in the area. The demonstrations in Venezuela are not only against the tyranny of the regime but also against its corruption. In Guatemala, the government of Otto Perez… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 12:08 PM on September 12, 2017

In Night and Morning, by Robert Browning, what does the last line mean?
I... don't understand the difference. Yes, it's the narrator's own need for the wider world, the "world of men"; how does that differ from your alternative in the previous paragraph ("energetically, off into a bright sunny world")?
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 9:12 AM on September 12, 2017
> I think the previous paragraph parses the line as "And the need [...] for me," i.e. the world of men's need for the narrator.

Oh! That didn't even occur to me. If so, that's wrong! But it certainly is an interesting poem and there's a lot to say about it; the comments here are thoughtful and a pleasure to read.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2017

My dad's bored and lonely. How do I fix it?
You very likely can't. If he feels the need of a sense of purpose and belonging, he can try to find one, but he probably won't. My father was the same way after my mother died, and he was pretty much bored and lonely till he died. Old age is tough, and old age alone is tougher. I applaud you for wanting to do something about it, and it's fine if you want to suggest the occasional idea for improving things, but probably the best thing you can do is keep in touch and visit him now and then… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 10:45 AM on September 12, 2017

“I Look Like Martin Shkreli and It’s Ruining My Life”
I used to be told I looked like Lenin. Fortunately, I've aged out of that.
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:55 AM on September 12, 2017

To catch a poet
Wow, that's a fascinating piece (by Will Storr). The people caught at this always claim either "It's intertextuality, you ignorant lout!" or "Oops, my notes were sloppy, I meant to credit the original," and of course those close to them (their loved ones, agents, publishers, etc.) indignantly agree, and those more removed shake their heads. I don't know what drives people to plagiarize, but it's definitely a thing, and as with so much else it's much… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 8:52 AM on September 12, 2017

Academic anxiety?
What they said, plus it may help to remind yourself that everybody else is feeling the same anxiety. I sure did, and I went straight from undergrad to grad school. It's a uniquely toxic environment, for all the great things that can be part of it, and you need to keep telling yourself "Breathe in, breathe out, I can do this..."
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 5:28 PM on September 10, 2017

Weighing Justice With a Jury of Her 'Peers'
That's a great piece—thanks for posting it.

It makes no sense to generalize about jury duty. I've had frustrating experiences, but also a good one: we got a couple of kids off that the cops were trying to have jailed on wildly insufficient evidence. It was one of the few times I've genuinely felt civic pride, or whatever you call it when you successfully fulfill your "civic duty." I may be an anarchist, but I feel strongly that taking part in the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 3:32 PM on September 10, 2017

Metatalktails: Family Filk
Our cats are pretty tired by now of "You better run for your life if you can, little kitty..."
posted to MetaTalk by languagehat at 5:39 PM on September 9, 2017

"If I'm ever going to make pizza, this is how I'm going to make it."
> god i miss the pizza in connecticut.

You and me both, amigo. That New Haven episode made me both nostalgic and ravenous. "You don't visit New Haven without going to Frank Pepe's": damn right! (As a partisan of Pepe's, I admit I took pleasure in his visiting there and not Sally's. Also, I note that the owner of Pepe's calls it pizza, like everybody else in town; that bit at the start about how everybody calls it "abizz" and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by languagehat at 2:28 PM on September 9, 2017

I have to teach outside my discipline using materials I dislike. Help.
As someone who had to teach from materials I wasn't thrilled about (though didn't actually despise), my advice would be to teach the principles that you approve of and can teach with enthusiasm (and thank your stars that such things are involved!), and otherwise present what you are required to present ("Here's another video") but don't force yourself to pretend you think it's useful or important. Students are pretty good on picking up these things, and will probably grok that you… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by languagehat at 12:14 PM on September 9, 2017

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