David Frum Profile picture
17 Oct, 10 tweets, 2 min read
Off-my-usual beat, but ... 1/x
You may have seen this story, now rattling around conservative media. 2/x
Political correctness run amok! But then ... think about it a little. 3/x
Nigeria's most famous writers, including 1986 Nobelist Wole Soyinka, write in English. Vikram Seth and many Indian artists write in English. Afrikaner-born JM Coetzee writes in English. James Joyce wrote in English, as did of course almost all American writers ... 4/x
More than any other language, English is a world language for many cultures, not the language of a culture. 5/x
Which means that "Department of Literature in English" is not only a more polite name, but also a much more *accurate* name, than "Department of English Literature." 6/x
A point stressed in the underlying Cornell U student newspaper article that inspired the right-wing outrage article. 7/x cornellsun.com/2020/10/14/eng…
It's good advice not to take offense at every little thing! Especially every poorly considered little thing!

That advice needs to be followed, though, not only by progressive challengers to existing ways, but also conservative defenders of existing ways.

Americans of all people should understand why "Literature in English" is better than "English literature." Remember that one of the most famous scenes in Huckleberry Finn is the mangling of Shakespeare by two con men? Twain was telling you: English is the world's now! - END -
Final PS

I notice that Indian-born speakers of English are often more likely to preserve correctly formalities like the English-language subjunctive than are English-born or American-born speakers of English ...

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More from @davidfrum

17 Oct
Virginia 10 congressional district was Republican for 60 of past 68 years. A Democrat won in 2018. I took a long winding drive through the most rural parts of the district today. Counted 4 Trump signs, only 2 on private property. Dozens of Biden signs, to many to count
... too many to count ...
Also, mask wearing ubiquitous.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
Before "The Simpsons," Matt Groening drew misanthropic rabbits.

In one strip, two older rabbits tell a younger rabbit: "Mom left a present for you in the basement."

The young rabbit replies, "Last time you said that, you locked me in the basement for 4 hours."

The older rabbits answer, "This time we won't."

Keep that dialogue in mind when Devin Nunes, Rudy Giuliani, and the journalists who publicize for them try to purvey new fake stories in place of the old fake stories about "unmasking" etc. 2/x
Trump world and its journalistic conduits have pumped an unending stream of polluted disinformation. Fox etc. serve the bilge unfiltered. But even some respectable journalists have since 2015 sluiced doses of the poisonous stuff into the national drinking supply. 3/x
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
There is something amiss about that Gallup poll repeatedly cited by President Trump re "better off than 4 years ago." Here's FT-Peterson Foundation: 35% say "better off" ig.ft.com/ft-peterson-po…
Economist/YouGov poll has 38% saying "better off than four years ago" today.yougov.com/topics/politic…
Gallup's numbers have consistently been uniquely high on the "better off" question. EG here they are back in February, just at onset of corona crisis. Somebody more expert than I will have to reverse engineer Gallup's methods news.gallup.com/poll/284264/re…
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
That's a premature question. The work is not over yet, and may not be over for many months.

But ... since you ask ... some guesses: 1/x
Some Never Trumpers will settle permanently into what started as a temporary political home. They will have supported Democrats in 2016, 2018, 2020 and will never return. 2/x
Other Never Trumpers may feel that their political work is done with the defeat of Trump. They'll exit political life altogether for other pursuits and interests. About half the time, I feel this will be my own answer. 3/x
Read 7 tweets
6 Oct
In his book "It Was All a Lie," @stuartpstevens tells the story of his father, who resigned from the FBI rather than be part of the internment of Japanese Americans. penguinrandomhouse.com/books/623807/i… 1/x
@stuartpstevens Stuart's father's action did not change the course of history. The Japanese-Americans were still interned. It changed the course of Stuart's father's life. He went to fight in the South Pacific instead, where he could have been killed. Later, Stuart asked: "why?"

@stuartpstevens Stuart's father answered: "You can always say 'No.'"

That's a saying to keep in mind in the coming weeks and months, as former Trumpers reinvent themselves - and explain how they only supported Trump because this or that blue-checkmark personality was disagreeable to them. 3/x
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
Trump tweets about his health remind me of a story my late father-in-law Peter Worthington told about covering the Six Day War in 1967 ... 1/x
Pete was in Cairo on the day the war started. He was awoken early by air raid sirens. He turned on Radio Cairo to listen for news. Time passed until an announcer delivered a bulletin. "The Zionists attacked at dawn. We shot down six of their planes and suffered no losses." 2/x
Pete shaved and prepared to go visit the air ministry for himself. The announcer returned to the air. "Update: we shot down TWELVE Zionist planes and suffered no losses ourselves."

He understood the Egyptians had suffered a bad defeat. 3/x
Read 8 tweets

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