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Mark Paris
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The rules of English are descriptive, not prescriptive. What is proper is what is done by the most people (perhaps the most influential people). Even so, I hate it when I see certain usages, like "to beg the question" to mean "to raise the question." That is used so much by the popular media that it will soon mean what they think it means. I think the thing the NYT got wrong was using periods in the abbreviation SUV. I have found that making a plural out of an abbreviation or initialism can be hard. Does SUVs look OK? I suppose so. But the rules of English should never be applied in a way that makes it harder to understand what is meant.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2006 on SUV’s what? at Skeptico
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I don't care what the cartoons showed or who they offended. I don't care if they crossed a line, or whether there is or should be such a line. All I care about is that freedom of speech be protected. Freedom of speech means nothing if it doesn't protect offensive speech that crosses someone's line.
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2006 on Loony toons at Skeptico
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I have always thought that humans are rationalizing rather than reasoning beings. The real problem is knowing when you're rationalizing and when you're reasoning. What most people think of as "thinking", that is, essentially the formation of a mental dialogue involving unspoken words, is not really thinking; it's more like an expression of the result of thinking. I think real thinking takes place below (or on the side, or on top) of what we call the conscious mind. Thus the process is not readily accessible to the conscious mind. At least that's what I think.
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