We All Have Our Triggers

C.F.A. Voysey, Birds of Many Climes.

Periodically, I take a news break and I’m long overdue for another one. At least for a month I need to heed the wisdom of that other periodic newspaper faster Henry David Thoreau and get my head out of the New York Times in order “to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.”

Thoreau came to mind after spending way too much time this weekend reading the complete list of all the folks in Jeffrey Epstein’s leaked black book. One positive aspect of that list is that it’s a convenient roster of all the folks that, unlike Epstein, I’d least like to be stranded on an island with. It turns out that Epstein’s buddies include the new atheist gang and their promoter along with pseudo-intellectual publishing phenomenons such as Steven Pinker and Jared Diamond and, as a topping to the crap sundae, a rogues gallery of war criminals and serial rapists.

While I was getting triggered reading Epstein’s list Kelly called from another room with her own triggering incident. She read a paragraph from the introduction of a book she highly recommends, Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks. Macfarlane notes,

The same year I first saw the Peat Glossary [a list of the hundreds of Gaelic terms for the moorland], a new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary was published. A sharp-eyed reader noticed that there had been a culling of words concerning nature. Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture and willow. The words introduced to the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player and voicemail.

Add to this outrage the news, in today’s New York Times, that executives at Amazon are unaware that vegetables and fruits have seasons,

The former head of a major produce company said Amazon told him it wanted to sell marquee fresh items at low prices every day. The executive said he had to explain that certain products, like berries or lettuce, may be available all year thanks to global supply chains, but that they cost more in the off-season. Forcing flat, low prices would put too much risk on growers.

Amazon executives, the person said, were caught off guard by the response. It didn’t seem as if they had fully appreciated how seasonality made predictable pricing far harder than selling cereal or paper towels.

This doesn’t end well.

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  1. “The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture and willow.”

    That exceedingly loud (and obscene) cussing you just heard from the north would have been me. >.<

    What the eff-word, eff-word in gerund form, eff-word again IS WRONG WITH THOSE PEOPLE?!?!?!!!!!! Eff every single one of them, not in the fun way.

  2. Replacing fern with committee, dandelion with voicemail, acorn with bullet-point. The corporate bulls#it world is even taking over the dictionary.

    I met a professor recently who completed a study graduate education, particularly MBA’s. She told me that if I mentioned the words “innovation” or “disruption” she might just scream, such was her trauma at the state of things. Not to mention those folks who say things like “synergistically dovetailing our DNA at 10,000 feet going forward,” who literally don’t know that the tomato fruit follows the tomato flower. (True story. I have met these people in my old corporate life.)

    Is there nowhere left? (Besides the Root Simple blog, of course?) Seriously, where do you go to read non-corporate, non-sensational-political (NYT etc), thoughtful writing by people who perhaps know what a buttercup is?

  3. I am appalled that these words are not considered relevant to childhood any longer. Hopefully, there will be an edition that restores them.

  4. #$)*#%)(*[email protected]#)(*

    I’m trying to navigate the line between disengaged and failing to step up to protect others and dealing only with the essential facts of life. We cannot cannot cannot solve all of the world’s problems by ourselves every day and the overwhelming crush of information is impossible to navigate. But I also have no interest in being complacent. So, I’m trying (and so far failing) to come up with some sort of personal rule system or structure to help me navigate these decisions. Thus far it involves reading the news for five minutes in the morning, feeling my blood pressure shoot up, and then trying to avoid it for the rest of the day….(sigh)….

  5. I know farmers who have grown for the big box stores and gone broke when they were told at the last minute that the agree upon price could change (and often did) if a cheaper supplier was found on delivery day. Read the fine print… It’s simply not worth doing business with them. Then again, there aren’t that many options. Community Supported Agriculture plans are great, but they’re a minuscule part of the economy.

    As for the dictionary dropping words related to nature in favor of internet memes… Young people today don’t even know how to button their shoes! What are you going to do?

  6. You should delete the term ‘new atheist’ from your brain. Do you type it in disgust?

  7. We’ve met people who did not know that you can grow tomatoes from seeds extracted from other tomatoes. When we asked them where they thought tomato seeds came from, they said that they were probably made “in a factory somewhere”.

    There is also the story – possibly apocryphal – of inner-city children who knew that milk came from cows, but thought that you had to cut the cows in half to get the milk out.

  8. Happy to know there are people half my age who feel as I do. Sometimes I wonder what the world is going to be like in 30 years because so much information has been deleted or change from public access. People won’t know what to do or how to cope and will not have the access to knowledge or the ability to read to find out. We are all being trained to follow commands like good little doggies and to wait patiently to be taken care of since we don’t know how to do it ourselves. Oops! I am sounding like an old grump. Sorry.

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