Help, help. I’m being microaggressed- Bill Reader

*In a weird coincidence, I was writing about how we were devolving to Victorian maidens as they never existed, when Bill sent me this.  It’s not the post I will write — tomorrow — but it’s a good beginning.  And now I go paint walls.  – SAH*

Help, help. I’m being microaggressed- Bill Reader


Since Hillary Clinton announced, the feminists of the United States have undoubtedly been getting set to be outraged at things. We’ll see dozens of new wars on women, but we’ll have to check the news routinely to find out what they are because women are so oppressed in the United States that it takes whole academic departments and quite a lot of grant money to find examples of it. I figure this may be a good time, then, to talk about one of my personal pet-peeve memes, the microaggression.
It may surprise many people who use the term “microaggression” to know that the literal meaning of the word is, “one one-millionth of an aggressive action”. Or, then again, considering the things they complain about, perhaps it would not. From that perspective, you’d have to consider the word a masterpiece of liberal newspeak. It’s a word that, by right of its pithiness and the prominence of the root word “aggression”, sounds very threatening. But I’m going to guess that people would be taking the whole issue a lot less seriously if you went through every women’s studies paper written with the word and actually replaced it with the— I hasten to remind you— absolutely equivalent expression. Put another way, it’s a word that only makes sense if you don’t actually think about the definition. Ignorance, after all, is strength.

Now, some will quibble with me. One of my bedrock and most infamous stances is that words are best used as they are commonly understood, because definitions proceed from usage and, much as it may pain those of us who are semantically precise by nature, not the other way around. This is a fair point. So allow me to provide you, in its entirety, my article on what would happen if we replaced “microaggression” with its definition according to its popular usage, that is, “any action at all that annoys oversensitive fainting violets unprepared to deal with the real world,”:
I mean, I could write you several pages of my laughing maniacally, but I think you can see my general thesis, here. Besides, that would be unfair. Many branches of academia are entirely built on people not dealing honestly with the subjects they discuss, and women’s studies is probably the most vulnerable on that front. No, I’d prefer to dismantle this meme from within. The problems with the concepts of modern feminism are so blindingly obvious from outside the fervor of the movement that the people inside by definition cannot be connected to the real world.

Now, I find the literal definition interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I could extrapolate from it and infer that feminists get very upset and turn the campus upside-down if, in the midst of 999,999 actions, you do any one thing they consider to constitute “aggression”. Now, I’ve had some training in science, and happen to be familiar with the standard thresholds for significance, as I’m sure many of the followers on this blog are also. The most standard test of significance is the 0.95 significance. Mathematically rephrased, that means that there is only a 1 in 20 chance of the finding being a mistake.

You’d be surprised by how thin a margin a lot of modern scientific papers pass this threshold. This can be because of limitations in the instruments or experimental setup or so on. Also, frankly, grants are usually written with an eye towards demonstrating effects efficiently. Beating that threshold by a really solid margin takes careful planning, rigorous control, and often larger sample sizes. The subtler the effect, the more important these things become. And it’s hard to get funding for that, unless, for some reason, the subtle effect is very important (there are examples of such important but subtle problems in, for example, relativistic effects on GPS tracking systems). So let us suppose that we turned a scientific eye towards human behavior and delineated non-aggressions as a positive result and aggressions as a negative one. You test, and find that there is only a 1 in 1 million chance of finding an aggression if you run the test a million times. Non-aggression is found at a significance of p < 0.000001.
I’d throw a party, personally. I can’t think of the last time I saw an effect this strong demonstrated in a paper. If I’ve seen it at all I would guess that it was in a physics paper discussing a fundamental law of nature. As for all the standard thresholds for p, we’ve pretty effectively blown the “extra-rigorous” test of p<0.01 right out of the water.
I’m saying all this for a reason. Scientifically, I could also restate the meaning of “microaggression” as “aggressive actions that occur so rarely as to be not just insignificant, but laughably insignificant.” Try that one in your papers, feminists. Let me know how that goes for you.
The saddest thing in all of this, though, is that it’s absolutely true. And I want you to think about something. We are allied with a lot of countries in the world that, especially with the way Obama is behaving towards them lately, might most accurately be described as “frienemies”. There are long-standing ones like Saudi Arabia. There are countries we’ve recently taken to getting on the nerves of, like Britain. There are countries we’ve gotten suddenly and alarmingly hostile to, like Israel (because, as surely as fire will burn, American liberalism follows the path that every totalitarian movement with the option to has, and goes after Jews). Let me ask you frankly: out of a million diplomatic exchanges with any given one of those countries, how many of them would you say are admonishing or critical? While I don’t pretend to know the full extent of ambivalent-to-positive diplomatic correspondence between nations, I can say that it would have to constitute many hundreds of millions of papers for the few negative memos and speeches that end up in the news to be only a millionth of it. And these, mind you, are our allies. They are, in many cases, people we are theoretically prepared to go to war to defend, to lay down the lives of our own citizens to protect.

