the changing status quo – political shifts in the abortion debate

Abortion protests in Washington DC

There was a fascinating short article in the latest BBC History Magazine (as well as a really helpful pull out section on the anniversary of slavery’s abolition) about some recent research into the history of the abortion debate. It is worth quoting in full:

“Going to War Over Abortion”

The current debate over abortion in the USA is polarized, with pro-choice opinion coalescing around the political Left and pro-lifers being associated with the Right. yet, as Richard Hughes of Illinois State University reveals in Burning Birth Certificates and Atomic Tupperware Parties: Creating the Antiabortion Movement in the Shadow of the Vietnam War (The Historian, vol 68, no 3), when the anti-abortion movement took off int he 1970s it had much more in common with the radical anti-war movement.

As the Vietnam War drew to a close in the early 1970s, former activists became instrumental in the pro-life movement, (more…)

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pedants’ paradise – but these really are cliches to avoid… aren’t they?

recently, there’s been a torrent of letters to the Daily Telegraph expressing rage at the cliches and linguistic nightmares that dominate modern life. they do read as though they are all written by ‘Disgusted of Tonbridge Wells’ – but they do often have a point. Here are a few:

  • Added Bonus; Close proximity; New innovation; First invented by (all tautologies)
  • In a very real sense; From the get-go; Quantum leap; A robust national debate (what’s that when it’s at home?) (cliches)
  • Focused instead of ‘concentrating’; In the workplace instead of ‘at work’; To cut a long story short instead of ‘briefly’; to plan ahead instead of ‘plan’
  • “Nonsensical corporate names created by compounding words, as in “Travelodge” and “Parceline”. What exactly is to “trave” or a “parce”? Andwhatiswrongwithagapbetweenwords?”
  • One thing that really gets to me (more…)

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