Language | The Spectator Australia


Here’s a charming phrase that just might become a household idiom in English: “weather-dependent economy.” I came across this on an American website – but (stupidly) didn’t note which one, so I can’t give you an accurate source. The proposed explanation for the “weather dependent economy” was that if and when much (or most) of our electricity comes from wind and solar power, we will be in a “weather dependent economy” . According to the argument, battery power has a limited capacity, with even huge arrays of batteries only having the capacity to hold a limited amount of power (sometimes only hours). As a result, the electricity supply is vulnerable to weather conditions such as the “wind drought” that hit Europe earlier this year and lasted for weeks. Even a prolonged period of rain (and overcast) such as eastern Australia has experienced can have the effect of impacting electricity supply once we live in a “weather dependent economy” . It was also pointed out that if there is a substantial shift to electric vehicles, this concept will expand further, and we will also have a “weather dependent transport system”.

I didn’t know there was such a word as “dead name” until the lexicographers at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary brought it to my attention. They say a “dead name” is: “the name a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transition.” It’s the name. There is also (according to the same generally reliable source) a verb “to deadname” someone. It means: ‘to speak of or address (someone) by their dead name’. The folks at Merriam-Webster say that the nominal form is usually written as a single word, though (they add) it is sometimes found as an open compound (“dead name”). We live in a free society, so the reality is that if anyone born with a normal, healthy male body wants to live using a female look and manner (or vice versa), they are free to do so. . And our language can reflect their choice with new expressions such as “deadname”. What our language cannot do is deny the reality of existing words such as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ / ‘man’ and ‘woman’. These words have been part of English for over a thousand years – and if we lose them, we have no way of naming the reality they label.

Some time ago I forwarded a report that appeared in the UK Daily mail claiming that the English language (presumably all of the English language) is racist. Obviously, if the language you and I use is inherently and unavoidably racist, that should be of concern to us. Here’s what the report says: “An Open University ‘woke’ anti-racism training course teaches academics that the English language champions ‘white superiority’.” Now, I don’t know about you, but that seems like an extraordinary claim to make about the most widely spoken language in the world, used by all people, of all ethnic backgrounds. The report goes on to say, “Course material asserts that ‘white superiority’ is rooted in the ‘cultural psychology of the English language’.” However, critical race theory scholars who make this claim do so in English! They teach their course on the “racism” of the English language in the English language! Does this mean that every time they open their mouths they are committing a racial crime because they speak English? And to avoid the “racism” of the English language, what language do they suggest to use instead? French? Spanish? German? All of these countries had overseas conquests and colonies, so I guess they must be racist languages ​​too. And a dead language? Would it be safe for them to teach their course in Latin? Well, no, because the Roman Empire conquered and colonized much of the known world in their time. So Latin is not on the list. A bit of a problem for these people, isn’t it? What language can they use so as not to be complicit in racism? Lithuanian? (This is called a reductio ad absurdum dispute; pushing a ridiculous claim to its logical conclusion to show how absurd it is.)


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