Saturday, January 22, 2011

Which / That [chat]

"That" introduces essential clauses while "which" introduces nonessential clauses.

Essential clause: I like candy that is sweet.
Nonessential clause: I like candy which is delicious.

"That is sweet" is an essential clause. Since not all candy is sweet, the clause is essential to the reader's understanding of which category of candy one likes. Absent this clause, a reader could mistakenly think that one likes non-sweet candy.

"Which is delicious" is a nonessential clause. Since all candy is delicious, the clause "which is delicious" modifies all members of the category "candy" and indicates no essential information.

Except that one could define candy as "that which is sweet" and, so, the first clause would not be essential given that "is sweet" modifies all candy, under this understanding of candy. Furthermore, not all candy is delicious. Licorice, for example, is a candy which is not delicious. But...what if Licorice is, in fact, delicious and I have failed in my discernment of deliciousness? Or what if Licorice is not delicious, yet you think it is? So, "which is delicious" needs to be "that is delicious", given the possibility of candies...that are not delicious? ...which are not delicious? How would one know if all candies are sweet or delicious? Are sweetness or deliciousness subjective or objective qualities? What of candy? Is that which I call "candy" that which you call "candy"? Whence "candy-ness" and does "candy-ness" contain sweetness or deliciousness?


Friday, January 21, 2011

Keith Olbermann: The Final Countdown

Keith Olbermann announced that tonight's episode is the final Countdown. His contract was, apparently, terminated.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

One last Friday with Thurber:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

New York Times Article
In a statement, MSNBC said : “MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

But first, you've got to get mad.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Miss America is Still a Thing

One Images that it won't be after this performance.

Toowoomba Flood 2011.01.10

Quite a bit of water.