Passive avoidance

The ancient roots of passive avoidance over at Language Log has either everything or nothing to do with the tragedical unwindings in the Levant. For a moment I thought that lexis eiromeneand lexis katestrammene were on a different plane altogether from the bombast and dissembling, (akin to “Here’s to pure mathematics, may it never be any use to anybody.”), but there’s something Hemingwayish and unforesightful about the various actors in the current drama.

Don’t miss the diagram at the end, and it’s worth meditating upon the statement “Hemingway gives a physical description of a journey through a specific landscape, while Johnson offers an abstract discussion of the reasons for valuing older works over newer ones.”