Various quotes and comments

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inalienable_possession

In linguistics, inalienable possession refers to the linguistic properties of certain nouns or nominal morphemes based on the their always being possessed. The semantic underpinning is that entities like body parts and relatives do not exist apart from a possessor. For example, a hand implies (someone’s) hand, even if it is severed from the whole body. Likewise, a father implies (someone’s) father. Such entities are inalienably possessed. Other things, like most artifacts and objects in nature, may be possessed or not. When these latter types of entities are possessed, the possession is alienable. Generally speaking, alienable possession is used for tangible things which you might cease to own or possess at some point, such as trade (e.g., “my money”), whereas inalienable possession refers to a perpetual relationship which cannot be readily severed (e.g., “my mother”). Many languages reflect this distinction, although in different ways.[1]

This reminds me of the US declaration of independence with its “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”.

Also, about the hand example. What about Thing from The Addams Family?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agglutinative_language

An agglutinative language is a language that uses agglutination extensively: most words are formed by joining morphemes together. This term was introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1836 to classify languages from a morphological point of view.[1] It is derived from the Latin verb agglutinare, which means “to glue together”.[2]

In agglutinative languages, each affix typically represents one unit of meaning (such as “diminutive”, “past tense”, “plural”, etc.), and bound morphemes are expressed by affixes (and not by internal changes of the root of the word, or changes in stress or tone). Additionally, and most importantly, in an agglutinative language affixes do not become fused with others, and do not change form conditioned by others.

Synthetic languages that are not agglutinative are called fusional languages; they sometimes combine affixes by “squeezing” them together, often changing them drastically in the process, and joining several meanings in one affix (for example, in the Spanish word comí “I ate”, the suffix –í carries the meanings of indicative mood, active voice, past tense, first person singular subject and perfective aspect).

Agglutinative is sometimes used as a synonym for synthetic, although it technically is not. When used in this way, the word embraces fusional languages and inflected languages in general.

The distinction between an agglutinative and a fusional language is often not sharp. Rather, one should think of these as two ends of a continuum, with various languages falling more toward one end or the other. For example, Japanese is generally agglutinative, but expresses fusion in otōto (younger brother?), from oto+hito (originally oto+pito). In fact, a synthetic language may present agglutinative features in its open lexicon but not in its case system (e.g. German, Dutch, and Persian).

Agglutinative languages tend to have a high rate of affixes/morphemes per word, and to be very regular. For example, Japanese has only three irregular verbs, Ganda has only one (or two, depending on how “irregular” is defined), Turkish has only one and in the Quechua languages all the verbs are regular. Korean language has only ten irregular forms of conjugation. Georgian is an exception; not only is it highly agglutinative (there can be simultaneously up to 8 morphemes per word), but there are also a significant number of irregular verbs, varying in degrees of irregularity.

Also, what the fuck with -i in ES? O_o.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualistic concept that “the present is the key to the past” and is functioning at the same rates. Uniformitarianism has been a key principle of geology and virtually all fields of science, but naturalism’s modern geologists, while accepting that geology has occurred across deep time, no longer hold to a strict gradualism.

Uniformitarianism was formulated by Scottish naturalists in the late 18th century, starting with the work of the geologist James Hutton, which was refined by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell‘s Principles of Geology in 1830.[1] The term uniformitarianism was coined by William Whewell, who also coined the term catastrophism for the idea that the Earth was shaped by a series of sudden, short-lived, violent events.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAS_syndrome

RAS syndrome (short for “redundant acronym syndrome syndrome”), also known as PNS syndrome (“PIN number syndrome syndrome”, which expands to “personal identification number number syndrome syndrome”) or RAP phrases (“redundant acronym phrase phrases”), refers to the use of one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism in conjunction with the abbreviated form, thus in effect repeating one or more words.

A person is humorously said to suffer from RAS syndrome when he or she redundantly uses one or more of the words that make up an acronym or initialism with the abbreviation itself. Usage commentators consider such redundant acronyms poor style and an error to be avoided in writing, though they are common in speech.[1] The degree to which there is a need to avoid pleonasms such as redundant acronyms depends on one’s balance point of prescriptivism (ideas about how language should be used) versus descriptivism (the realities of how natural language is used). For writing intended to persuade, impress, or avoid criticism, usage guides advise writers to avoid pleonasm as much as possible, even if not because such usage is always “wrong”, but rather because most of one’s audience may believe that it is always wrong.

The term RAS syndrome is itself intentionally redundant,[2][3] and thus is an example of self-referential humor.

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/too-young-to-know/

I’m not arguing that teens should be given adult responsibilities as soon as they hit puberty; modern culture is too complex for that now.  But what I am saying is that Americans as a group suffer from the peculiar delusion that if a little of something is good, a LOT of it is better; if you believe that, how about a nice plate of salt for dinner?  Some restrictions on teens are helpful to them, but equating them with toddlers helps no one, neither the teens nor the parents who are held legally liable if they are somehow unable to control young people who may be just as competent, intelligent, resourceful and strong-willed as they are.  And nowhere is this more true than in the area of sex; it is the hormones of puberty that drive young people to have sex, not knowledge or culturally-induced “sexualization”, yet Americans are committed to the self-destructive delusion that if we keep teens in ignorance about sex they’ll stay “innocent” and never think of having it themselves (you know, in exactly the same way dogs, cats and other animals remain celibate for life unless humans teach them to have sex).

lol’d

This isn’t a perfect world, and nobody is suggesting that any of these suggestions will create a Utopia in which no teen ever suffers or is exploited ever again.  The philosophy of harm reduction is that rejecting compromise solutions because they “send a bad message” sacrifices real human lives on the altar of an unattainable perfection, and that the greatest good we can hope for is to establish policies which reduce the harm from people’s own (perhaps unwise) actions, and eliminate the harm inflicted by the brutal and mindless enforcement of ill-considered and moralistic laws.

