Tag Archives: Evelyn Waugh

Mood

Executive summary. The English grammatical moods—indicative, imperative, subjunctive—were not understood till the nineteenth century, according to an 1882 doctoral dissertation, On the Use of the Subjunctive Mood in Anglo-Saxon. Considering illustrative passages that happen to be from Plato, Alfred Douglas, Evelyn Waugh, and especially John Donne; looking ultimately at John McWhorter’s 2015 essay, “English is not normal”; I review the subjunctive mood, grammar in general, and my own lack of understanding till I was in college.

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The Point of Teaching Mathematics

This essay was provoked in part by a New York Times opinion piece by Andew Hacker (July 28, 2012) called “Is Algebra Necessary?” (the suggested answer being No):

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