And while you’re thinking about that, think about this, too. Right now we’re making overtures towards peace with Iran. Iran declared war on us several decades ago. In all that span, I doubt that that 1 in a million of the things they’ve said about us has been positive. No, in fact, I’ll do you one better. I doubt that 1 in a million of the things they’ve said about us has not actually included the phrase “death to America”. And this is a country that forces women to dress in hijab and have clitoridectomies. But that country, most American feminists, being liberal, fully support doing anything to make peace with. As for, say, Britain and Israel, where women do not face that kind of brutal, medieval persecution, and are free to hold any position and pursue any career and hold any religion and marry, or not marry, any person they wish, what do feminists say about those countries?
They say “Help, help. I’m being microaggressed,”.

250 responses to “Help, help. I’m being microaggressed- Bill Reader

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Cries of “microaggression” depend on the restraint of the people being accused of “microaggression”.

    IE they get away with it only because the accused don’t “hit” back. [Frown]

    To make matters worse, some of the people claiming they were “microaggressed” against are IMO guilty of real harassment of the “microagressors”. [Frown]

  2. The Other Sean

    “Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!”

  3. I’m sorry to say this thesis falls completely apart because the author fails to take into account the Homeopathy Effect. Apparently, he does not recognize the magical properties that anything obtains as it becomes diluted to the levels he describes. You may never be able to locate the locus of “aggression” no matter how closely you look, but it is precisely this condition which renders the accusations so potent. And just as with global warming (to take but one example), reasonable people, with their heads turned to the microscope or their minds immersed in the search for integrated facts, will never see the ax dropping.

  4. I don’t do “microaggressions.” I do 100%, no-holds-barred aggressions. And if these wilting violets can’t handle it, screw ’em. (I’d suggest they “man up” but that term itself may be too aggressive for them.)

    • What is the politically correct term for the “vapors” that leave you on the fainting couches in the campus “safe space.”

      • I think the term is “diversity”.

        • But vapors is definitely better. A lot more descriptive.

          • Damn it, I have always thought I am too sensitive. I’m pretty easy to fluster. I can’t do snappy comebacks (unless the situation is an exact duplicate of something I have either imagined before, or encountered before) or play word games with bullies when face to face (some sometimes online, because then you have more response time and can maybe think of something, in real life things go too fast for that).

            So I either ignore, or pretend to ignore (and sometimes also completely miss because when I am thinking or doing something interesting I don’t notice other people all that much) insults or other verbal aggression as long as I can, if I can’t I leave the situation (and you’d better let me – if I do lose my temper I lose it completely).

            So, yes, I’m not very good with any kind of aggression and I’d say I have a rather thin skin.

            Or at least I used to think so.

            But what these women are now complaining about… Good heavens. These wilting flowers don’t seem to have any skins at all. How on Earth can they even survive even walking on a street or going to a grocery store? Unless you assume most of them are actually just playing a game, pretending to be delicate while looking for any excuse to start playing the wounded gazelle with hawk eyes.

            • Birthday girl

              Same here, Kiti. I _wish_ I had the mental quickness and dexterity to tell someone “I don’t mess around with _micro_ agression. When I choose to aggress, it will be _macro_.” … then show them my concealed carry permit for effect … but alas it will only happen inside my head and 90 minutes after the fact.

            • Sara the Red

              I can’t help but imagine that if we were to bring back the women who fought tooth and nail (and endured some very *definite* aggressions, like unlawful imprisonment, force feeding, etc) to win the vote, they’d go after these whiners with a very, very big stick…

              • Selling tickets to that would more than pay for the time machine research and development. Someone remember to remind me about that earlier.

                • Let’s not. Inventing a time machine is ALWAYS a Bad Idea!

                  • NOW I tell me…

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Fortunately Time Machines aren’t.

                    That is if you attempt to traveling into the Past, upon your arrival in the “past” a new universe will come into existence.

                    Thus you do not arrive in the past of the world that resulted in you.

