it's a near thing. this cloud comparing word choices by men and women on facebook, is very hilarious. the atlantic piece is about the femaleness of 'um' and maleness of 'uh', which is not necessarily as good as this bit.
as you know, i ecstatically affirm all that is. if i were going to quibble, though, i might express a leetle resrvation about the way people talk these days. check out this npr interview with the head of the tsa on, you know, full body scans etc.. the first sentence will do: "There have been a variety of reactions, I think informed perhaps by individuals' experiences and perspectives." it goes on from there, saying absolutely nothing, or less than nothing: saying the opposite of something. he's managing to jam multiple qualifications into every sentence, but there is nothing they qualify: he explores qualification as its own intrinsic activity. i not only can't agree or disagree with anything he said; i literally don't think it's possible to agree or disagree with it; i don't know what it would mean to agree or disagree. i guess my pet peeve is "strategic communication": where you have various purposes - placating or bewildering the public, e.g. - that have nothing to do with expressing any definite assertion or opinion; it doesn't have the right relationship to pistole or to the world to constitute communication in any sense. i would just ban that under threat of execution: say something or die suddenly. i actually seriously don't know how these people can keep talking, or why they do. i do note that that sentence would be typical in one of my student papers: one stares through such locutions into the absolute abyss.
anyway, i'm not just picking up one useless sentence. try to understand the relation of pistole's responses to the questions, for example. try to figure out what he's saying about 'intelligence.' try to figure out whether or not he's acknowledging that some studies have found problems with health risks etc.
sorry for slow blogging. life is kind of overfull sometimes! i know y'all want to hear all my peeves; nothing is so edifying and interesting or closer to the basic use of a blog. anyway, the use of the term "individual" to mean any person is just epidemic. i first got it from police-speak, where i guess the idea is to distinguish official from informal communications in some entirely useless and meaningless way. but now i notice it, for example, in anyone's media quotes about anything, and it's suddenly non-stop in student papers, incomprehensibly. i can only speculate that its use is to signal that the suspect or citizen referred to is not a pair of conjoined twins, or is not harboring within her body an entire intact person as a humunculus, which obviously might be an important fact, particularly if you're contemplating random wide-scale vivisections, which we obviously are.
perhaps, on the other hand, the use of the term is a pointedly ironic commentary on our amazing era of social constructionism and ecstatic collectivism. after all, the last human individual died in 1927.