• Ethics,  Language,  Philosophy of Linguistics

    Sentence Conscience?

    In Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Williams and Bizup present several pairs of sentences and invite the reader to consider which of the two he prefers. Here is an example: A: Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’s jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing her fright. B: Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the woods, when the wolf jumped out from behind a tree and frightened her. B is clearly better than A even though both sentences are, strictly speaking, grammatically correct. What is interesting is how…

  • Jesus Christ,  Language

    Why Jesus?

    In Greek, Jesus is Ἰησοῦς (pronounced, ee-ay-sooce). In early Latin an i could be used either as a vowel (short or long) or as a consonant (as a y). Thus, the Latin, Iēsus, was pronounced yay-sus. In medievil Latin, the letter j was used to replace i‘s that where being used as consonants. The j was pronounced as a y. Hence, in modern Spanish, ‘Jesus’ is still pronounced Yay-sooce. In English, however, the j was hardened and, consequently, ‘Jesus’ is pronounced Gee-sus.

  • Ethics,  Language,  Philosophy of Language

    Pronounambulation

    My paper can no more make an argument than my computer can hope for a Cubs win. People write papers and in those papers people express propositions in sentences that constitute arguments. ‘I’ is the first person pronoun and I use it to refer to myself, the person writing the paper. If I want to tell you something I am going to do in my paper, I will tell you that I will be the one doing it: “In this paper, I will argue…” ‘One’ is a personal pronoun referring to anyone to which some property or other might apply. If I say, ‘one might argue ~q’, I am referring to…

  • Language

    Help? No Thanks

    I sometimes receive comments on my blog offering to help me with my writing. The funny thing is that all of them are poorly written. They all begin with flattery and conclude with an offer. This one is perhaps the best yet: Actually wonderful publish, i am satisfied to be here. thanks for sharing This know-how.Excellently written article, online custom essay writing service if simplest all bloggers offered the same stage of content as you, the internet might be a miles better location

  • Education,  Language,  Philosophy of Education,  Philosophy of Language

    Grammar and Normativity

    In Chapter 2 of Gwynne’s Grammar, Nevile Gwynne claims that happiness is partly dependent upon good grammar: “If we don’t use words rightly, we shall not think rightly” “If we do not think rightly, we cannot reliably decide rightly, because good decisions depend on accurate thinking” “If we do not decide rightly, we shall make a mess of our lives and also of other people’s lives to the extent that we have an influence on other people” “If we make a mess of our lives, we shall make ourselves and other people unhappy” Therefore, “Happiness depends at least partly on good grammar” Premise (1) suggests that good grammar is the…

  • English,  Language

    How to Use ‘That’ and ‘Which’

    Today, my family were discussing the difference between which and that. I looked it up in Strictly English by Simon Heffer. We found it very helpful. This is what he says: Perhaps the most common mistake of all with pronominal usages is the misuse of which and that as relative pronouns. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that almost everyone believes they are in most contexts interchangeable. They are not. The two sentences “the dog that was run over belonged to Mrs Smith” and “the dog, which was run over, belonged to Mrs Smith” say different things in two quite different ways. The first suggests that there were…

  • Language,  Politics

    Writers Who Speak as if They are Other People

    For some writers, “the author suggests…” “It is argued…”, and “so and so says…” are all a waste of writer’s ink and reader’s time. Why not cut the padding and just write as if you are the person whose work you are writing about? Cornelius Van Til, King David, and the president all do it. The trouble is that it is very easy to confuse voices. Consider the president’s recent tweet: I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017 Upon first reading, it sounds awfully like the president…

  • Language,  Philosophy of Language,  Trinity,  Wittgenstein

    Language, Mind(s) and Propositions in the Trinity

    God speaks. The Bible records the first speech and God makes it. If the chronology of scripture is to be believed, God could speak prior to creation and, therefore, God can speak sans creation. He could use a language in eternity past. This seems clear: he is the first to utter a word (Gen 1); he determines the world and everything in it including all the languages, sentences, and what they mean prior to creation; and God, the Son, is identified as the “Word” that pre-exists creation (John 1). He doesn’t actually have to say anything, but he has to be able to express his thoughts in a language. On…