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Populism is frightening and I hope Pinker is right in saying it won't wipe away everything humanity has laboured to achieve.
The last function of profane language, says Pinker, is cathartic.
But then Pinker is not attempting to join the ranks of those who wrote classics such as The Elements of Style.
Citing data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program in Sweden and the Peace Research Institute Oslo in Norway, which both count wartime deaths, Pinker says the long-term trend is down.
Pinker is adept at contrasting the rigidity of grammar police with his nuanced analysis of how shaping and sequencing nonfiction prose is too complex and multifaceted to follow inflexible rules, many of which, he argues, are outdated.
The exchange between Pinker and Wieseltier touches upon important issues, but the highly-charged tenor of this exchange is unlikely to nurture thoughtful reflection.
Pinker borrowed the phrase himself for his introductory essay to the 5th edition of The American Heritage Dictionary published in 2011, where he criticizes what he calls a grammatical bubbe meise, "a rule of usage that everyone obeys because they think everyone else thinks it should be obeyed, but that no one can justify - because the rule does not, in fact, exist.
Several researchers have claimed in recent years that war is in decline, most notably Steven Pinker in his 2011 book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
Here Pinker goes to the heart of deconstruction, saying:
Other Oldcastle Architectural or Oldcastle Materials deals have seen the sale of Florida and Arizona concrete masonry or ready mixed concrete plants accompanying RMC Indus-tries or Pinker Materials Corp.
Pinker subscribes to Elias' thesis and amplified the evidence for it.
Pinker, Conrad informs him, "I am putting the last touches to a story ["The Duel"] which I fancy you will find profitable and not difficult to get rid of either" (Joseph Conrad, Collected Letters 3: 409).
Dogs From Pavlov To Premack To Pinker by Jean Donaldson.
Not so, explains Harvard psychologist, Steven Pinker in his new work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined.
And Pinker suggests an explanation for the American exception.