William Katz: Urgent Agenda
AUSTIN, Texas, May 29 (UPI) -- English is about to get its millionth word, a Texas wordsmith says. Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, has calculated the millionth word will join the language June 10, 2009, at 10:22 a.m. His clock is set to the time in Stratford-on-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, a man who gave many words currency in modern English.
How does a word join the language? Is there an application fee?
(AP) A man who confessed to robbing a South Carolina bank in a message posted on MySpace has pleaded guilty. Federal prosecutors said Thursday that 27-year-old Joseph Northington of Roanoke, Va., will be sentenced later for using a firearm during a crime of violence.
The ACLU will argue that the MySpace posting was coerced by the computer.
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
Bulletin from the Washington Post: Few places in Virginia are as draining to the soul and as numbing to the buttocks as the branch offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles. And yet, until recently, smiling was still permitted there. No more. As part of the DMV's effort to develop super-secure driver's licenses and foolproof identification cards, the agency has issued a smile ban, directing customers to adopt a "neutral expression" in their portraits, thereby extinguishing whatever happiness comes with finally hearing one's number called.
In the new order we must avoid expressions of happiness. Be neutral. Nonjudgmental. Dull. Liberal.
And it isn't just smiling that's under attack, says The New York Times. Teenagers like to hug, and this must be stopped:
Comforting as the hug may be, principals across the country have clamped down. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal of George G. White School, a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., who banned hugging two years ago. “It was needless hugging — they are in the hallways before they go to class. It wasn’t a greeting. It was happening all day.” Schools that have limited hugging invoked longstanding rules against public displays of affection, meant to maintain an atmosphere of academic seriousness and prevent unwanted touching, or even groping.
We are moved to see such concern over threats to our country.
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