Oct 14 2017


Really? We’re still banning books? Or are we BACK to banning books? Because “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a great book. While it is possible that the same issues/values can be learned from another book, this is a damn good one. Language makes you uncomfortable? Banning books makes ME uncomfortable.

EDIT: the book wasn’t BANNED per se. It was “removed” from the reading list. Still annoyed.

UPDATE: I read some of the responses to the story on Twitter. My replies are below.

Fine. As long as you aren’t saying that therefore the book shouldn’t be read. I don’t think that’s what the person is saying but if so, she misses the point. Let’s say you think this about Atticus. (I don’t but whatever.) USE THAT AS A JUMPING OFF POINT FOR DISCUSSION. If I recall correctly, Atticus’ stance was startling because of where he was in that particular era. But seriously, PLEASE disagree. Let’s talk about it.


Low hanging fruit but OK.

I don’t know about the “lift us when we need it” stuff. But backsliding? Oh yeah.

Biloxi administrators pulled the novel from the 8th-grade curriculum after the district received complaints that some of the book’s language “makes people uncomfortable.”

Source: School district pulls ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ from reading list; ‘makes people uncomfortable’ | AL.com

Jul 15 2013

New Language Began With Baby-Talk

Here is a fascinating article in The New York Times about a new language, Light Warlpiri, which is spoken by a relatively small group of Australian Aboriginal people. Everyone who speaks it is younger than 35 years old. And it began with baby-talk.

From the Times:

There are many dying languages in the world. But at least one has recently been born, created by children living in a remote village in northern Australia.
Carmel O’Shannessy, a linguist at the University of Michigan, has been studying the young people’s speech for more than a decade and has concluded that they speak neither a dialect nor the mixture of languages called a creole, but a new language with unique grammatical rules.

Here is a video, “Monster Story in Light Warlpiri Child39”, from Dr. Carmel O’Shannessy’s YouTube account.

So what’s this about baby-talk? Again, from the Times: Read more »