                    Now it is possible for you to return to the time & world where you started from but you haven’t changed anything in the universe that you started from.

                    Now the fun part is if you attempt to travel back a certain number of times, you’ll create too many universes and they will collapse into a single universe where you failed to create a working time machine.

                    Oh, it’s impossible to predict what the “certain number of times are” as it depends on what changes (& how many) you caused (accidently or otherwise) in the “new universes”. [Very Big Dragon Grin]

                  • Obligatory xkcd:

                    We never see any time travelers because they all discover it’s a huge mistake. This is also why your friend at the lab suddenly looked about a year older recently.

            • They aren’t thin skinned they are being aggressive and offensive(especially in the military sense.)

              Thanks for your description. That’s me! I thought that I was the only one.

          • Swooning. Imagine hand to forehead, and eyes rolling back, gracefully laying out on the fainting couch.
            I’m better at all out aggression.

            • Weren’t corsets one of the main causes of swooning? That would explain why they’re always so uptight.

              • They can be, if the fit is incorrect. You start breathing with just your upper chest, and get anxious, so your breathing gets even faster and shallower, and you get more anxious because you can’t breathe and *whump*. Tight lacing also tends to restrict how much you can eat (no room in that area any more) and you can get low blood sugar faster. No, I haven’t spent a whole bunch of time around re-enactors and costume historians, why?

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          They keep saying “diversity”, but I think they mean that OTHER thing . . .

    • Ah, but you do “micro-aggressions” without even knowing that you do them. That’s the magic of the accusation, you see. They can accuse you of it, and you won’t even know what you did.

      On the other hand, following up the accusation of a micro-aggression with a REAL Aggression is perfectly legitimate.

      • “The ALPHA response to someone saying ‘go ahead, punch me again, I dare you’ is to call the bluff and punch him again.” — Vox Day

  5. So a “privilege” we never realized we had, inherited from crimes committed before we were born, leads us to “micraggressions” we’re not even aware we commit. Got it.


  6. Lol!

  7. “Victorian maidens as they never existed”

    Mr. Goldbury: Are you really under the impression that English girls are so ridiculously demure? Why, an English girl of the highest type is the best, the most beautiful, the bravest, and the brightest creature that Heaven has conferred upon this world of ours. She is frank, open-hearted, and fearless, and never shows in so favourable a light as when she gives her own blameless impulses full play!

    Nekaya & Kalyba: Oh, you shocking story!

    Mr. Goldbury: Not at all. I’m speaking the strict truth. I’ll tell you all about her.

    A wonderful joy our eyes to bless,
    In her magnificent comeliness,
    Is an English girl of eleven stone two,
    And five foot ten in her dancing shoe!
    She follows the hounds, and on she pounds —
    The “field” tails off and the muffs diminish —
    Over the hedges and brooks she bounds,
    Straight as a crow, from find to finish.
    At cricket, her kin will lose or win —
    She and her maids, on grass and clover,
    Eleven maids out, eleven maids in —
    And perhaps an occasional “maiden over!”

    Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
    Then come you home and sing with me
    There’s no such gold and no such pearl
    As a bright and beautiful English girl!

    With a ten-mile spin she stretches her limbs,
    She golfs, she punts, she rows, she swims —
    She plays, she sings, she dances, too,
    From ten or eleven til all is blue!
    At ball or drum, till small hours come
    (Chaperon’s fans conceals her yawning)
    She’ll waltz away like a teetotum.
    And never go home til daylight’s dawning.
    Lawn-tennis may share her favours fair —
    Her eyes a-dance, and her cheeks a-glowing —
    Down comes her hair, but what does she care?
    It’s all her own and it’s worth the showing!

    Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
    Then come you home and sing with me
    There’s no such gold and no such pearl
    As a bright and beautiful English girl!

    Her soul is sweet as the ocean air,
    For prudery knows no haven there;
    To find mock-modesty, please apply
    To the conscious blush and the downcast eye.
    Rich in the things contentment brings,
    In every pure enjoyment wealthy,
    Blithe as a beautiful bird she sings,
    For body and mind are hale and healthy.
    Her eyes they thrill with right good-will —
    Her heart is light as a floating feather —
    As pure and bright as the mountain rill
    That leaps and laughs in the Highland heather!

    Ah! Go search the world and search the sea,
    Then come you home and sing with me
    There’s no such gold and no such pearl
    As a bright and beautiful English girl!

