More book reviews of interest

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 5 14:20:26 UTC 2011

At 9:47 AM -0400 5/5/11, victor steinbok wrote:
>Mark Kleiman comments on Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity: The First Three
>Thousand Years. I wouldn't exactly call it a review, but there is a relevant
>MacCulloch's father was an East Anglian rector, and the book is marked by a
>>  cheerful courtesy and good humor that it's hard not to see as the product of
>>  the best sort of manse upbringing. In discussing the terminological
>>  conventions he has chosen, MacCulloch writes:
>>>  I have tried to avoid names which are offensive to those to whom they have
>>>  been applied, which means that readers may encounter unfamiliar
>>>usages, so I
>>>  speak of "Miaphysites" and "Dyophysites" rather than "Monophysites" or
>>>  "Nestorians," or the "Apostolic Catholic Church" rather than "Irvingites."
>>>  Some may sneer at this as "political correctness." When I was young my
>>>  parents were insistent on the importance of being courteous and respectful
>>>  of other people's opinions and I am saddened that those undramatic virtues
>>>  have now been relabeled in an unfriendly spirit.
>>  The polemical assignment of nasty names to virtues has become a regular
>>  practice: we now have "elitism" to denigrate the love of excellence and
>>  "permissiveness" for to make freedom seem threatening. Whoever invented
>  > "political correctness" as a bad name for courtesy did a bad day's work.

Well spoken. But I also couldn't help noticing Kleiman's "for to" in
the penultimate line; the rest of his commentary doesn't strike me as
being particularly Appalachian (or whatever), so perhaps it's a mere


The American Dialect Society -

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