Thursday, May 17, 2007

language and new media

As an Obama supporter, I have seen this button availible to add to your own website or whatever:

Here's what bugs me about it: you don't join a profile. You can join myspace, you can join the Obama campaign, you can join When you add someone else's myspace profile to your friends list, the appropriate verb is "add as friend." It would barely make sense if I decided I needed more myspace friends and begged everyone who reads this blog to "join my myspace profile!" You could even say "join my friends list." I think the button should say "friend the official myspace profile" but some quarters criticize my use of "friend" as a verb. However, I really do think that's how people talk about myspace actions. Perhaps as a happy medium, they could say, "join the barack obama campaign on myspace."

So, basically, I think this wording makes the Obama campaign seem un-savvy. Perhaps it's not the savvy audience they're reaching out to, but seeing as it has to do with myspace, I don't find that a satisfactory conclusion.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


If you’ve spoken to me in person recently I’ve probably bragged to you about my recent publication in Reformed Worship magazine (alas, the online version is subscription only). I’m really pleased with my first paid publication, and that it’s alongside so many people I respect from my Calvin days, including Kent and Cindy.

As many of you know, one of my hobbies is running the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks. As some of my readers who teach English know, those who throw stones should be careful not to accidentally make a glass house, as it were. So, as a result of being a quotation mark pedant, I am very careful to only use quotation marks when they are absolutely necessary, so as to not need to discuss the appropriateness or inappropriateness of my choice.

Well, apparently the editors of RW didn’t know this, and added some (grammatically appropriate but not required) clarifying quotation marks to my writing. I read the printed article and noticed right away that they were added, because I’m so careful about quotation marks now. If only they knew! Of course, I’m glad they messed with my punctuation and left more important decisions the way I had them!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Men Should not be Ordained

there's been more buzz in my corner of the internet lately about gender in church than usual. Mostly because the CRC Synod is approaching and some members are organizing a protest about the seven year morotorium on even discussing gender equity, and the continued exclusion of women as synod delegates. I've made my position on this issue clear in the past.

People have been reposting this list, which, as far as I can tell, comes from transforming seminarian.

Top Ten Reasons Why Men Should Not Be Ordained (think David Letterman)

10. A man's place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be "unnatural" for them to do other forms of work.
7. Man was created before woman. It is therefore obvious that man was a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment, rather than the crowning achievement of creation.
6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. This is easily demonstrated by their conduct at football games and watching basketball tournaments.
5. Some men are handsome; they will distract women worshipers.
4. To be ordained pastor is to nurture the congregation. But this is not a traditional male role. Rather, throughout history, women have been considered to be not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more frequently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.
3. Men are overly prone to violence. No really manly man wants to settle disputes by any means other than by fighting about it. Thus, they would be poor role models, as well as being dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.
2. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep paths, repair the church roof, and maybe even lead the singing on Father's Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the Church.
1. In the New Testament account, the person who betrayed Jesus was a man. Thus, his lack of faith and ensuing punishment stands as a symbol of the subordinated position that all men should take.