  8. As someone once put, the only worthy response to an accusation of a microaggression is a microapology.

  9. If I feel microaggressed by your microaggression, would that be a picoaggression?

    • I feel microaggressed by your request that I actually do math at this time of the day.

    • If you ever want to have fun* with prefixes, become a Navy Nuke. Loose surface contamination is recorded in units of micromicroCuries per 100 cm^2. Fixed contamination is picoCuries per gram.

      *fun in the military sense, which essentially means no fun for the participants at all.

      • How much are those in banana units?

        • A banana has about 14 Becquerels of Potassium 40. A Curie is 3.7 x 10^10 Bq, so a micromicrocurie would be 3.7 X 10^-2 Bq. So if you smeared a banana over 100 cm^2, you’d get around 380 micromicrocuries per 100 cm^2. It would be about 2.6 pCi/g.

          Dose is a bit harder because you’re talking about different isotopes which have different decay energies and different half-lives (both radioactive and biological) so they do different amounts of damage.

      • If you ever want to have fun* with prefixes, become a Navy Nuke.

        As an Army lab tech, I’d occasionally change the units of report for lab tests when phoning results, if the person taking the results was this one guy who liked to brag about how much he (thought he) knew about my job and the ER doctor on duty was one who knew what I was doing and was cool with it.

        Nothing significant… if the test was normally reported in mg/dl, I’d make sure I told him the results were in “centigrams per liter”.

        I also told him we didn’t do pregnancy tests, we did semiquantitative human chorionic gonadotropin analyses.

    • Before anyone here even thinks of using the term “femtoagression”, please be advised that it is a trademark of femtoaggressors, inc and should only be used when referring to their products and/or services.

  10. Microaggression is one of those things that leads me to the conclusion that despite everyone saying “Why aren’t you teaching at a college? You’d be a great college professor,” I wouldn’t last past employee orientation. Oxidentation. Past the first mand—, no, sorry, required staff diversity workshop and/or encounter with a student activist.

    • But, but …you could make so much money with the video on America’s Funniest Videos!

    • One of the great things about being retired is no more PC workshops.

    • I understand how you feel. I dropped out of college my first year for a number of reasons, many of them personal flaws. Many people have since told me I should have switched majors to History. I am pained to admit that, given the University in question, I would have lasted until my first meeting with my faculty advisor, and then defenestrated the little pinko.

      I should have gone to one of those little colleges that used to advertise in the back of the National Review. The ones that still teach what was once called a “classical education”; lots of Latin, some Greek, a lot of history emphasizing military campaigns, and a smattering of English Literature published before the death of Queen Victoria. Maybe a few bits from the Edwardian era if they were feeling racy.

      But I met my wife of nearly thirty years where I ended up going, so I’ll take what I got.

      • I dropped out of academia and into the real world for a decade because I’d reached my limit of politics and folly. I survived grad school by 1) working so hard I was rarely around faculty, 2) learning the right noises, and 3) applying what I’d learned from surviving Bad Boss 1.0 and 2.0. And the atmosphere has only gotten worse. I suspect I’d probably make it to within a year of tenure and then slip and squander everything. *shrug* OTOH when the dust clears after the house of cards collapses, I’ll have a good regional reputation, multiple history books, and no connection to the outgoing administrators.

        • Or head on over to a conservative Christian college.
          For example, one of my political science professors thought Putin has the right idea on certain social issues.

        • My Father survived a forty year career in Academia, in A History specialization, as a political conservative and believing Christian. Some of that had to do with his career starting in the 1950’s, amd some with the schools he taught at (Case Western Reserve, and Iowa State), but most of it was that they LIRPs were scared to death of him. They knew that if they challenged him, they had damn well better have their facts in order AND be able to out-lecture the son of a Methodist Minister. And they knew that either proposition was beyond them.

  11. I was once quite familiar with what I assume is now being called microaggression. Little things, not big enough to get punishment from a teacher even if one was around to catch it. No beatings, but pinches and pokes and earflicks. Rudeness. Snide remarks. Mocking comments. Daily, from multiple sources. Little things can add up to make life a living hell. I don’t doubt that it’s real, sometimes.
    I also know that those who have had bad experience are sensitive to such things, sometimes oversensitive, and are able take offence at things that are quite innocently intended because they sound like things that have been said maliciously.
    I also know that there are people who make a living out of finding ways to be outraged and writing about it, and people who believe them. Hence, opening doors for a woman morphs into a condescending insult. Catcalls morph into rape. Black holes morph into racial slurs. Distaste for a sexual practice morphs into lynching.
    And thus some of these who are actually quite privileged then go bleating about microaggression, while those some of those who have actually experienced it wonder if they know what they are talking about.

