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Pattern Ghost

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Pattern Ghost last won the day on September 29 2018

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About Pattern Ghost

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  1. We had a 4.7 and a 3.0 earthquake less than 10 miles from our house just before 3 this morning. It's the first one we've had that was feel-able since we moved up here.
  2. Cullman's got some interesting folks in it. By interesting, I mean some of the worst stereotypically hillbilly shenanigans you'd ever see. Ranging from "I met a black feller once, he was OK," to "Does the color come off if I shake your hand?" Then there's the forced shock treatments to keep a wife in line, shooting across roadways, animal abuse . . . You'd probably not be surprised to learn they also used to have a major Klan presence. Parts of the county are pretty off the beaten track, too. Not surprised by this story in the least. (My Father's side of the family is from Cullman. I have a bunch of great- and great-great aunts and uncles there. Met a very cute 3rd cousin at a family reunion one year, who the greats- were trying to hook me up with. The place is sometimes a straight up Jeff Foxworthy routine.) To be fair, most of the folks are pretty nice in Cullman, if not the most forward-thinking. Or just thinking.
  3. Interesting breakdown of the chances of Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2020 from CNN.
  4. Only if you let logic enter the equation. He won unequivocally if you're going by playground bully rules. Which I think is an arena where Harris would hand him his head on a platter, judging by what she served up to Biden.
  5. Resistance to the singular "they" is silly. It's been used singularly for a very, very long time, with sufficient documentation. And I admit that I'm a bit of a language snob, so oversensitive to this kind of thing.
  6. Here's a pretty good article (watch out for the huge animated gifs if you're seizure-prone, not kidding) about the history of the terms Hispanic, Latino and Latinx. Here's an article of what the Real Academia Española thinks about the term "Latinx." (They're more of the prescriptive than descriptive bent, apparently. The OED has been depressingly descriptive of late.)
  7. Speaking of Spanish and speaking of the Democratic debates, Beto and Booker's attempts at Spanish were face-palm material of the first order. On night 2, Mayor Pete made a much better showing of it. I think he wins the pandering for the Latinx* vote award. I'm not sure who I favor at this point, as this whole letting in anyone who polls at 1% thing is annoying. I'm going to treat it like American Idol and just wait until it's down to the final three or whatever. I'm liking Mayor Pete (sorry, not looking up his last name spelling, almost bed time for me) the best so far. Maybe. We'll see what they all have to say once the crowd is thinned some.
  8. The word for talking about a mixed-gender or unknown gender group of people of Latin-American descent already exists, it's "Latino." It comes from Spanish. In Spanish, words that are male or neuter/unknown gender generally take an "o" ending, and words that have a female gender take an "a" ending. These are long-standing grammatical rules. When we borrow the word for use in English, there's no real need to change the word. "Latino" does not refer only to male individuals, though it can do so if describing someone who's known to be male. Granted, non-binary folk are something not covered in the usage of the word as a singular adjective. Then again, the population of non-binary folk is relatively small, and it's an easy enough problem to work around, should it become necessary to avoid giving offense. I've never seen "Latinx" used other than in the context of describing the group, but we already have a word for that. I'm generally opposed to using language manipulation as a political weapon, regardless of which side is using it. I don't think females and non-binary folk benefit from the shenanigans. I don't believe either group is being discriminated against by using referring to the group of people of Latin American origin as "Latino." The "Latinx" thing is pure political posturing, and if you used the term to most Latin Americans they'd simply stare at you blankly. Now, some may make the argument that Spanish, as a gendered language, promotes gender inequality. There have been studies suggesting that countries with gendered languages have more gender inequality than those that don't. And that might be a fair sociological point. If we take that at face value, do you have any idea how many other words will have to be changed to fix the issue? I was trained as a Latin American Spanish linguist by the Army. The number is staggering. There are probably more effective and efficient ways to promote gender equality (and tolerance and understanding of non-binary or other gender alignments), than tossing around a meaningless and useless political buzzword. It's noise that doesn't accomplish much, IMO, other than to make the people making the noise feel better because they're "doing something." We need much more actual doing than that, if we want to effect any change. Which, as you should know by now, I am in favor of. I just find this type of thing absurd and self-serving more than useful.
  9. The Latinx nonsense isn't evolution of language. Evolution's a natural process.
  10. This bit (just the song, rest of the monologue is meh) from Fallon was pretty good:
  11. I haven't watched the debates, but looking at the highlights, it seems like Kamala Harris made the best showing between the two nights. She certainly seems like she could go toe to toe with Trump in a presidential debate. She's got some fire.
  12. And that's a fundamental misunderstanding of the language.
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