Monday, May 16, 2005


Stupidity: turns out we've had that for a while

Remember "freedom fries," our Congress's official "rebuke" to France over its stance on the U.S. invasion of Iraq?

I was just reading a chapter on home-front anti-German hysteria during World War I in Over There: The United States in the Great War, 1917-1918, by Byron Farwell. Among other things, classical concert programs featuring German composers like Bach and Beethoven were banned or boycotted, the German-born conductor of the Boston Symphony was jailed for refusing to add the Star Spangled Banner to the concert program, sauerkraut was renamed "liberty cabbage" and -- best of all -- German measles was renamed "liberty measles." No kidding.


Have you seen this tour de force by Lance Mannion on the we-are-stupid front?
Liberty measles. Oh my. Do you suppose the anti-vaccine faction would be more or less willing to get their wee ones vaccinated if we went back to calling it liberty measles?
I don't see anything wrong with removing the word "French" from our vocabulary. They are so threatened by the English language that they changed "email" to "courriel" among other oddities.
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