    • I was once quite familiar with what I assume is now being called microaggression. Little things, not big enough to get punishment from a teacher even if one was around to catch it. No beatings, but pinches and pokes and earflicks. Rudeness. Snide remarks. Mocking comments.

      Nope. Those aren’t microagressions.

      “Microaggressions” are things like the teacher subtracting points from your essay because of bad spelling, or expecting “minority” members of the debate team to follow the rules and apply standard logical proofs.

      Actual examples, by the by.

    • No, no, those are small aggressions. Microaggression is more “he looked at me funny, or at least I think so” and “used the word brown near me so it was obviously about me” and “told me I wasn’t pretty enough to be the belle of the ball.” What you describe is ACTUALLY aggression. Microaggression is in the eye of the beholder.

    • Microaggression is when a professor says if you capitalize Black (when discussing race) you must also capitalize White, but “indigenous” is not a proper noun. And you must use Chicago-style citations instead of APA. Those were the “microaggressions” that led to a professor being blocked from campus. Oh, and grading graduate-level (Masters in Journalism) students on grammar is microaggression.

      Pinches, pokes, snide remarks, being whip-sawed when you try to do what you are asked to and then scolded when you do, those are all small aggressions. (I learned so much about how not to be a supervisor from that guy.)

    • Eamon J. Cole

      Others have noted, those you describe are actual aggression on just about anybody’s scorecards.

      Microaggressions abound in things like the “tyranny of the male gaze.” Or the oppressive character of pale skin. Even the ability of heterosexual affection to discomfit.

      They exist as the offended say they exist, no objectively identifiable proof need manifest. Nor could such proof manifest, as such would raise the bar to agression.

      They’re a wonderful little tyranny of the psychotic, a tool to crush any opposition. That they enrich the various grievance peddlers is, I’m sure, merely byproduct.

      As a related aside, I began to read Amanda Marcotte’s hit-piece on the Badger Brigade following their shunning and ousting from the expo… my anger is not micro.

      • Micro-aggression sounds like a weasel word white washing temper tantrums, and an all encompassing childishness.

      • Even the ability of heterosexual affection to discomfit.

        Like our family offensively flaunting our fertility. (being in public with all our kids; we aren’t even couth enough to act unhappy)

        • why shouldn’t you be happy that you have children? Sounds like micro-aggression is a smokescreen for “you aren’t acting the way I want you to.” Just like most often racist is cover for “disagrees with me”.

          • Sounds like micro-aggression is a smokescreen for “you aren’t acting the way I want you to.”

            With a side of “I feel bad, and I’d rather blame someone else.”

            I complain a lot, but I can’t really get too mad at the women who were SURE they didn’t want kids, or more than one kid, some thirty plus years ago– and now are feeling lonely when they see the grandkids they won’t have. (Almost always, the nastiest have an adult child who shows no sign of having kids of their own.)

            One or two didn’t manage to have kids, even though they wanted them– and walk around with an open wound that gets poked even by baby announcements, and will try to shame you for being happy. (Think like the obnoxious “singles awareness day” posts for Valentine’s.)

            Annoying, but sad.

            Note, not to be confused with the people who hurt from their desire for a child, but don’t attack folks for daring to have what they want.

            • This is the really nice thing about living in Mormonville: all the grandparent and older types think six is a nice little family. If you get tired of it, come up to Idaho and get tired of being asked if you don’t think it’s time for another instead!

            • overgrownhobbit

              I’m one of those women who waited too long. It’s not even the fault of those foolish women who think that biology goes away if you throw feminist rhetoric at it. The intersection of the set of people I’m willing to put up with and the set of gentlemen willing to put up with me was just too darn small.

              But I’m always happy to see other women who made better choices (and who are usually a lot nicer) with a garland of young folks. Kids are generally much less boring than grown ups, to boot.

              • The intersection of the set of people I’m willing to put up with and the set of gentlemen willing to put up with me was just too darn small

                Sheer dumb luck that I didn’t end up there, too.

                Glad it hasn’t made you bitter.

              • Life is full of trade-offs. Never found the right father. Then, seeing the results of when the woman doesn’t bother to consider whether the man would be a good father. . . .

