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August, 29, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Daniel J. Bauer
Today's column is more than a little special for me. First, it is mostly reportorial in nature. I write not so much to share my own views, but those of others. These "others" are citizens of the Republic of China on Taiwan. They are also former students of mine.
 
The minute I saw the news this week about Playboy magazine, I groaned. I all but smacked my forehead with the flat of my hand. This famous (some might say infamous) magazine plans to clean up its act?
 
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.
1 Comment
 
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.
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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.
 
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