Thursday, May 26, 2005

Grammography: the strike-thru

Herewith the first in an occasional series whereby your blogstress makes note of stylistic trends in punctuation, linguistic notation and latter-day usage. It will run as a companion series to the yet-to-be-introduced AddieStan occasional feature, Lexiconography, wherein terminology coined in the think shops of Our Nation's Capital will be scrutinized, often with suggestions for alternative appellations.

Today's observation centers on the clever use of a font feature usually reserved as an editing tool: the strike-thru.

Weary of plodding through the thicket of Orwellian terms employed by the right-wing, liberal writers--at least those in the outsider communities--have found a way to deflate such ridiculous terms so as to reveal their true meaning. First appears the actual meaning of the term in a strike-thru font, and then its rhetorical form as deployed by the right. (It is alternatively used as an implied subliminal subtext.)

Dig this, from Confined Space:

One of our favorite Congressmen, Charlie Norwood (R-GA), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, held a hearing last week on voluntary safety programs and contracting out OSHA third-party safety and health audits...

Here's an example, from the same piece, of the parenthetically mentioned technique:

Terrorism has been used as an excuse for a lot of crazy things like limiting civil liberties and even re electing George W. Bush. Now, according to some people in Cloud Cuckooland Congress, it's also an excuse for letting workers die....

Here's how do do it, for you bloggers out there: When composing a post, use the word "strike" in these kind of brackets < > on either side of the word or phrase you wish to appear in strike-thru, being sure to include the backslash in the after the first closing bracket. Click here to see how it should look.

Now go knock yuhselves out.

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Gas 'em!

Speaking of the Great Compromise, the writing of satirist Tom Burka on this subject is priceless:

Senate Republicans to Reject Nuclear Option in Favor of Biowarfare

Senate Republicans who feared that they would not get the 50 votes they needed to destroy the filibuster spoke of abandoning the so-called "nuclear option" in favor of biological or chemical warfare.

"We should just gas all of them," said Sen. Rick Santorum of the Democrats, almost immediately after he had called them Nazis. Sen. Santorum later told critics that he had meant "sedating all of the Democrats with a non-toxic inhalant."

Tom's work is found on his blog, Opinions You Should Have.

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The great compromise

Is this a good thing or a bad thing, this act of comity on the future of the filibuster?

On the one hand, the filibuster lives to see another day, and the traditions of the Senate are temporarily preserved. On the other hand, three truly frightening judges now ascend to the federal bench. Of these, Priscilla Owen of Texas has received the most attention for her exemplary judicial activism that is, at once (to steal an idea from Molly Ivins), both theocratic and plutocratic.

Far more troubling to your Webwench is the specter of Janice Rogers Brown of California occupying the D.C. circuit court, to which most cases regarding the operation of the federal government are brought. Here's Rogers Brown on the virtues of government:

"Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates, and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility; and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."

When questioned about this quote from her 2000 speech before the right-wing Federalist Society, Rogers Brown did not exactly retract it. She simply said that she had engaged in a bit of hyperbole before a group of young people, in order to get their attention.

Well, she sure got your écrivaine's attention. Imagine--a judge who hates government issuing rulings on the government. Get ready for a ride, mes amis.

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Constitution now; marriage later

What with her pesky day job, multiple social commitments and erstwhile singing career, your blogstress has had barely a bustier-clad moment to look up, never mind put words to her blog. Among her other endeavors is this recent piece for The American Prospect Web site on why one issue must trump all others right now: saving the United States Constitution.

Even for queer folk, your cybertrix places this burning issue ahead of gay marriage, a cause in which she deeply believes (for those who are the marrying kind, natch). Your thoughts, dear reader?

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