Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
New tense: the bureaucratic jussive
Create a new password using 6 - 12 characters. Be sure to include at least one letter and one number. Please click on the "Help" icon for more details. (Example:cats9dogs5)

I just filled one of those in. It's not a convenience; it's an additional burden that we have to shoulder to gain the benefits of mass insurance.

As it happens, none of the many passwords I use contain "at least one letter and one number." So the words "Be sure to," though phrased as an afterthought ("be sure to tie your shoes," "be sure to remove plastic casing before operating toaster"), is actually an order to do something very inconvenient (unless, of course, you don't want to pick up those prescriptions that have been waiting a week at the pharmacy b/c you don't have your new insurance card yet).

Other examples might be:

Bataan: "Be sure to march until you die."

Mugging: "Be sure to remove all contents from pocket and transfer physical custody of them to your gunholder."

Lost: "Be sure to remain seated with your seatbelts fastened until you die, land on the island, or the captain turns off the fasten-seatbelt sign."

The other way we disguise aggressive commands is to make them sound like pleas for help, using "I need you to...." As in, "I need you to move your car," "I need you to stand facing the wall with your arms spread out...."