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K Marx The Spot

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24 July 2009

Blogs I Wished I'd Started: 1

It's "simple" and yet "effective": the "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks.

Lots of grammatical solecisms are not that hard to understand. Using "it's" instead of "its" is lazy, but the apostrophe has two different functions in English and getting them confused is not hard. Comma splices are often the result of not knowing when to use a semicolon, but English also allows a nominative absolute that looks very much like a comma splice. But why quotation marks are supposed to substitute for emphasis is hard to fathom.

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Posted by Tim W at 7/24/2009 03:58:00 PM

20 July 2009

Sign of the Times

Just how bad is the used book business these days? A recent ad in The New Yorker leads one to booksbythefoot.com, which sells what you think they sell.

While one can buy books in bulk from this outfit by subject, what they tout on their home page is mostly books of appropriate colors. Books have become just so much wallpaper.

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Posted by Tim W at 7/20/2009 08:54:00 PM

12 July 2009

Great Moments in Theology

It's no surprise that Senator Ted Kennedy is not a well man; he was diagnosed with brain cancer in May of 2008. And perhaps it is news when he has the president convey a letter to Pope Benedict.

But when the contents of the letter are kept private, which is sillier: publishing almost 1000 words in a newspaper of record about a letter whose contents are unknown, or being a purportedly smart academic and, well, pontificating in public about that letter?

I'm going with the latter. Remember, the letter might have, essentially, told Pope Benedict that his acts to coddle Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites were an embarrassment to Catholics everywhere.

"I find it quite moving," said the Rev. Robert P. Imbelli, a Catholic theologian at Boston College. "Clearly, when one Catholic asks another to pray for him, this is a sign both of vulnerability and of trust. To have the opportunity to ask that of the pope is, in addition, a sign of devotion and respect for the one Catholics hold to be the successor of St. Peter with a special role in maintaining the unity and apostolic tradition of the church."

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Posted by Tim W at 7/12/2009 11:48:00 PM

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