It’s starting to sink in that Eileen and I are going to get on a plane to England next Monday evening. I have been mostly thinking of this as a chance to meet my newest grand child, Lucy. But, hey. I get to go to England. That’s cool and even exciting.
I love travel and I love England. And Eileen is my ideal travel companion. It remains to be seen how much actual exploring we will do since we will be sort of out in the boonies. But, it still should be lots of fun.
My brother and his wife are in Scotland right now.
I have been reading David Foster Wallace’s essay, “Authority and American Usage,” in the collection, Consider the Lobster. Here’s a link I found online to a pdf of it. The dry title of the essay belies how hilarious I am finding it. It reminds me of the delight I took in reading Infinite Jest. I find Wallace’s asides and prose style very engaging and funny. I recommend this essay. For example when discussing the ignorance of Descriptivists, Wallace writes this delicious sentence: “This is so stupid it practically drools.”
Descriptiivists. in this case, are people who think that dictionaries can only be thought of as authoritative in the way that chemistry or physics or botany books are authoritative “by the acccuracy and the completeness of its record of the observed facts of the field examined, in accord with the latest principles and techniques of the particular science.” (This is Wallace quoting Dr. Charles Fries introduction to Webster’s Third Edition entitled The American College Dictionary) Prescriptivists are people like David Foster Wallace and Bryan A. Garner who find it interesting to think about the most clear and coherent way to use language, especially in terms of grammar and accuracy.
This simplifies the entire discussion but the point is that Wallace’s essay is brilliantly funny and informed.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Animated: History’s Greatest Parable Exploring the Nature of Reality – Brain Pickings
This is an easy way to learn more about Plato’s cave, but the best way is to read him.