THIS SITE could have a better name than mine with "dot com" tacked on to it. I had considered Introduction to Ratiocinations Out of Thin Air as a title—and that would have been a great title, if a confusing title. So we're stuck with Neal Umphred Dot Com. As someone once famous once said, "So it goes." 1 Either way, readers are confronted with two rather uncommon words (although alien has been used in reference to one of them): Umphred and ratiocination. The family name appears to be of Scottish origin, which explains why Laphoaig tasted like the water of life with my first sip!… Continue Reading An Introduction to Neal Umphred Dot Com
WE HEAR IT AND WE SAY IT . . . INCORRECTLY! We usually hear "fortay" when people say "forte," an almost universally mispronounced word! I can't say it's a part of everyone's daily vocabulary, but if you read enough you'll come across it regularly. I'm writing this because it was used in a couple of movies that we watched recently. Unfortunately, while the word and its mispronunciation in both films stuck in my head, the titles of the two movies did not. Before we address the near universal mismouthing of forte, we need a definition of the word. In modern usage, forte is a… Continue Reading my forte is not my fortay, it's just my fort
WE ARE NOW deep into an affair that should have been termed either Sessionsgate or Ambassadorgate by our mainstream media. Ever clever with such trite coinages when a Democrat is involved, Attorney General Sessions and President Trump have somehow avoided having their transgression rendered in a manner that suggest the felonies of the Nixon administration of 1972–1973. But let's take a moment and take a look at another moment from January 10, 2017: at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Senator Al Franken asked Senator Jeff Sessions what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the… Continue Reading shouldn't we be calling the sessions-kislyak affair "sessionsgate" by now?
TOO MANY IMMORAL PEOPLE are trolling more effectively than ever! This statement is taken from the penultimate paragraph in Jenny Pierson's "Don't Feed the Trolls: How Outrage Fuels Sickening Careers." The article is subtitled "The guy who wrote the book on trolling has some tough-to-swallow suggestions on combating the worst of it." It appeared on AlterNet on February 11, 2017. This is part of my ongoing series of articles on the malevolence of internet trolls, but this time I am letting Ms Pierson do all the talking. All text between the horizontal lines is from her article. 1 Note that… Continue Reading too many immoral people are trolling more effectively than ever before
TO TELL THE TRUTH IN THE FACE OF LIES is the job of all journalists, with lies being, you know, those alternative fact thingies that are all the rage these days. Or at least that's what Lewis Wallace states in an editorial call-to-arms that he had posted on his personal blog. There he addressed objectivity, calling a lie a lie instead of an alternative fact, and embracing the accusation of being a politically correct liberal leftist! I am not a journalist. Aside from some college courses in basic journalism in 1969–1971, I have no experience in the field. Of… Continue Reading definitely "politically correct" (a third take on journalism taking on authority)
DESPITE DONALD TRUMP receiving more attention from the media than all his fellow Rep*blican competitors for the nomination combined, he has another take on it: that same media is out to get him! While some of that attention was indeed negative, most of the attention was reasonably positive. In fact, it appeared at times as if the media was downright fawning! It's probably fair to say that had the mainstream/corporate American media split the time they devoted to him and gave it to other Rep*blican candidates, Mr Trump might not have been the nominée, let alone be the President. In… Continue Reading definitely not "first but wrong" (another take on journalism taking on authority)
DAMN OUR DAMN LIBERAL MEDIA! Here's yet another example of how the DLM's bleedingheart librullness screws things up for us poor civilians trying to grok the world in which we live. When addressing a statement that was so manifestly incorrect that it had to be a lie, the national security correspondent for National Public Radio declared the statement "provably not true." 1 That is, the statement was demonstrably not so. Most of us civilians have a simple word to describe a demonstrably untrue statement: we call it a lie. 2 Needless to say, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly was asked why she didn't simply call… Continue Reading definitely "provably not true" (one take on journalism taking on authority)