Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 14, 2021


/ LANGUAGE The May 6 elections in England showed something interesting. People want to be team-players. In a pandemic, they want to support their government, particularly when it has tried to do what it can to keep them safe. Accordingly, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party gained approbation — and votes — because its government overcame its … Continue reading “Voters reward Boris but what about the fog of Brexit Newspeak?”

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Lobbying and cronyism in Britain: fat cats and other felines

by Rashmee

Posted on April 16, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Britain’s so-called lobbying and cronyism row is anything but. It’s about fat cats, lean mean hunters, entitled purebreds, scruffy strays, trainable tabbies, rebellious rescues – in other words, all sorts of felines padding through the corridors of power. Lobbying and cronyism is a feature, not a bug of British politics. The language being … Continue reading “Lobbying and cronyism in Britain: fat cats and other felines”

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Money talks. Mitch McConnell and corporate America’s First Amendment rights

by Rashmee

Posted on April 9, 2021


/ LANGUAGE I thought the Huffington Post offered the most succinct analysis of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call to corporations to stay out of politics. “Shut up and donate,” said HuffPo’s headline. The strap provided all the other context anyone might need: “Congress’ biggest defender of corporate political speech rights changes his tune.” Quite. … Continue reading “Money talks. Mitch McConnell and corporate America’s First Amendment rights”

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Legislative thuggery in Georgia?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 2, 2021


/ LANGUAGE In 1897, Mark Twain described the menace of Thuggee in India on the basis of a 60-year-old British government report. Twain noted in ‘Following the Equator’ (sometimes published with the alternative title ‘More Tramps Abroad’) “that nobody could travel the Indian roads unprotected and live to get through; that the Thugs respected no … Continue reading “Legislative thuggery in Georgia?”

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Words have long been a weapon against Asian Americans

by Rashmee

Posted on March 26, 2021


/ LANGUAGE As America confronts a yearlong escalation in anti-Asian violence, the role of language in the whole situation is noteworthy. I don’t mean only Donald Trump’s language – “China virus”; “Kung flu” etc – but the way Asian Americans are often categorised. As Axios has pointed out, Asian Americans are often burdened with the following phrase: … Continue reading “Words have long been a weapon against Asian Americans”

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Homage to Catalonia: A profoundly European disconnect between words and deeds

by Rashmee

Posted on March 19, 2021


/ LANGUAGE There are words and then there are deeds. On March 9, the European Parliament voted by secret ballot to remove the parliamentary immunity of three of its members, all Catalans who were formerly part of the government of that prosperous region of Spain. All three MEPs are wanted by Spain over Catalonia’s 2017 … Continue reading “Homage to Catalonia: A profoundly European disconnect between words and deeds”

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How the cookie crumbles

by Rashmee

Posted on March 12, 2021


/ LANGUAGE Google recently declared that it will “not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web” once third-party cookies are phased out. What does that really mean, in plain language? I found Vox’s explanation most interesting. Click here to read the whole thing. Some of the highlights in the piece are … Continue reading “How the cookie crumbles”

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Corona-speak in any language

by Rashmee

Posted on March 5, 2021


/ LANGUAGE If you’re in Germany, there are clear choices even in a pandemic. There’s the alltagsmaske (everyday mask). The schnutenpulli (literally, snout sweater a warmer mask for cold weather). The gesicht­s­kondom (literally face condom, for a trendier mask). Then there’s mindestabstandsregelung (minimum-distance regulation) or the more exact anderthalbmeter­gesellschaft (one-and-a-half-meter society) to describe social distancing … Continue reading “Corona-speak in any language”

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