How (not) to be an asshole

My dictionary suggests that asshole means a stupid or vulgar person. But that doesn't capture the current usage. An asshole is a person who puts their own interests ahead of the people around them. Assholes push into queues, threaten you if you call them out, perv on vulnerable people, take up three seats on a … Continue reading How (not) to be an asshole

Moose and Mouse and other Children’s books – some reviews

Moose and Mouse book cover

On Sunday I read a pile of story books to my grandson G, aged 3¬Ĺ. Here are my reviews of four of them. Moose and Mouse by Colin West This book owes much to Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel and Fred and Ted's Road Trip by Peter Eastman (both of which are … Continue reading Moose and Mouse and other Children’s books – some reviews

A letter to a would-be King Cnut of language

Dear Dominic You and I got into a discussion about the abuse of the word literally. I suggested that you look at something I wrote about learning language by osmosis. Language is what people speak, I suggested, not what the rules say. You didn't see it that way. You made an analogy with shopping: [...] … Continue reading A letter to a would-be King Cnut of language

Show, don’t teach

  The word teach makes me cringe. It suggests an asymmetric power relationship in which the teacher's ¬†pronouncements are by definition true. The students' opinions are not relevant. There's also an idea that the students may be tested later to show that they can echo what has been taught. Disagreement with the curriculum is not … Continue reading Show, don’t teach