A love of irony is a sign of health; everything absolute belongs to pathology
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
Language is an urgent political affair.
This year I have written posts from the battle lines of the language frontier:
- Eminent speakers were silenced by self-righteous university student moralists;
- Cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were shot for writing satire;
- Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s play The Witch of Walkern was pulled because its language offended;
- Petitions to Parliament tried to make various human behaviour (and speech) criminal acts;
- The Holocaust was asserted to be too reverent a subject for the language of comedy.
- Writings of the sociologist Emile Durkheim were excluded from the A-level syllabus for fear it could trigger harmful reactions in student readers; Continue reading