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Justine Sacco Is Good at Her Job, and How I Came To Peace With Her

Justine Sacco is the PR exec whose tweet about AIDS went viral last year. It turns out that the angry Twitter mob that called her racist and unprofessional just might have been uninformed about the whole story. Imagine that! An apology to Justine Sacco had been itching at my throat from the moment I saw her. I was afraid to say it—because who knows what else I should be sorry…

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How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life

A PR professional should have known better. But mistakes can have serious, disproportionate consequences enacted by vigilante mobs. It may not be fair, but labeling it unfair doesn’t undo the consequences. Sacco’s Twitter feed had become a horror show. “In light of @Justine-Sacco disgusting racist tweet, I’m donating to @care today” and “How did @JustineSacco get a PR job?! Her level of racist ignorance belongs on Fox News. #AIDS can…

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Vandal scratches Poe phrase into car at dealership

Language nerds will appreciate this news story about a Latin vandal. The scratching on one of the cars spelled out “Nemo me inpune lacessit.” The phrase means “No one attacks me with impunity.” The quotation, in fact, comes from Edgar Allan Poes classic horror story “The Cask of Amontillado.” It is the family crest of Fortunato, the unfortunate victim of revenge by his neighbor, Montressor. The narrator lures the drunken…

"Due Date" vs "Do Date"
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“Do Date” vs “Due Date”: Do Profs Really Have to Explain the Difference?

If there really are teachers who list assignments by “do date” rather than “due date,” I’ve never heard from one. Students who fall behind sometimes say “I didn’t know whether the readings listed for Monday are due on *Monday* or whether they are due on *Wednesday*.” How likely is it that the student really *is* confused about whether Monday=Monday or Monday=Wednesday? How likely is it that the student is exaggerating…