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Tag Archive: language

Oct 31 2012

The Real Problem With “Slutty” Halloween Costumes

If you shame or ridicule women who wear “slutty” Halloween costumes, you’re missing the point. Here’s why.

Oct 09 2012

Faith is not a Mental Illness

I’ve been seeing a disturbing tendency among atheists to compare religious belief to mental illness. Sometimes this comparison is made explicit, as in this article. Other times, however, the comparison is more implicit–for instance, when words like “crazy” and “delusional” are used to describe religious people or their beliefs (hi Dawkins). These comparisons are inaccurate …

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Jul 12 2012

Why Dan Savage Shouldn’t Use Hate Speech Against Gay Republicans

I’ve got a post up at In Our Words today! Here’s a preview. A few weeks ago, an organization of conservative LGBT folks and their allies called GOProud endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Surprise, surprise: a conservative group endorsing a conservative presidential nominee. Dan Savage, however, was apparently irritated enough by this to comment on …

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Jun 27 2012

In Defense of Cynicism

I’ve been thinking about cynicism a lot lately, for no particular reason aside from the fact that I am a cynic. According to the actual definition, a cynic is either an adherent of the Greek philosophical school of cynicism, and/or simply a person who believes that human actions are motivated by selfishness (or rational self-interest, …

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Jun 25 2012

"Vagina" is Not a Four-letter Word

You would be forgiven for assuming that our elected politicians are mature adults who can handle using words that designate genitalia. You would especially be forgiven for assuming that given that many of these politicians are very eager to legislate what can and cannot be done with genitalia. However, you’d be wrong. This is old …

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Jun 22 2012

"There are no hot girls at Northwestern."

The other day at a certain user-submitted news website, a new Northwestern student was asking for advice about “the party scene” at our school. He also inquires about the attractiveness of the “females” at our school (I think he means “women”), and several dudebros inform him not to get his hopes up. One writes, “No …

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May 16 2012

What You're Really Saying When You Say that Suicide is "Selfish"

I’m still thinking about the Chet Hanks suicide thing from last week and the various responses to it that I saw online. Specifically, I cited two comments that referred to suicide as “selfish.” “Selfish” has to be one of the most common adjectives people think of when thinking about suicide. Those of us who are …

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Jan 15 2012

Obscenity and College Admissions: Don't Judge People by Their F-Bombs

I read an article on GOOD that provided statistics about how much college admissions officers stalk check applicants’ Facebooks. Apparently 24% of officers do it, and that number is on the rise. Now, this is really nothing new. However, what did strike me about the article was this: Twelve percent of admissions counselors told Kaplan that …

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Jan 12 2012

Is Homosexuality "Unnatural"?

Spoiler alert: no. First, let’s define “natural.” Here’s what Merriam-Webster has to say: “being in accordance with or determined by nature” “having a specified character by nature” “occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural” “existing in or produced by nature : not artificial” For something to be “unnatural,” then, …

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Dec 21 2011

Death to Debbie Downer

I propose a moratorium on the term “Debbie Downer.” “But whyyyy?” you might argue. “Those negative people are so annoyinggg!” Perhaps. But I think we need to stop using that phrase, for several reasons. The first thing I think of when I hear the phrase “Debbie Downer” in one of the contexts it’s most commonly …

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