Sunday soapbox

14/03/2021

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. – George Orwell


Saturday soapbox

13/03/2021

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable. – George Orwell


Quote of the day

25/06/2019

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. –  George Orwell who was born on this day in 1903.


Quote of the day

25/06/2018

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell who was born on this day in 1903.


Saturday’s soapbox

20/06/2015

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

 

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear – George Orwell.


Sunday soapbox

19/04/2015

Sunday’s  soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. - George Orwell

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear – George Orwell.


June 25 in history

25/06/2014

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

2013 – Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became the 8th Emir of Qatar.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

25/06/2013

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

2009 – Domenic Johansson, a Indian-Swedish boy, was forcibly removed by Swedish authorities from the care of his parents, raising human rights issues surrounding the rights of parents and children in Sweden.

2012 – The final steel beam of 4 World Trade Center was lifted into place in a ceremony.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

25/06/2012

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collidedwith the Russian space station, Mir.

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

25/06/2011

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

Fontenoy en puisaye.JPG

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

Reading of the Confessio Augustana by Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

 

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

Saint George Alaska aerial view.jpg

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

 

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

Stanford White by George Cox ca. 1892.jpg

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

 

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

 1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

Smurf1.gif

 1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

 

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was born (d. 2004).

 

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

Tali-Ihantala.jpg

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

 
First edition.jpg

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

Korean War Montage.jpg

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

 The Intelsat I nicknamed “Early Bird”, one of the satellites used

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

   

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

Microsoft wordmark.svg

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

 
   
 

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

 

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collidedwith the Russian space station, Mir.

Progress M-52.jpg

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

25/06/2010

On June 25:

524  Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeated the Burgundians.

841  Battle of Fontenay.

Fontenoy en puisaye.JPG

1530  At the Diet of Augsburg the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor by the Lutheran princes and Electors of Germany.

Reading of the Confessio Augustana by Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530

1678  Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

 

1741  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned ruler of Hungary.

1786  Gavriil Pribylov discovered St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

Saint George Alaska aerial view.jpg

1788  Virginia became the 10th state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1876  Battle of the Little Bighorn and the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

G a custer.jpg

1880 Potatau Te Wherowhero of Waikato, the first Maori king died.

Death of the first Maori King

1900 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India, was born (d. 1979).

1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), British writer, was born  (d. 1950).

 

1903 Anne Revere, American actress, was born  (d. 1990).

1906  Pittsburgh millionaire Harry Thaw shot and killed prominent architect Stanford White.

Stanford White by George Cox ca. 1892.jpg

1913  American Civil War veterans began arriving at the Great Reunion of 1913.

 

1913  Cyril Fletcher, British comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

 1923 Nicholas Mosley, British writer, was born.

1925 June Lockhart, American actress, was born.

1928 Peyo, Belgian illustrator, was born  (d. 1992).

Smurf1.gif

 1938  Dr. Douglas Hyde was inaugurated the first President of Ireland.

 

1939  Clint Warwick, English musician (The Moody Blues), was bron (d. 2004).

 

1944  World War II: The Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle ever fought in the Nordic Countries, began.

Tali-Ihantala.jpg

1945 Carly Simon, American singer, was born.

1947  The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

 
First edition.jpg

1948  The Berlin airlift began.

1949  Long-Haired Hare, starring Bugs Bunny, was released in theatres.

1950  The Korean War began with the invasion of South Korea by North Korea.

Korean War Montage.jpg

1952  Tim Finn, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1961 Ricky Gervais, English comedian, actor, writer, was born.

1962 Phill Jupitus, English comedian and broadcaster, was born.

1967  First live global satellite television programme – Our World

 The Intelsat I nicknamed “Early Bird”, one of the satellites used

1975  Mozambique achieved independence.

1981  Microsoft was restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

Microsoft wordmark.svg

1982 Greece abolished the head shaving of recruits in the military.

1991  Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

 
 

1993  Kim Campbell was chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and became the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

1996  The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

 

1997  An unmanned Progress spacecraft collidedwith the Russian space station, Mir.

Progress M-52.jpg

1997   The Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat erupted resulting in the deaths of 19 people.

1998  In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 was unconstitutional.

2006 Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


June 25 in history

25/06/2009

On June 25:

1860 the first Maori King, Potatau Te Wherowhero, died.

1874 Rose Cecil O’Neill who created the Kewpie doll was born.

1903  British author George Orwell was born.

1938 Dr Douglas Hide was inaugurated as the first President of Ireland.

Douglas Hyde

 1950 The Korean War started.


It’s not what they say

06/03/2009

Does the Ministry of Health read George Orwell or was the  memo of words and phrases to be used with the new government their own idea?

Some of the words and phrases the Ministry of Health sees as complicated jargon more suited to the previous government include: ‘social marketing’, ‘organised efforts of society’, ‘public health’, ‘strengthening community action’ and ‘social and economic determinants’.

A memo has been sent around banning the words and phrases and asking staff to replace them with new words and phrases described as the “in” words which include: ‘prevention’, ‘personal choices/decision’, ‘socio-cultural aspects of human behaviour’, ‘productivity’ and ‘value for money’.

The Minister wasn’t impressed:

Health Minister Tony Ryall says he didn’t order the list and doesn’t support it: “It’s just been dreamt up by some people in the Ministry of Health and I’d actually rather they spent a lot more time putting some focus on health service than writing up a list like this.”

If they’ve spent too much of the last nine years wasting time on things like this they may not know how to focus on what really matters.


Word lovers of the world unite

19/02/2009

The gatekeepers at Collins are discombobulated because there are too many words for their dictionary so they’re seeking to cull some of those which are seldom used.

The Times has taken up the cudgels for the words which are languishing on the list of linguistic losers –  or as it puts it, those in danger of fading into caliginosity – with a call for readers to rush to their rescue.

If you want to save one from what  Comment Central calls the semantic scrapheap you can go there to  vote for your favourite from a list of 24 which are doomed by the designers’ desire to detruncate the dictionary.

I can understand that there are financial and practical constraints on the size of a dictionary but I share the The Virtual Linguist’s  concerns:

I was surprised at some of the comments made by journalists and readers, many of whom had the attitude ‘So what? There are far too many words in English anyway’.  I was reminded of George Orwell’s Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty-Four, where undesirable words were eliminated from the language and ‘reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum’ (from the appendix to Nineteen Eighty-Four).

I may not like the juxtaposition of rural and rustic with unpolished and uncouth in the definition of agrestic, but that’s no reason to vilipend it or regard it as recrement.

Breadth and depth of language are intrinsic parts of our ability to communicate and help us not just to articulate our thoughts and feelings but to recognise them in the first place.

Besides, if these words disappear from the dictionary where do you go to determine their definition when you come across them?

I went to Save The Words for guidence but found it a temporary state of apanthropinization.

Hat Tip: Jim Mora


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