Shuggy is complaining about Norm’s and my spelling of “defence” as “defense” and Christopher Hitchens’ spelling of “labour” as “labor”:
Lenin does it. So does Pootergeek. As does Norm. Politically different, yet the same problem; they all spell ‘defence’ with an ‘s’.
Which is an Americanism.
I’m happy for the Yanks to do this but they can’t spell, can they? You lot have no excuse.
Other annoyances: Christopher Hitchens spelling Labour party as ‘Labor party’. Damn it all, man – even the Americans know to render it Labour party, with a ‘u’.
And he has used ‘gotten’ in the past.
Taken the assimilation thing a bit far – in more ways than one, if you ask me.
Sorry, but it’s been annoying me – can’t even concentrate on your articles because you spell defence with a goddam ‘s’. Stop it at once.
Norm and I were quoting Americans when we used “defense” yesterday. I suspect the main reason Hitchens uses “labor” is because his work has been edited for US publications. They edit things in the States, and fact-check them too. Can you imagine the red ink that would appear on a typical edition of The Independent?
(For those of you who don’t know, “Lenin” is a pseudo-Leftist who writes a stupid and unpleasant blog that I don’t even have to pretend not to read. It’s the sort of Webpage that sports a Hizb-Allah flag in its sidebar, in the same way a skinny schoolboy on his way to a game of Dungeons & Dragons might decorate the lapel of his black trenchcoat with an SS badge. The idea that Norm and I merely have “different politics” from him is a bit like the idea that we have “different hobbies” from someone who rapes pensioners.)
I do use “skeptical” though. That’s because my dictionary offers it as an alternative spelling in English English, because it’s phonetic, and because it’s closer to the Greek—the sort of thing the “Yanks” are often right about.
Yay – somebody else who uses “skeptical” 🙂 Admittedly you have a proper reason involving greek as opposed to my ‘it just looks better’, but still.
In australia it’s the Labor Party. I’ve never quite understood the etymology…
Phomesy, read comments here.
Damn it all man, quoting Americans is no excuse. Anyway, Norm says he was quoting you.
Will argued the same about Hitchens but I’m not buying it. Slate, for example, doesn’t do that for other writers that mention the British Labour party. Anyway, he’s not getting off that lightly because he uses ‘gotten’ and he can’t blame an editor for that.
The idea that Norm and I merely have “different politics” from him is a bit like the idea that we have “different hobbies” from someone who rapes pensioners
My joke was in better taste, frankly. Whatever Lenin might be, he isn’t stupid. It’s a mistake to underestimate your ideological opponents, comrade.
What I’ve seen of his blog is.
Is there a “tasteful” way to represent the activities of Hizb-Allah or the moral implications of comfortable Westerners choosing to support those activities? Should I avoid offending the silk-fine sensibilities of those who align themselves with anti-Semitic mass murderers? Would an Israeli grandmother prefer to be violated in her home or bombed in it? Personally I’m more offended by the misuse of the word “militant”.
How can I have ideological opponents if I despise ideology? What threat exactly does someone like “Lenin” represent to me? Perhaps I have underestimated David Icke too.
The biggest mistake many otherwise sane Lefties make is that they overestimate their opponents. They waste time worrying about the inconsequential cavorting of former “comrades” and overlook the flaws in their own arguments because they’re too busy answering criticism from idiots.
And while we’re about it, let’s all refer to the famous New York terrorist outrage as 11/9.
Tell Shuggy you’ve gotten so you could care less.
Great defense Pooter.
I blame Microsoft, I spell colour as color and centre as center due to coding that way. Every other damn thing I spell with a zee instead of an s
xogoth is correct. I spend half of my life uninstalling and reinstalling Windows / Office trying to work out how I can get it to avoid autocorrecting ‘Zs’ in ‘organisation’ and suchlike. If someone could write a little plug-in called ‘septicshitetwatter’, that always overrides MS’s insistance on overwriting regional preferences, then I suspect that they would never have to work again.
I expect Lenin leaves Americanisms in as evidence (should more be needed!) of all embracing Yankee Imperialism. But then, maybe we shouldn’t use such crude caricatures of comrades who are – after all – simply playing for our team, but taking a different role than the one we would choose for them during the current phase in the struggle.
Er, (sic), for the avoidance of doubt.
I’ve seen both the NYT and the Washington Post refer ro the ‘Labor Party’, which is simply not proper.
-ize is ‘Oxford’ spelling.
Oxford spelling follows British spelling in combination with the suffix -ize instead of -ise. For instance, organization, privatize and recognizable are used instead of organisation, privatise and recognisable. In the last few decades, the suffix -ise has become very popular in the UK. Therefore, many people incorrectly regard -ize as an Americanism, although the form -ize has been in use in English since the 16th century.  The use of -ize instead of -ise does not affect the spelling of words ending in -yse, which are spelt analyse, paralyse and catalyse in line with standard British usage.
