Monday, June 29, 2015

Interesting Takes

...On fragile but onerous Snowflakes, and the "generic 'he'" becoming the "generic 'she'". Ed Driscoll at Instapundit:

"OUR PRECIOUS LITTLE SNOWFLAKES: “This celebration of a child’s every accomplishment, however slight, is something new. By the time a kid reaches 18, she will have accumulated boxes and boxes of diplomas, medals, ribbons, trophies and certificates for just showing up – whether she’s any good at anything or not,” Margaret Wente writes in the Canadian Globe and Mail:
'Sometimes you have to compromise in life, but we don’t want to break this crushing news to our children. Personally, I’ve met far too many young adults who graduate from university with plans to work in development/save the world/find a career in environmental sustainability. There’s nothing wrong with these noble aspirations. What’s amazing is that no adults have ever levelled with them.

Reality will bite soon enough, of course. The idea that your job should be your passion is a misguided romantic notion that only the upper-middle-class can afford to entertain. In fact, most people wind up in areas that nobody ever talks about. “Insurance is a very interesting field,” Mr. Laurie assured me. “But no one says ‘I want to go into insurance.’ ”

The trouble is, snowflakes are not very resilient. They tend to melt when they hit the pavement. How will our snowflake children handle the routine stresses of the grownup world – the obnoxious colleagues, pointless meetings, promotions that don’t come their way? How will they cope when no one thinks they’re special any more?

I’m afraid they could be in for a hard landing.'
And how.

It’s an interesting essay and a great conclusion, but the author’s consistent use of “she” as a pronoun along the way, leapfrogging from the now doubleplus ungood crimethink use of “he” past “he or she” all the way to “she” makes one pause for a double-take. Particularly given, as Dr. Helen has noted, academia’s own war on young men over the past decade or so. In a chapter of his 1995 book The Vision of the Anointed titled “The Crusades of the Anointed,” Thomas Sowell explored the thinking behind the crusade that drove what he called “The Generic ‘He’” out of first academic and then most MSM writing. By 2010, Theodore Dalrymple noted:

I get to review quite a number of books published by academic presses, British and American, and I have found that the use of the impersonal “she” is now almost universal, even when the writer is aged and is most unlikely to have chosen this locution for himself (or herself). It is therefore an imposed locution, and as such sinister.

But then in the 21st century, there are precious little snowflakes of all ages whom we don’t dare offend."

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