Friday, April 07, 2006


Readers may have gathered that language and languages is one of my great interests and entertainments. In a recent email to me, Scottish blogger Neil Craig (who writes lots of letters to Scottish newspapers) said: "A very short letter in the Herald today. I am glad of this since I was somewhat scunnered that they hadn't published anything of mine since Christmas"

I was delighted to see the word "scunnered". I don't know where I remember it from. Maybe my mother used it. Maybe my Scottish wife used it. It is not really translatable but it means something like disgusted, emptied-out or defeated. Neil was in fact being a little reserved in his use of the word. A more common construction would be "fair scunnered". An Australian would probably say "really shat" under the same circumstances.

There are a lot of foreign words that are not really translatable into English -- which is why English has adopted so many foreign words. Two German words that we have lost from English seem particularly useful to me: Reich and Volk. I discuss the meaning of Volk here. I sometimes use both words in my postings on Majority Rights -- where they are fairly likely to be understood. The reason why they are rarely used in English these days is probably that Hitler used both words a lot, and used them prominently. So part of the reason why I use them is to "stir the possum": I have been waiting for some Leftist to pounce on me and accuse me of being a Nazi for using them. But, sadly, nobody has given me that pleasure. So I have given up waiting and will outline here the crushing reply that I had ready:

On all the products exported from the old Communist East Germany, there was a "brand name" -- which was "VEB". And what does "VEB" stand for? It stands for "Volkseigene Betrieb", which translates as "The People's own Enterprise" (though that translation could be argued about too). So if Communist East Germany put the word "Volk" on everything it produced, how come it is a Nazi word? The truth, of course, is that it is an ordinary German word that was in common use for at least 2,000 years before the Nazis came along.

And as for "Reich": For starters, the East German State Railway was known as the "Reichsbahn".



Consider the following proposed amendments to the US constitution:

First, disallowance of immigrant participation in US political affairs. This includes a ban on participation in demonstrations and other public expression of political opinion.

Second, an "Americans first" employment policy, native born Americans having priority over foreigners for all positions in which status of citizenship is not deemed "indispensable."

Third, a ban on all immigrant or naturalized citizens' service as (a) federal elected officials, (b) members of the cabinet, or (c) justices of the Supreme Court.

Fourth, a ban on immigrant service in the clergy.

Fifth, a ban on immigrant ownership of land or aquisition of any rights to natural resources.

Sixth, authorization of private individuals to make citizen's arrests of any individuals suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Seventh, unconditional right of federal officials -- whenever they deem such action appropriate -- to deport immediately and without due process any noncitizen

So, what do you think of these? Are you opposed? Upset? Well stop for a second. Actually, nobody's proposing these as ammendments to the U.S. Constitution -- they are, rather, firmly established features of the Mexican Constitution.



Some linguistics researchers analysed speeches in the 2004 Presidential campaign and found (excerpt): "The vice president sounded the most honest of the four, and Kerry the least. Kerry's language also was most like that of a depressed person, followed by Edwards. Perhaps that's inevitable; after all, challengers must sound gloomy and doomy about their opponents' records, though in doing so they run clear risks. "Voters are most favorable toward those candidates who are the most optimistic," Slatcher said. "The depressive language that Kerry and Edwards used during the campaign may have contributed negatively to the way in which they were perceived by the public."

Flourishing Australian economy: Australia's unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 5.0 per cent in March, compared with a unrevised 5.2 per cent in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said. Total employment rose 27,000 to 10.085 million, adjusted. Of this, full time employment decreased by 12,400 to 7.173 million and part-time employment rose 39,500 to 2.913 million. The participation rate in March was 64.4 per cent, compared with an unchanged 64.4 per cent in February.... The male unemployment rate decreased by two percentage points to 5.0 per cent, while the female jobless rate was also down two points to 5.1 per cent."

The pagan Anglican Left: "Then there was the much-publicized dust-up over William Melnyk, the Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, who was asked to resign his post as rector after it became clear he was moonlighting as a Druid priest... Now, thanks to some research by commenter Liz at TitusOneNine, it turns out that Maury Johnston, author of Gays Under Grace: A Gay Christian's Response to Homosexuality and the recent widely-publicized essay "Facing the Spectre of Schism" is also known as "Shadwynn" and belongs to a Wiccan order called "Keepers of the Cauldron." The coven is described as being in the "grail quest tradition," based on the Arthurian legends..."

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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