Bill Gates has gone from 0 to 100 on climate change and it shows in the words he uses

by Rashmee

Posted on February 19, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Me too. Like Connie Hedegaard, I too thought Bill Gates was supremely uninterested in climate change. Ms Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for climate action and Denmark’s former environment minister and minister for climate and energy, recently interviewed the Microsoft founder and good Samaritan for Project Syndicate. The occasion was publication of Mr Gates’s … Continue reading “Bill Gates has gone from 0 to 100 on climate change and it shows in the words he uses”

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What Mr Trump said, how he said it and how it was heard

by Rashmee

Posted on February 12, 2021


/ LANGUAGE For a man who wears his intellectual bankruptcy and linguistic imprecision as a badge of honour, Donald Trump is remarkably pointed and careful about what he says, how he says it and how it’s heard. That particular style of oral communication is at the heart of the debate during Mr Trump’s second impeachment … Continue reading “What Mr Trump said, how he said it and how it was heard”

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Brexit Newspeak: End of free movement of people is ‘freedom’

by Rashmee

Posted on February 5, 2021


/ LANGUAGE January 1 was the first day that new (supposedly more free and therefore, more fulfilling) travel and trade rules went into effect for Britain in relation to the European Union. It finally happened…more than four years after Britain voted to leave the EU. Britain, Brexiteer politicians tell us, is finally free. Is it? … Continue reading “Brexit Newspeak: End of free movement of people is ‘freedom’”

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After Brexit, the French urge Europe to rethink the language of Shakespeare

by Rashmee

Posted on January 23, 2021


It’s not particularly surprising that the French sent up a trial balloon within a few weeks of Brexit. They’ve started to ask a crucial question: Why use English anymore to transact the business of Europe? With the British having left the club why should the 27 members of the European Union (EU) speak the language … Continue reading “After Brexit, the French urge Europe to rethink the language of Shakespeare”

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MAGA: In Trumpspeak, an aspirational euphemism for Republicanism?

by Rashmee

Posted on January 18, 2021


This is the last week that we need to invest Donald Trump’s pronouncements with the solemn weight that comes of where he stands. So here goes. Noticed something? Mr Trump increasingly speaks of his MAGA ‘movement’ but doesn’t mention the Republican Party. That may be just fine with sections of the Party, which is in … Continue reading “MAGA: In Trumpspeak, an aspirational euphemism for Republicanism?”

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‘Tea’ – the new ‘cool’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 18, 2020


According to Merriam-Webster, Urban Dictionary, the word tea has evolved. It now means “gossip” and/ or “agreed”. The dictionary spells it out as follows: Situation One – “Spill the tea, what did he say?” Situation Two – “Last night was a mess. Here’s the tea.”  Situation Three –”And then I said, I can’t support or be with someone who … Continue reading “‘Tea’ – the new ‘cool’”

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What linked America’s un-presidential non-debate with a vegetable market in a poor country?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 6, 2020


As the US vice-presidential debate – the debate of the deputies – rolls around on October 7, two key takeaways are worth noting from the so-called first presidential debate on September 29. That the slugfest was neither presidential, nor a debate goes without saying. But the reporting and analysis of the world’s dismayed reaction to … Continue reading “What linked America’s un-presidential non-debate with a vegetable market in a poor country?”

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On National Poetry Day, here’s a sonnet that’s like rap, a protest poem for racial justice

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2020


Today is National Poetry Day in Britain and I’ve been thinking a great deal about a poem from across the waters. It’s by Terrance Hayes, 48. He describes himself in interviews as a “jock” writing sonnets but don’t let the self-deprecation fool you. Hayes clothes and unclothes ideas with ease and grace and passion. The … Continue reading “On National Poetry Day, here’s a sonnet that’s like rap, a protest poem for racial justice”

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Back to the culture wars then

by Rashmee

Posted on September 14, 2020


The gains from the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement were many. It proved to be a great investment for the Arabs. Not only did they create a vibrant environment of intellectual enquiry, they were able to use their very appetite for Hellenic knowledge as a cultural cudgel against their rivals next door, the Christian Byzantines. Interestingly, Muslim … Continue reading “Back to the culture wars then”

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What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 13, 2020


Why did the second Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur (r.754-775) initiate the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement? He was no scholar but there was a very particular reason to lay claim to the fruits of Hellenic thinking. Al Mansur had an interest in astrology and may have been keen to form a dynastic ideology. This was to be … Continue reading “What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK