To say there is no worth in learning a language that isn’t economically useful is like saying there’s no point in being friends with somebody unless they’re going to help you get a better job. It’s a spectacular, cynical miss of the point.

Rhona NicDhùghaill, “Don’t Neglect the UK’s Indigenous Languages

The whole article is great, but this quote is especially stellar. 

(via allthingslinguistic)


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Gay high schoolers’ senior quotes omitted from yearbook



This spring, two gay high school seniors from Missouri were upset to find that their perfectly G-rated, good-spirited senior quotes were removed from the school yearbook without their knowledge. 

Joey Slivinski’s quote should have read “Of course I dress well. I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing.” Thomas Swartz’s quote was “If Harry Potter taught us anything, it’s that nobody deserves to live in the closet.” But both students had blank spaces printed where their quotes should have been.

Kearney High School officials released a statement cited by KCTV 5 and The Washington Post, explaining that quotes that “could potentially offend another student or groups of students” were not published in the yearbook.

“It is the school’s practice to err on the side of caution. Doing so in this case had the unintentional consequence of offending the very students the practice was designed to protect,” the statement, which was attributed to Kearney High School Principal Dave Schwarzenbach and Kearney School District Superintendent Bill Nicely, read. “We sincerely apologize to those students.”

Meanwhile, in a lengthy Facebook post, Slivinski summed up his reaction to finding out his quote had been removed. “I put a very innocent quote as my senior quote and they took it away from me with absolutely no warning or option to change it,” he wrote Aug. 8. “Our schools are supposed to be a place that you can express being who you are. Today I realized Kearney isn’t ready for me being me.”  

To their credit, the school has apologized profusely. They said they messed up by not reaching out to the students before removing their quotes, and if they had, they would have better understood the situation and kept the quotes. 

“As a result of a breakdown in communication we did not reach out to the students before publication,” Kearney School District Superintendent Bill Nicely wrote. “Had we done so, the quotes would have been permitted just as a similar quote was permitted in last year’s publication.”

He then added, “I will be the first to tell you we feel terrible about it. It was never the intention of the school district to offend or hurt anyone, and we are deeply sorry for any pain or frustration that resulted due to this error.”

Ugh, just a crappy situation all around. I hope these two young men know that their experiences and expressions are important, and that an ignorant school decision doesn’t make them any less valid. 

Who in the hell was this “designed to protect?”

Gay high schoolers’ senior quotes omitted from yearbook

U.S. regulators assessing new gas pipelines must try to analyze their potential to increase greenhouse gas emissions before giving them the go-ahead, an appeals court ruled on Tuesday, in a decision that industry representatives and environmentalists said could have far-reaching effects on infrastructure projects. The ruling stemmed from a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve the Southeast Pipelines Project, three gas pipelines proposed by a consortium of companies including Duke Energy Corp, Spectra Energy Partners and NextEra Energy Inc. Judges on the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals said in their ruling that before FERC approved the project it should have considered the environmental impact of the greenhouse gases likely to be emitted when gas transported by the pipelines was burned. While some experts said the decision meant little more than an increase in paperwork for regulators, others said it could change the way the federal government decides what issues to examine in environmental impact studies required under the National Environmental Policy Act. In the past regulators have considered only the effects of a project they have the authority to control, which are considered direct effects. But the appeals court’s decision could force them to consider indirect effects as well. “FERC would obviously prefer to say, ‘We’re approving a pipeline and here are the impacts from digging a trench and laying a pipe,’” said Elly Benson, a lawyer for the Sierra Club, one of the environmental groups that challenged the permit FERC gave for the pipelines in a petition before the appeals court. “What they’re ignoring is the fact that this project includes the transmission of gas that everyone knows is going to be combusted,” added Benson, who called the court’s decision a “very important victory.”

Female Marvel Comics editor harassed online for milkshake selfie



“…the incident has once again ignited a firestorm of discussion about the prevalence of abusive responses to both gender and racial diversity in the comic book world, and the recent increase in female staffers.

Chelsea Cain, the writer behind the female superhero comic book Mockingbird, left Twitter in October 2016 following months of harassment, while Zainab Akhtar, a British-Muslim writer, closed her Eisner Award-winning comic book journalism site Comics & Cola last year after being deluged with racist, misogynistic abuse via email and social media.“

A selfie among six Marvel colleagues enjoying milkshakes together was followed by a slew of online attacks.

I don’t like the Telegraph but whoever was writing this article nailed it with this line. 

“Can we just get off of feminism and social justice and actually print stories,” one person tweeted, to reiterate, in response to women drinking milkshakes.” 

Female Marvel Comics editor harassed online for milkshake selfie