[PW] a general and a private question

solomons1pal at aol.com solomons1pal at aol.com
Sun Jun 20 11:11:31 PDT 2021


Colleagues,

Since Garson has offered me great thanks just for asking a couple of questions, I'm encouraged to ask a couple more, even one whose answer would be of no interest to anyone but me.  If you can acquire virtue just by asking questions, I'm going to heaven! First question: in some species, a newborn is a miniature version of its adult form, looking just like its mother, except smaller (example: elephant).  In others, the newborn looks nothing like an adult (example: us, homo sapiens -- unless you count looking  like Winston Churchill as such a resemblance).   There is a technical term for being like elephants or like us in this respect -- what is it? Second question: this is, as I warned, a question whose answer will benefit no one in the galaxy except me, and if you don't care to waste your time on it, I'll understand.  For those with time to waste:  for some years I've been engaged in a running dispute with the Columbia University professor of linguistics, John McWhorter, about language usage.  Within the last few months I read somewhere (I'm not sure whether on the Web or in print) a quote from him to this effect:  "as for Mark Halpern, in the circles I frequent, we've agreed to ignore him."  This is not an exact quotation, just a paraphrase, but a reasonably accurate one, I think.  What exactly did John say, and where?                     --Mark 


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