Monthly Archives: April 2012

Comic Carlin blasted babblers to rescue English language

It is a blooming miracle that the English language has lasted as long as it has, if you consider the number of axe-wielders who had been out to change it over the centuries. Nowadays we have a special class of

Carlin rough on broadcasters

individuals, radio and television commentators, dedicated to that special task, murdering English.

Deceased comedian George Carlin took these people to task during his lifetime for their butchering of the common tongue.  Most persons consider Carlin only a sassy, social-critic comedian who used a lot of dirty words in his act.  But he was also something of a language scholar. In his book Braindroppings  Carlin gave the broadcast industry a bite on the ear for its many linguistic atrocities.  Among their other mistakes he assured them that:

  • A light-year is a measure of distance not time.
  • An acronym is not just any set of initials.  It applies only to those that are pronounced as words.  MADD, DARE, NATO, and UNICEF are acronyms.  FBI, CIA, and KGB are not.
  • Irony is “a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result.” If a diabetic on his way to buy insulin is killed by a runaway truck, he is the victim of an accident.  If the truck was delivering sugar, he is the victim of an oddly poetic coincidence.  But if the truck was delivering insulin, ah!  Then he is the victim of an irony. Continue reading

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Government tax scam works since days of ancient Rome

Tacitus, the gabby Roman historian of 1 A.D., reported a new scam making the rounds in ancient commercial circles:

Gaius Cornelius Tacitus

A tax of four per cent on the sale of slaves was remitted, an apparent rather than a real boon, for as the seller was ordered to pay it, purchasers found it was added as part of the price.

I have a clue for Tacitus, who was probably the world’s first newspaper columnist, judging by the volume of imperial dirt he uncovered and publicized. This tax racket probably had been around since governments first learned to squeeze wealth from working stiffs. Smarter stiffs found a way to make the dumber stiffs do the paying.

And it is still going today, as exemplified by the “make them pay their fair share” philosophy of the Democrat Party. The “them” to whom our proto-socialists refer are mostly corporations, because they are the entities with the most money. As each new tax is levied, manufacturers and distributors simply jack up their prices and John Public does the actual paying.  Politicians love this process because they escape the lethal political onus of having voted for a hated general tax. Continue reading

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