            • One or two didn’t manage to have kids, even though they wanted them– and walk around with an open wound that gets poked even by baby announcements…

              Gah. I’d never begrudge anyone else that joy!

              The weekend after Brandon died, Rhys and I went out to look for some baby shower gifts for a friend. In the couple’s invitation card they’d requested that instead of congratulations cards, Dr. Seuss books would be better! We were super pleased that they wanted books, so books for the baby were our presents. They’d been out of town in an area where there’s no cellphone signal so they hadn’t known about our loss until Rhys got there and explained what had happened.

              I stayed home because I didn’t want to have people feel awkward, and I wanted them to enjoy the day. I love babies and take joy in seeing them, even as I miss my own.

        • Eamon J. Cole

          Yep. You could at least look aggrieved and oppressed when your husband is around…

          • There is no right not to be offended. If you are this delicate (hah! I don’t think so!) stay home, stay off the internet and get some therapy to help you get a thicker skin.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              Sounds like good advice to me. I’m pretty sure it’ll sound like microagression to somebody…

            • But, but, if I stay off the Internet, how will I know who I should be offended at? I might discover that I’m accidentally taking offense at the victim-of-the week and misunderstood this month’s Emergency Cause!

  12. So a micro-aggression is one parts per million of aggression…. so a milligram of aggression per liter of interaction.

    Dang, I’d like to have something that could be counted as that low!

  13. MicroAggressions: New from Steve Jackson Games!

  14. I fully share in the grievance re: general language precise definition. Our communication has been dumbed down to the point that the “folks” say the stupidest crap couched on made-up words.

    Take “decimated,” for example. The word actually means separated into ten pieces, but it is used in place of “devastated, destroyed,” but it is used as “smart-speak.”

    The other thing that really bothers me (since we are talking the Queen’s English) is the consistent confusing of case. Even the “bigs” on television (people who use language as a tool of profession) interchange “me” for “I’ constantly…..straight out of the ghetto.

    I mention this because without real language, used by the rules, we cannot say or hear what is truly intended…..between you and I (sarc),

    • Actually ‘decimate’ meant ‘destroy every 10th’. It was, as far as I can tell coined explicitly in the 1600s. It has been used in the context of ‘destroy a large portion of’ since around the 1660s. Not exactly a new shift.

      • Decimation is an old Roman Legion practice used as a collective punishment on a unit that failed in a battle. Every tenth Legionnaire was killed.

        • Not just failed in battle – Decimation was only used for major units (cohort and up) found guilty of major offenses, such as mutiny or desertion in the face of the enemy. And as I understand the rules, the nine legionaries who weren’t designated (by drawn lot I think) as the one to be killed were required to beat to death the unlucky tenth member of their unit.

          If we only had a resident undead Imperator who had threatened the 9th Legion with decimation, purely as an exercise in motivational therapy since he never followed through, we might be able to get more information…

        • This is what I meant. I couldn’t remember it exactly.

      • I’ve heard that decimate as in to kill 1/10th, was done in Roman times.

    • Birthday girl

      Re “decimated” – I get the impression it’s often used mistakenly when the word “devastated” was intended. Rather like “adverse” used in place of “averse.” And the ignorance of the me/I switcheroo is especially galling to me, as part of our home schooling years was a study of Latin, so we all learned the differences in case – yet I think we may be seeing a shift in usage that in 400 years will be thought of as standard, sad to say.

      • different to grates on my ears like nails on a blackboard.

        • But after working for a couple of brits, “different to” now sounds more correct than “different from” to me.

          • So it’s just a Briticism? I thought it was linguistic sloppiness.

            • An awful lot of what we think of as linguistic sloppiness is either a surviving historical construction, or an attempt to make English “sound right” to a non-English ear.

              An example of the first being ‘needs fixed’.

              Of the second, the Irish immigrant’s ‘youse’ (plural of you).

              And I recall reading that ‘aks’ is actually more historically correct than ‘ask’, no matter that it grinds holes in your ear today.

              Imagine what a bunch of ignorant savages we’d sound like to our distance ancestors who used declensions and other multiple forms that have since been compressed into one, a mere pidgin of the grammatical complexity of yore.

              • you want grammatical complexity try learning Hebrew in all its variations: Biblical, Ancient, Medieval & Modern. There is the cognate language of Aramaic.

              • *grin* Actually, Reziac, John Mcwhorter has made a very strong argument for English being a trade pidgin of Briton, Saxon, and Norse. He looks at the grammatical structure of the language rather than the vocabulary, and I think he’s got a pretty good case. (pun kinda intended)

                • Why did you leave German out?

