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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A shout-out to Jason Streitfeld

Jason has commented here a fair bit, and has sometimes been quite critical of my views on certain points. That's okay: I'm quite happy for people to express disagreement (as opposed to making personal comments on my allegedly bad character, inadequate life experience, or whatever; I'm not really interested in debating those kinds of issues).

I've been looking at Jason's blog, Specter of Reason, and I'm here to tell y'all that it's pretty interesting. Jason has an unusual but provocative take on some of the recurrent issues here at the Hellfire Club: atheism, the sources (if any) of moral authority, and so on. You might like to take a look (and, hey, Jason might like to post more regularly and frequently).

5 comments:

Charles Sullivan said...

What sounds funny is an Australian guy saying "y'all".

It's kinda like a North American saying "g'day, mate".

By all means, continue to "y'all on" if you like, but do realize that that it's regional (southern) and, in part, racial (blacks) in los estados unidos.

Jason Streitfeld said...

Thank you, Russell. This is quite a surprise, and it means a great deal to me.

Russell Blackford said...

Yeah, Charles, it's meant to be mildly funny comin gfrom me. It's a little running joke. (Though rightly or wrongly I think of it as a southern thing, not so much as a black thing; I always associate it with (a) a particular friend who comes from the American south and (b) the X-Men character Rogue.)

Russell Blackford said...

My pleasure, Jason.

Charles Sullivan said...

Y'all is surely a southern thing, but since most blacks (who live all over the US now since WW II) originally come from the south, they brought "y'all" with them. And in the north the word reaffirmed cultural identity among blacks.

I'm a bit fascinated by language and pronunciation (so I hope you'll allow me to blab a bit), but once I asked you if Australians sometimes substitute a 'W'-sound for an 'L'-sound in certain words. I do it, being from Pittsburgh (where I'm raised).

Karen Stollznow confirmed my insights in an email exchange.

Hospital. Say that word aloud. Then put an 'L' at the front: Lospital, and tell me if the 'L' at the front sounds the same as the 'L' at the end.

The weird thing is that the way I pronounce vowels has changed as I've moved away from my hometown, but consonants have stayed the same, even the 'L' as 'W'. Perhaps consonants get more "hard wired" in our brains than vowel sounds do.