Today, all major newspapers and magazines in the UK use -ise. The Times had been using -ize until the early 1980s, when it decided to switch to the -ise spelling. The Times Literary Supplement, Britain’s most influential literary review has continued to use Oxford spelling. Oxford spelling is also used in academic publications; the London-based scientific journal Nature uses Oxford spelling, for example. Even though British dictionaries generally give -ize variants first, the British government prefers -ise.
Antipodean Oik 1 – 0 Pommie Whingers
verbal noun, old fruit, therefore should be “Norm’s and my using…”.
Good point, well made—now fixed.
The whole defense/defence thing? ‘Twas a joke, ok? But I see you’ve gone for the pious and serious option. Very well…
How can I have ideological opponents if I despise ideology?
Because if you think you haven’t got an ideology, you’re dreaming, my man…
Is there a “tasteful” way to represent the activities of Hizb-Allah or the moral implications of comfortable Westerners choosing to support those activities?
Sensibility doesn’t concern me, really – but accuracy and a sense of proportion do and with regards to the latter, anyway, the analogy you use hardly qualifies. Aren’t we all ‘comfortable Westeners’ – opining about matters that we have a fundamental distance from?
I take the anti-Hizbollah view. I’m bound to think this is the morally and politically correct position – but any realistic estimate of one’s own importance should, I think, stop me from thinking this is particularly morally significant. In other words, what you, I, Norm or anyone else thinks about the Middle East really doesn’t matter that much.
And taking the position I do, I’m bound to think those lending their voices to support Hizbollah or the ‘resistance’ or whatever are fucked-up politically. But to think it follows from this that the ethical distance between us is somehow akin to that between someone collecting stamps and someone raping pensioners would be morally hubristic and politically complacent, to say no more than that.
I know the “defense” thing was a joke, but then I was given advice on taste and the appropriate response to “Lenin”. And I was addressed as “comrade” by someone I’ve never met, which gets my back up almost as much as a white person calling me “brother”—not that you were to know that of course.
My dictionary gives “science of ideas” and “body of ideas, political and economic”, “theory or vision”. I would prefer “system of political or social thought”.
It is impossible to be scientific about politics/metaphysics. The phrase “social sciences” is an oxymoron. The idea that you can construct any kind of unified theory of human affairs is absurd. Even the concept of ideology is a fraud. Many of those who have believed otherwise have made catastrophic errors as a result.
My views on such matters are ragbag of heuristics that I hope are as consistent with one another as I can make them, but that bag is inevitably woven through with contradictions and cannot by definition map onto reality. People who claim to have a valid ideology implicitly ignore these fundamental facts.
So, if you think you have an ideology then you’re dreaming, “my man”—precisely because no true ideology can exist outside the doublethink and distortion of a dream.
Go back and read what I wrote. I didn’t make a statement about “Lenin’s” actions. I made one about his politics. If a man knowingly makes a donation to fund a lynching then should I judge his motivations more leniently than those of his neighbour who ends the evening with blood on his hands? They both wanted to see a man die because of his race.
My analogy stands as robustly as it would for anyone who supported any organisation founded on a genocidal impulse. If anything I was generous.
Supporting terrorists is not like supporting a football team and one reason why so many people think it is acceptable to, for example, walk around in a “We are all Hizbollah” T-shirt is because the rest of us routinely fail to use sufficiently strong language to condemn it, and because people like you say this “isn’t particularly morally significant“. It bloody well is.
Just as it was once socially acceptable to be a member of the Klan it was once socially acceptable in the United States to support the IRA. Once upon a time it was socially acceptable to call black people “niggers”. If you were white and objected to another white person using such language, you might well have been accused of “getting things out of proportion”. I don’t have a “different view” from “Lenin” and his like; I’m a different kind of human being.
His possible defences for supporting Hizb-Allah might include ignorance or extreme discomfort or revenge for a direct wrong suffered. (I am not arguing here for the validity any of them, but) he can plead none of these. That is why I used the phrase “comfortable Westerners” in this particular case.
I’m not serious often here and I tend to use few words when I am, so I choose my words carefully. I stand by those ones.
(I also usually address strangers here as “mate” or “love” for example when I am sneering at them so it’s wise to be careful with “comrade” and “my man”.)
I think Shuggy was aping socialistic can’t when he used the c-word.
He wasn’t trying to over-familiar sweetheart.
Wouldn’t “skeptikal” be even more phonetic?
I just realised, I automatically added an apostrophe into the word ‘cant’. Which made my previous comment a bit crap. I suppose I could claim that MS Word buggered it up. Or, alternatively, I could blame whatever Open Source spellchecker you use here Damian….
Insofar as English has pronunciation rules, “sceptic” should sound exactly like “septic”. So I, too, prefer “skeptic”. We’ve got enough bloody exceptions to the rules as it is without choosing the anti-intuitive spelling over the intuitive one when we actually have a choice for once.
“defense” should be the right spelling as it originates in the Latin word (noun) “defensa”. “Defence” is a spelling variation from Elizabethan times.