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Showing posts from June, 2018

Why is English not the official language of England?

58 countries list English as an official language - but not the UK. 

Which countries do not have an official language?

According to Henry Hitchings Language Wars (2011) these nations do not currently have an official primary language:

Why does the USA not have an official language?

58 countries have English as an official language - but not the USA. 

What is 'concept creep'?

Concept creep a term coined to describe 'psychology's expanding concepts of harm and pathology'. 
by applying concepts of abuse, bullying, and trauma to less severe and clearly defined actions and events, and by increasingly including subjective elements into them, concept creep may release a flood of unjustified accusations and litigation, as well as excessive and disproportionate enforcement regimes.   The concepts of abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and prejudice ... {have been subjected to historical changes}. In each case, the concept's boundary has stretched and its meaning has dilated. SourceThis trend towards a very broad definition of what constitutes 'harm' has been particularly pronounced on university campuses in the USA and - to a lesser extent - in the UK.



See Conor Friedersdorf's Atlantic essay, 'How Americans Became So Sensitive to Harm'

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What is Bloomsday? Who is Leopold Bloom?

June 16 is a special date for admirers of James Joyce. On this day in 1904 the Irish author had his first date with his future wife, Nora. He later chose the date as the one on which Leopold Bloom would carry out his twenty-four hour mock-odyssey in Ulysses (1922). 

Ulysses is renowned for the daunting challenge it poses readers (see here for a beginner's guide). It also weighs in at at close to a thousand pages in the paperback edition. 

Who is Leopold Bloom?
Leopold Bloom is a salesman and a middle-aged father of a teenage daughter, Milly. His only son, Rudy, died after only eleven days. Bloom is unswervingly devoted to his wife, Molly, but is aware that she is having an affair with the flashy Blazes Boylan. 

In crucial respects Bloom is an outsider in a very insular society.Though he has converted to Catholicism in order to marry Molly, he is never allowed to forget his Jewish origins. 

An unlikely hero?
Funny, kind, gentle, unfailingly polite in the most trying of circumstances, Leo…