Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sacha,

    Speaking of Spam - I was depressed by one of Radio NZ's summertime radio attempts to educate the public - namely about Acronyms, they correctly identified 'Laser', 'Nasa', 'Scuba' as acronyms, next they used 'Radar' which is slightly more problematic and not a true acronym, more a contraction - but I'd let them away with it ...
    But then they said 'Spam' was an acronym when it is totally a contraction of Spiced Ham (and a trademark)!
    What is the point of illuminating the masses when truth gets lost in the shadows created. I don't like to see sloppiness creeping in to the heart of public service broadcasting.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    A glossary of technical terms for types of abbreviation.

    Initialisms = words formed from a sequence of initial letters (e.g. RSVP, TLA, WTO, YMMV ). Acronyms are, strictly, more specifically sequences of initial letters creating a pronounceable wordform (e.g. HART, JAFA, WHO ), though acronym is also used more loosely for any initialism.

    Clippings are formed by removing entire syllables, usually leaving just the first syllable (e.g. semifinal > semi, submarine > sub). Clippings may result in ambiguity (there's a few alternative expansions for both semi and sub.)

    Blends are created by combining sound sequences from several words into one wordform (e.g. brunch, frenemy, smog, spam ). Blends usually also have a meaning that combines the meanings of the original words.

    That being said, some abbreviations don't strictly fit any of these patterns (e.g. the written forms govt, intl, qtr .)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1898 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    A few years ago North & South magazine ran a piece about New Zealand’s own Temple of Higher Thought and the Order of the Golden Dawn. The article is worth reading in full, but for present purposes it’s enough to note that the leaders of these occult movements infiltrated New Zealand’s Anglican communion and posed as ordinary churchgoers.

    Like any important social lever, magic and witchcraft are inevitably deployed against political targets and other adversaries. As a result, not everything in political life is what it seems to be. Speech and behaviour are impeded and compelled; events are planned and synchronised. Serious crimes are being committed – people do get badly hurt.

    The problem was well known to our ancestors. As Christopher Faraone wrote in An Accusation of Magic in Classical Athens:

    Plato mentions itinerant magicians who crowded the doors of the rich and for a small fee promised (among other things) to harm their political enemies with incantations and binding spells. Plato’s suspicions were not without foundation; in recent years scholars have [shown] that these curses were being used by and against members of the Athenian upper classes, including some prominent Athenian politicians.

    If there’s a pattern in the media’s easy coverage of the witchcraft renaissance, it’s a determined refusal to consider what premeditated attacks on other people must mean for those affected and for society at large.

    May the many victims of these crimes find justice.

    Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Thankyou WH; noting your online name airily uses the first and last parts of the word witch! I’m a slow reader so I generally steer away from the fantasy genre. But I enjoy reading your bite sized pieces.

    I am a practicing renascence witch. I practice the dark arts of the 15th century crafts. Some of the magic I work has adopted contemporary technology such as electric kilns, analytical pure graded elements, minerals and the macintosh computer. My spells are mostly aimed at trying to form romantic relationships with middle aged women. My latest cook up is Lead Tin Yellow, which is a paint pigment that Leonardo sneaked powder glass into. The pope didn’t condone the use of glass in oil paint, only windows.

    I know, that’s pretty bad stuff. But you can’t easily stop me because I live in a castle like structure that has radar.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4356 posts Report Reply

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