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Saxon is a Germanic Language. [Smile]

                  • He’s looking at the period before 1066. Saxon, or an old form of it, was the specific dialect he studied (as compared to Old Freisan, Swabian, Bavarian and so on). *Grin* You don’t want to get me started on the history of Hochdeutsch and how dialect-heavy German is to this day. Not quite mutually unintelligible, but there are moments . . .

                • I always like Beam Piper’s notion that English was the result of Norman soldiers trying to pick up trysts with Anglo-Saxon barmaids……

            • and from those of us that came from the south will understand the following
              you = one person
              youall = two persons
              all youall = three or more persons
              what is being said/written has to be parsed through where they are from/culture.
              “he needed killing” is not aggression in many parts of Kentucky, it is a legal defense.

          • Hm, interesting. I use both phrases. I’d have to think really hard to sort out how I differentiate them though… o_o

    • Oh, heel, decimated originally meant to line up and stick a sword into every tenth one. Love to do that to the LIRPs and SJWs, but the cleanup of all that ichor is impractical.

  15. Has anyplace announced mandatory microagression training to go with the mandatory sexual harassment training?

    My husband has always wondered why a company would feel the need to teach their employees how to sexually harass, and presumably now to microagress.

    • One of my friends always comes back from this with “I’m now fully equipped to sexually harass according to the latest techniques.”

    • To be fair microaggressions can be missed by the typical busy employee. I think you have to be carefully trained to understand the true implications of the fellow office worker moving over to give you space in the elevator. Without training, how would you know why someone walked away just as you were getting to the water cooler or took the last stapler from central supply just because they got there before you and that somehow meant THEY deserved it? Would you realize that the men in the office were silently judging you if they didn’t look up from their work immediately when you spoke to them but instead finished typing their sentence? Not everyone recognizes that following Roberts Rules of Order is a technique used by those with privilege to quash the differently ordered.

      For a mere several thousands (plus travel expenses) I would be happy to introduce you and your fellow office drones to the insidious world of micro aggressions. Your office will never be the same!

    • Years ago, we were told that we were going to be trained in sexual harassment. I guess management figured that if we were going to do it, we should have the tools to do it right.

      • Nothing worse than being harrased by a clumsy amateur.

        That’s a sure way to get a run in your stockings.

        • In one department office of a company where I used to work, the women had a sign on the wall:
          Sexual harrassment will not be reported. It will be judged, and your grade will be posted.

          I suspect that joke was older than the women who put up the sign.

          • That sign used to be on the cube wall of every older female employee, especially the secretaries in my company. The big inrush of young fainting violets a few years ago caused senior management ordering them to take the signs down.

          • and way more effective at reducing actual harassment than the whiny training

  16. “So, you admit that this isn’t really a REAL aggression, just a micro-aggression… so why are you getting all blown out of joint over it?”

  17. Christopher M. Chupik

    Just as America instantly returned to the pre-civil rights days the moment Obama was elected, America will suddenly return to the Victorian Age the moment House Clinton reassumes the throne.

    • No thanks. I’d rather see House Ni Drako in charge. Rada would throw up her hands, stalk off muttering about one planet at a time is enough, and leave everyone ferociously alone.

  18. … now I go paint walls.

    Paint walls? With the blood of your foes, no doubt.

  19. Birthday girl


    Is there somewhere to see a list of previous Hugo nominees/winners by the person’s name? I found the official Hugo site lists by year, but if I’m looking to see if someone has been nominated/won, say in the last 5 years, I have to look through 5 pages … which I’m lazy enough to not want to do if there’s a different compilation somewhere … ??

  20. OK, so I looked up what Wikipedia says about microaggression. It’s about inadvertently, unconsciously, or unintentionally doing or saying something ignorant, prejudiced, thoughtless, or stupid.

    I get it, now. I’m fighting microaggression. You are bit thin-skinned. He has a chip on his shoulder and is looking for trouble.

  21. I’m sorry my dear, but your constant complaints of micro-aggression and insistence that the world adjust to cater to your biases has crossed the line into aggression.

  22. This is nearly an hour long, but be sure to view the first five minutes.

    Explanation offered by PowerLine blogger Scott Johnson:

    Last week on April 15 the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale inaugurated its annual Disinvitation Dinner. The Buckley Program has written a new chapter in how to take a lemon and make a lemonade. Some kind of congratulations are in order. Its online site is located here.

