You are currently viewing archive for November 2007

28 November 2007

Story of Human Language and Societal Comments

If I had to recommend only one of the teaching company courses to someone I like, that course would be The Story of Human Language. And the reason is not so much for the course material, but for the lecturer, John McWhorter. He could talk about most anything and I think I would enjoy it. A Google search of his name pulls up many links, including a Wikipedia entry. He studies creole languages and has written several books, including Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. He sprinkled the lectures with subtle humor. For instance, in a discussion of some intellectual aspect of language he tossed in a reference to the US as "a tortured, first-world, over-developed country".

A tortured, first-world, over-developed country. Says up a lot.

An example of over-development recently popped up right next to where I live. For a couple decades, we have lived a ways out in the country on dirt roads with homes widely spread. No roads were marked, but we all got around just fine. Overnight the county must have decided that that was not right. See the photo below. They went a little overboard.

Many signs.

If my grammar here is a little less formal than normal, it's because of the course. I now feel that sometimes it's important to just let those grammar rules go. To be less tortured. More on this and other ideas and a couple more photos are in the continuation of this blog entry.
» read more