Two Thoughts from Texas

 

We piled into one of the back rows of an American 737 and flew down to Dallas a few weeks ago. Two thoughts from the trip:

Comfortably using y’all in public: According to Wikipedia, “’Y'all’” fills in the gap created by the absence of a separate second-person plural pronoun in standard modern English. Which makes it particularly useful when I’m presenting to an audience.  An example: “Y’all have heard of the tech unicorn Slack, right?”

In my case, using “y’all” also productively confuses those in the audience who know I’m from New Jersey.  I’ve been using it to great success since my trip to the Lone Star State.  Try it, you’ll love it.

A thought on the word “peace”: One afternoon, we visited the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, a really well done museum depicting the events leading up to and immediately after the assassination of President Kennedy.  The museum occupies the floor from which Oswald fired the fatal shots.

At the end of our audio tour, my cousin turned to me and remarked how confidently Kennedy (and even his political opponents) used the word “peace” back then.  We were both struck by the contrast to today’s political discourse.  Both the President and presidential candidates talk about “destroying ISIS,” dumbing down what needs to be done, as if a sick ideology can be bombed out of existence.  Senator Ted Cruz’ promise to “carpet bomb them into oblivion.  I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we are going to find out,” was a particularly odious attempt at humor.

We should ask ourselves why “peace” seems to be a word that’s been stricken from our politicians’ speeches, and why a proper application of violence now seems to be Job #1.

Y’all chew on that!