Call out the…


Here’s a university webpage to rival the Yeshiva University webpage that popped up…

… just after one of its trustees, Bernard Madoff, hit the headlines. It’s from the University of New Hampshire.

The top of the page announces a Bias-Free Language Guide, while the rest of the page is blank. Eloquently, poignantly, totally blank. As blank as all the YU Madoff pages suddenly became.

Where’s the Guide?

What story lies behind this latest weird visual outcome?

No, don’t try clicking on Bias-Free Language Guide. Won’t take you anywhere. It’s been scrubbed.

Wha’ happened?


We don’t know enough yet to figure out exactly how the thing got written – I mean, we need to know precisely what group of people (students? faculty?) wrote it – but it takes the Orwellian business of replacing short clear simple descriptive words with long pretentious empty euphemisms to new heights.

One section warns against the terms “older people, elders, seniors, senior citizens.” It suggests “people of advanced age” as preferable, though it notes that some have “reclaimed” the term “old people.” Other preferred terms include “person of material wealth” instead of rich, “person who lacks advantages that others have” instead of poor and “people of size” to replace the word overweight.

I think they fell down on that last one. It doesn’t have enough words. People of larger size than other people, no?


When David Ortiz called Jacoby Ellsbury a rich bitch, he managed to squeeze out only two words. Person of material wealth bitch is so much… richer.


Instant Update: Wow. In the few minutes during which I’ve been writing this post, UNH disappeared Bias-Free Language Guide and replaced it with Page Not Found. Quick work!


And again.



Parody Squared

[Donald Trump] is nearly a cartoon version of what a comedian such as Stephen Colbert considers a conservative — the kind of conservative Colbert played on Comedy Central until this year.

“A zoo hippopotamus swam out of its enclosure and onto the central Heroes’ Square, eating leaves off a tree before being shot with a tranquilizer dart in front of a Swatch store.”

What a sentence.

What a story.

Urban Expansion, Waco-Style

[M]aybe, as Waco Convention Center Director Liz Taylor suggests, things just happen.

I met Taylor during the Branch Davidian siege, when it was her task to convince the world that Waco wasn’t what it appeared to be. “I have learned to take things in stride,” she told me this week [after the biker shootout]. “It is all part of a growing community.


Higher Ed, Texas-Style

Governor Abbott has promised to sign open carry. He also has endorsed another gun lobby priority — legislation to permit concealed handguns on the state’s college campuses. That bill has drawn alarm from university officials, including Chancellor William McRaven of the University of Texas system who posed a dilemma about gun rights and free speech: “If you’re in a heated debate with somebody in the middle of a classroom, and you don’t know whether or not that individual is carrying, how does that inhibit the interaction between students and faculty?”

Oh please. Ask me a hard one. Once everybody’s packing, everybody knows everybody’s packing. Heated disagreements are resolved exactly the way the two sides of the Bandidos vs. Cossacks debate resolved them.


A bar is one of the very few places in Texas where you cannot openly carry a weapon — one of the few where you can’t carry an assault rifle, for that matter — but no one seems to have doubted that the [Waco] bikers would have easy access to serious firearms. This is a state where a request by Chipotle that people not display guns while ordering burritos caused a public protest.

Conveniently located just steps from Baylor University.

Even cops think, ‘Oh they are just tattooed long haired guys who like to ride motorcycles.’ And the reality of it is they are long-haired tattooed guys who ride motorcycles and sell a hell of a lot of methamphetamine and murder people and steal motorcycles and extort people and beat people up in bars for no reasons.”

“[O]n a massive dose of morphine, he lay in bed for 12 hours watching the Battle of Agincourt take place on the sleeve of his dressing gown.”

Far out.

Another chapter in the legend of SAE.

It’s America’s worst fraternity – a distinction extremely hard to attain, given the competition.

UD loves the image of Yale’s Sean Stewart getting his degree in ethics while being an SAE man, for, as you know, UD loves hypocrisy, the cruder the better. Stewart went on to become a finance person (he’s just been charged with insider trading), and a striking number of finance people seem to go in for this moral seriousness/massive theft of funds approach to life. Michael Martoma, you may recall, was also an ethics guy in college… Bernard Madoff, come to that, was a pious Yeshiva University insider…

None of these men seems to have been able to keep his dual-track life going. Bernie kept it up, as it were, longest, but now he’s rotting in jail. Martoma will get out of jail in nine years, and I’m sure he’s working out in the gym every day in order not to rot. Stewart could go to jail for 25 years, but he’ll get less time than that. Ten years, maybe. He and his father were in on the scheme together (Bernie also made it a family affair), and they used golf code in their phone conversations about their various trades, which is so cute. Golf is this adorable subtext in many insider trading arrests – remember this guy? Does his perp walk while wearing a sweater with little vintage golfers on it! Sweet.

Practical Nursing

If you’re failing, sue.

“[U]gly, kitsch, ridiculous, and rather childish.”

Scathing Online Schoolmarm might quibble with the order of adjectives here – isn’t childish a bit weaker than ugly, kitsch, ridiculous? Those are stronger words, and I think you should build up to your stronger words to avoid a letdown at the end of a sentence. SOS might have started the list with childish and then continued by means of ascending number of syllables:

kitsch (1)
ugly (2)
ridiculous (4)

“Childish, kitsch, ugly, and rather ridiculous.” Or drop the rather. “Childish, kitsch, ugly, and ridiculous.”

The ur-text for thinking about the style and content of lists is The Importance of Being Earnest:

ALGERNON. [Speaking very rapidly.] Cecily, ever since I first looked upon your wonderful and incomparable beauty, I have dared to love you wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly.

CECILY. I don’t think that you should tell me that you love me wildly, passionately, devotedly, hopelessly. Hopelessly doesn’t seem to make much sense, does it?

Doesn’t make much sense and is, again, a bit of a letdown.

In the case of practically bankrupt Louisiana State University finding money to buy “a ‘lazy river’ on the LSU campus in the shape of the letters L-S-U,” it doesn’t really matter how the LSU Faculty Senate president organized his list – the remarkable nature of the construction certainly comes across. Students whose campus is in the tank will soon be literally in the tank, paddling while Rome burns.

Steering the Bucks to Get …

the gilt.

They grow up so fast!

In the room of [Wesleyan University student] Eric Lonergan, the police found … 16 kinds of prescription drugs … including blood pressure medications, … drugs for dementia or Parkinson’s disease, and others.

Is it the University of North Georgia…

or the Wynn Resorts board?


Qasem Exirifard has been dismissed from Tehran’s Khajeh Nasir Toosi University after its academic committee, in charge of examining staff’s qualifications, deemed his voice was effeminate

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