Without a doubt, certain choices we make about the words we use really do make a difference. Language is important. Language matters.
I've been back in Taiwan now for three weeks after a recent visit to the United States. Although my stay over there was only for two months, several impressions I picked up are still nagging at me.
History doesn't get much more ironic than this.
2015/9/27, 1 Comment
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's statement on Japan's role in World War II has drawn much interest for good reasons.
Gustave Flaubert's great novel "Madame Bovary" builds itself around a series of rich and complex "community events." These events in the hands of Flaubert can be elaborate indeed. But the event itself need not be.
2015/6/28, 1 Comment
Like many, I find the Rachel Dolezal controversy both fascinating and troubling.
For the past 5 years, I've been meeting over Thursday lunch periods with a group of students on my campus for discussions on current affairs, almost always focused on Taiwan. We rely on media reports, opinion columns similar to this one, and life experiences to share observations and views on whatever pops up in the news.
A professor I have never met and a TV show I've never watched grabbed headlines this week, and my attention, too.
If you are a regular reader here, you know I occasionally ask my students to give me a hand. I might ask them, for example, to respond anonymously to an anecdotal survey on one topic or the other. I have found some of their words particularly interesting.
University professors offer students carefully honed syllabi for courses at the start of each semester. These syllabi list boring details such as the instructor's contact information, goals of the course (not so boring, I hope), instructional methods, rules and policies, weekly assignments, and other cool items.