The Madness of Jacques Derrida

By |2019-04-05T16:22:57-05:00April 1st, 2019|Categories: Books, Language, Philosophy|

In Of Grammatology, Jacques Derrida’s prose functions as a deadly siren call; he appeals to the contradictions of language, summoning the reader to see in his thought a new system of thought never before brought before man. Just as with the Homeric sirens, however, following Derrida’s thought leads to destruction. Of Grammatology, by Jacques Derrida [...]

Giving Good Things a Bad Name

By |2019-01-27T22:15:03-05:00January 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Donald Trump, History, Joseph Mussomeli, Language, Rhetoric|

President Trump has an uncanny knack for energizing his supporters and riling his adversaries, but to have a lasting positive impact on American society he will need to find a way to inspire a majority of the American people... Like most first-time visitors, I rambled as if in a trance through the temple complex at [...]

Grammar, Speech, Rhetoric & the Fate of Humanity

By |2018-10-12T11:39:40-05:00October 11th, 2018|Categories: Language, Philosophy, Time, Truth|

Could a fifty-year-old, small book on grammar, speech, and rhetoric by a nearly-forgotten thinker have the power to revolutionize and re-awaken our decadent intellectual life? Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (1888-1973) might not recognize, in 2018, the America to which he came in 1933, seeking refuge from a Germany that had just elected [...]

Why Reality Ought to Shape Language

By |2018-07-07T00:59:17-05:00June 30th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Flannery O'Connor, Glenn Arbery, Language, Literature, Wyoming Catholic College|

Let reality shape language. Reality in this sense means what is actually the case, which includes what people actually think, not what they are supposed to think. It means an order in which God provides the very grounding of the real… On Sunday afternoon, 34 high school students arrived at Wyoming Catholic College for [...]

The Problem of Language and Our Schools

By |2018-10-25T23:06:38-05:00March 9th, 2018|Categories: Education, Featured, Language, Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg|

The word “education” itself has become a political symbol co-opted by a secular government to mean career and college training for the sake of a mechanized society. A theoretical and conceptual recovery of the word “education” would be a return to the notion that an education is the transmission of culture and the way [...]

Studies in Words

By |2019-04-18T13:22:09-05:00March 8th, 2018|Categories: Books, C.S. Lewis, Language, Liberalism, Richard Weaver, The Imaginative Conservative|

Since the present meaning of a word is often vaguely swayed by past meanings which have dropped into the subconscious, a knowledge of particular semantic histories can increase our facility and sometimes save us from an inadvertent error… Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis (352 pages, Cambridge University Press, 1960) Anyone reading the literature of modern [...]

How Liberals Abuse Language

By |2019-02-28T11:47:34-05:00March 5th, 2018|Categories: Culture, Language, Liberal, Philosophy, Politics, Rhetoric, Timeless Essays|

As long as words are left undefined, their meanings are vague and are left up to the listener’s or reader’s imagination. Many on the left have manipulated language in this way… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Shannon Holzer as he explores the nature of a [...]

Language Touches Nothing But Language

By |2018-02-28T12:03:36-05:00February 28th, 2018|Categories: Language, Philosophy, Russell Kirk|

I have become convinced that language touches nothing but itself, that it never reaches beyond itself. But this is not the bad news that a lover of tradition or of Permanent Things might take it to be… I was recently asked to respond to the question, “What are the limits of language?”[1] That I was [...]

Finished in Beauty and Memories: The Poetry of Catharine Brosman

By |2019-03-21T10:44:56-05:00February 24th, 2018|Categories: Books, Imagination, Language, Literature, Poetry|

In their ego-centered quest for radical originality, too many contemporary poets fail to keep in mind what Catharine Brosman reminds us is the poet’s primary obligation in every age: “to say the oldest thing in the world as though it had never been said before”… A Memory of Manaus: Poems by Catharine Savage Brosman (102 [...]

Why Ladies and Gentlemen Are Forbidden on New York Trains

By |2018-05-14T12:16:52-05:00December 4th, 2017|Categories: Civil Society, Culture, Culture War, Featured, John Horvat, Language, Virtue|

The seemingly insignificant suppression of ladies and gentlemen on New York’s trains represents a giant step backward. It affirms that we need no longer behave like ladies and gentlemen, but rather like whatever we want to be, or happen to be, at the moment... Passengers, customers, or whatever you want to call them are welcome [...]

Defending Dr. Johnson

By |2017-11-10T22:04:53-05:00November 10th, 2017|Categories: History, Joseph Pearce, Language, Patriotism|

Samuel Johnson believed that just as pedants can abuse the objective meaning of words, distorting them for their own purposes, so can scoundrels abuse the healthy love of home and homeland, parroting patriotic words for self-serving reasons… Can it really be true, as Mark Malvasi has claimed in two separate essays on these pages, [...]

In the Beginning Was the Word

By |2017-11-04T07:31:54-05:00November 3rd, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Gospel Reflection, Joseph Pearce, Language, St. Augustine|

If we do not understand words, through the apprehension and comprehension of their definitions, we cannot even begin to understand the wonders and glories of the cosmos that the Word Himself has brought forth… It seems that Mark Malvasi, in his latest essay on these pages, seeks to continue what he calls our “gentlemanly [...]

Definitions and Their Discontents

By |2017-10-24T11:22:37-05:00October 24th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, George Orwell, History, Language, Mark Malvasi, Truth|

Words are not static. They are dynamic. Like the birth of a child, there remains always something mysterious, even miraculous, about the birth of a thought and about the words we use to bring that thought into being… Perhaps Johnny Mercer has already and long ago settled the gentlemanly epistemological debate that has emerged [...]