Words

I read these words in Fred Wilson’s post earlier in the week:

As my friend David Steinberg said to me last month, we are witnessing 1918 (pandemic) plus 1929 (economic crisis) plus 1968 (racial crisis) all at the same time.

There’s something that’s been bothering me about this. They call the current anti racism protests in the US (and elsewhere) a ‘racial crises’.

It’s not a racial crisis. The racial (or racism) crisis is what the US has had for over a century. The police didn’t suddenly start shooting black people at a higher rate. It’s just that everyone has a camera, so the racist excesses are being recorded and exposed at a higher rate.

What’s happening now in the US is a boiling over of the frustrations of the frequently suppressed black minority. The current events are their response—both peaceful and the not peaceful ones.

To label these protest events (and the counter events) as ‘a racial crisis‘ is not very different from Trump saying there were very fine people on both sides after the Charlottesville incident.

That a fairly liberal person used these words indicates how easy it is to use a soft term, rooting it deeper into acceptance.

Continue reading Words

Yesterday

I had a brilliant start to the day.

Woke up at 5:30. Stretched, made coffee, made bed, gave the boy his break and breakfast, and started working by 6 AM.
Worked for a couple of hours—good strong output.
At 8 went to loo, caught up on email, brushed teeth and got ready for a run.
Ran a quick 4 miles. Happy, strong run.
Showered, shaved, and got dressed.
Got to station in time for the planned 10:03 train.

Coffee. check
Work. check
Run. check
10:03 train. check

Happy, successful start to the day :)

Continue reading Yesterday

Language pet peeve #2: ‘… years back’

Recently I’ve been noticing a lot of use of back instead of ago when referring to a point in the past.

For me it’s always been ‘a few days ago’, not ‘a few days back’. Yet, the curse of ‘a few periods back’ keeps on spreading. It’s been appearing more frequently on the Indian sites I follow. It also keeps popping up on some of the American sites I follow.

Every time I read back in that context, I get a small knock on my head. Then I have to reread that sentence a few times, saying ago instead of back to wipe out the bad taste, before reading on.

Could we all just stop using that ugly ‘back’ please?

Continue reading Language pet peeve #2: ‘… years back’

TIL: Alsatian

I’m surprised it took me so long to learn the origin of the word Alsatian. It refers to originating in the Alsace region between France & Germany.

It’s so obvious once I know, but never occurred to me before.

Now I also know why the German Shepherds were also referred to as Alsatians.

Polarising

Some British acquaintances were asking about Indian politics and Narendra Modi. I told them my opinion of him is strongly biased (I abhor him), but I struggled to come up with the correct, unbiased term to describe him.

It’s not controversial, extremist, illiberal or nationalist. Divisive is close, but that’s not it either.

The correct term to describe him, in my opinion, is polarising.

People who know anything about him may not agree on any of those previous terms. However, most people who know anything about him – supporters or opponents** – will agree on this one term: he is polarising.

Continue reading Polarising

💯 days

100 consecutive days of learning Spanish on Duolingo.

100 consecutive days of climbing at least 10 floors1 a day. Average daily floors climbed over the period: 33.

100 consecutive days of recording weight (Google forms) and food intake (Myfitnesspal).

100 consecutive days feels like a good number to celebrate streaks.

Continue reading 💯 days