Yes! I keep getting such responses whenever i propose some reform to this or that. “But that wudnt solve x, y, and z.” Well, no. But that doesnt matter in itself. What matters is the overall consequences, is there a net benefit?

http://hamptonroads.com/2010/12/sex-offender-registry-result-legislative-predator-hysteria

via http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/that-was-the-week-that-was-31/

In May 2007, my husband and I were asked to assist an acquaintance in putting down a 14-year-old dog…the [owner’s] teenaged daughter…protested the plan vehemently…the day before the planned euthanasia, [police said] the girl had accused him of touching her…since [then] we’ve been fighting a legal system that, without notice, has curtailed our ability to travel, to obtain life insurance, even to petition for redress…police needed no corroboration for the charge; the accusation alone was sufficient, and jail time…was expected…a private investigator…proved the accuser wrong.  But…with a minor, it’s all inadmissible…the county [said it] would accept a no-contest plea, but that my husband would still be a registered sex offender for at least 10 years and possibly for the rest of his life.  If he didn’t take it, a court date would be set in five to six months, and some jail time would be expected.  We were given five minutes to decide.  My husband pleaded no contest…

Disgusting!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/lauren-ferrari-banned-facebook-breastfeeding_n_1709928.html vi http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/that-was-the-week-that-was-31/

…Lauren Ferrari posted a photo on Facebook of her 5-year-old pretending to nurse her 2-year-old.  Within 24 hours, Facebook took the picture down…Stefanie Thomas of the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children…[opined] that Ferrari’s decision to post the photo was “poor parenting” because it’s impossible to control where that photo might end up…it wasn’t the first time the site has deleted photos of young girls pretending to breastfeed…Last summer…[alarmists] were outraged [about a nursing doll they claimed]…sexualizes children…Tessa Blake…  [argues] it is natural for girls to mimic their moms.  ”My daughter has been lifting up her shirt and ‘nursing’ her babies for years.  Are you suggesting this is shameful?  What if she feeds her doll with a bottle?  Is she not being a kid then, or is it just the breast that’s the problem?” Blake asked…

Wtf

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/that-was-the-week-that-was-31/

In the UK as in the US, some porn is arbitrarily deemed illegal due to a vague and wavering line; in Britain it’s “extreme pornography”, defined as “grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character” or if it portrays “an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals”:

the Crown Prosecution Service…[argues] that images of fisting should be classified as “extreme pornography” with the risk to the defendant of three years in custody [and] inclusion on the sex offenders’ register…for [an] image…of [a legal] activity…the Prosecution must prove that the act of fisting is “likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus”…Before being arrested and charged with these offences, Simon [Walsh] was a successful professional and politician…who, amongst other things, prosecuted police officers accused of disciplinary offences.  After being charged, Simon lost both professional and political positions, despite the fact that no pornography was found on any of his work…[or] home computers…the police had to “interrogate” Simon’s personal email account (server) in order to discover a few images they deemed questionable.  This…contaminated the only source of evidence; making it impossible to identify whether images attached to emails had in fact been opened and viewed…

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/july-q-a/

It’s time yet again for me to answer reader questions; this time all three seem to have come from gentlemen with experience in hiring members of my profession.

Generally interesting.

In general, Everything Maggie McNeil writes is at least somewhat interesting, and much of it is very interesting. Thats pretty high praise from me! :)

Heres another one:

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/genesis-of-a-harlot-part-one/

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/genesis-of-a-harlot-part-two/

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/genesis-of-a-harlot-part-three/

The story of her entry to whoredom (her choice of term).

And another…

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/wanna-date/

I have said many times that sex is the only activity that it is legal to perform for free, but not for pay.  I must also point out that it is the only arrangement that is legal on a long-term basis but illegal on a short-term one. 

What is the basic definition of a whore?  A woman who agrees to have sex with a man for compensation.  But if he gives her money or gifts without any direct discussion of sex, indeed is not sure whether she will provide it or not, society does not call the act prostitution.  In other words, it is perfectly legal and perfectly acceptable for a woman to agree to date a man whom she knows will give her gifts, money or expensive entertainment, and perfectly legal for a man to court a woman whom he knows by reputation will “put out,” even if neither of them intends to continue the arrangement beyond a single date.  The only thing prohibited is the honest discussion of the arrangement.  Oh, she can “fish” for details prior to accepting the date; she can even wheedle specific gifts out of him if he is sufficiently generous.  But none of this is guarantee for the man that he will get what he wants.  In other words, it’s OK for her to demand compensation for the possibility of sex, but not for the certainty.

Now, I’m not saying that ALL dating is prostitution.  Maybe I’m somewhat naive on this subject, but I believe most people still use dating as courtship, with intent to find a mate.  That’s certainly not everyone, though, and there is no law against a man (even a married one) using dating simply as a way to get sex with absolutely NO intention of marriage, nor against a “party girl” using it as a way to enrich herself with equally non-marital intent.  The arrangement only becomes illegal when they are honest with one another.  I know it seems counterintuitive that honesty should ever be illegal, but there you are.

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