    The Disinvitation Dinner was a black-tie affair at the Pierre Hotel in New York. Buckley Program chairman Roger Kimball introduced keynote speaker George Will, who took up the subject of the parlous state of free speech. Roger has posted the text of his introduction of Will here.

    Roger’s characteristically witty and learned introduction whetted my appetite for Will’s speech itself. As of this morning the Buckley Program has posted the video of Roger’s introduction here and of Will’s speech here. I have also embedded Will’s speech below.

    George Will earned the honor of giving this keynote speech through a long career advocating the principle of free speech as well as his own disinvitation from speaking at Scripps College last year. This is a timely speech on an important subject as liberal fascism continues its march through the institutions.

    • Sorry – this requires a trigger warning as Wills’ topic is the infantilization of American life, citing among other things the inversion of feminism’s assertion of women’s moral agency into the modern corruption of denying women all such agency.

      Double trigger warning: multiple examples of such academic and bureaucratic idiocy are provided to muc “inappropriate laughter” from the audience.

      • Sigh. … provided to much “inappropriate laughter” …

        I don’t know where the “H” went.

        Also features repeated uses of the “N”-word in citing Huck Finn.

  23. What you claim to be the “literal meaning” of micro- did not exist until 1960.
    “Microscope” does not mean “one millionth of a scope”, and “micrometer” does not mean “one millionth of a measuring instrument”.

    • As background, Australia is currently ignoring the United Nations, international law, and simple human decency in its treatment of refugees seeking asylum and safety in our otherwise quite privileged nation.

      1960 is when metric was adopted as an international standard, not when they started using “micro” in that manner. According to a quick dictionary search, “micron” (an old word for “micrometer,” which avoided confusing the tool with the distance) is from the 1890s.

      Microscope means something like “little looking” because it’s several hundred years old– the format was copied for things like “tele-vision,” seeing from a distance.

      This is why wikipedia sucks.

      • Foxfier, what is your first paragraph in reference to?

        • Hm, no clue– looks like a clipboard malfunction, that looks like part of the mess I’m considering writing about with Pope Francis and several Bishop’s groups studiously ignoring everybody but the West when it comes to issues of illegal immigration– and that includes the actions of the illegals themselves.

          Was supposed to be a copy-paste of the claim that µ didn’t mean 10^-6 until 1960.

      • *looks at your first paragraph*


        Too many economic refugees ruined it for the legit ones.

        • Same thing here with the Mexican illegals– sure, there are some illegals who want to be Americans.

          Doesn’t do much good when the vast majority are there to get money and go back “home,” by means limited only by their own personal moral objections.

          • So when did the Mexicans start staying through the winter? I remember lots of stories of Mexicans coming through to help with harvest and then going home. Now they stay and work in chicken plants.

            • Migrant families weren’t illegals, at least not in my folks’ area– they were just mobile. They’d have places they’d regularly winter, my mom taught some of the kids in the 70s. The ones she spoke to had been doing it as a family since at least before WWII.

              They got pushed out because, having social security numbers, they weren’t as competitive as those who didn’t legally exist.

              I would guess that changed as more people found it useful to, ah, unilaterally cut down on their regulatory and tax burden. (commit tax and employment fraud)

              • My mistake. I heard those stories mostly before I was ten, and I suppose I’ve filled in some detail with assumptions that aren’t valid.

                • I did the same, didn’t make the connection until my mom got quite upset with me. I would guess that some had ancestors from Mexico, but they were Americans.

                  She felt sorry for the kids because she felt it was too unstable, but they were different than the Mexican immigrants. The bad actors got pushed out, as best I can tell– migrant pickers would work in the same place every year and were fairly tight-knit; they avoided the reputation of other migrant groups, as best I can tell.

                  • At least in our part of the world, there was a reason they worked the same fields year after year. Somebody is gonna pick the ditchweed they planted last year, might as well be them. (As I was told it, they always asked permission before planting. The old farmers had no idea what it was, until the sixties, when the deputies started pulling it up. Of course, the field across from our house was too big a project. He just said, “yep, that’s what is”, and got back in the car.)

  24. Sarah, you are misunderstanding. Easy I know with the spoken word. What they are saying is Mike Roe aggression, as in the host of ‘somebody’s got to do it’ and the old “Dirty Jobs”. IE looking at a whiny twit and saying “you’re a whiny twit, get over your self” in the fashion of Mike Roe.