word of the year?
hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 20 18:45:54 UTC 2012
On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:
> most people are uncomfortable with the idea that a specific date makes the difference between rape and consensual sex
Why is that, I wonder? Are people likewise uncomfortable with the idea
that a specific date makes the difference between illegal drinking and
legal drinking? That a specific date makes the difference between
illegal driving and legal driving? That a specific date makes makes
the difference between illegal voting and legal voting. That a
specific date makes the difference between illegally buying cigarettes
and legally buying cigarettes or? That a specific date makes the
difference between illegally selling perishables snd legally selling
Of course, a specific date isn't the one and only difference between
rape and consensual sex. Consider all those boys - and girls, too,
don't forget! - who seduced all of those poor, naive, trusting, and
unworldly priests who had had no real-world experience in dealing with
the temptations of the flesh. That some of those men were of a certain
age was not sufficient to prevent their exploitation at the hands of
worldly-wise children and youth.
And take the case of Jerry Sandusky, an overgrown boy from the country
taken advantage of for years by young men and boys from small-town,
People of whatever age-group age can be victimized.
"Age ain't nothing but a number," to coin a phrase. Any "date" must be
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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