An Historic Night – Some Quick Thoughts

Even for a McCain supporter like myself, it is hard not to acknowledge that last night the USA did something remarkable, an act which went a long way to healing hurts from the past and proving that America literally is the land of the free. I may not be a fan of Obama’s politics, but as regards what he represents this morning in relation to the journey from oppression to liberty, I would vote a thousand times for that.

Conservatives can take some comfort that it looks as though all the measures on abortion and same-sex marriage that were on the ballots across the States are going to pass.

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  • Winston

    Hi, I think you might be right Peter with regards to a conservative vote on gay marriage.  I am intrigued though about how close the votes are; I wonder how the margins have changed in 10 years.  I also wonder what the percentages are for the under thirties, and how age and demographic changes will change the voting profile of the USA in the future.  In the light of this, I wonder what result will come if the votes take place again in three years, additionally influenced by one of the most liberal presidents that America has ever voted for.

    Yours, Winston. 

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    I intend to write a blog post about those same-sex marriage amendments.  You have no idea how nasty some Christians over here have been about those, and I think a good question to ask them is, “Now what?”

    Now that they have what they wanted, how are they going to reach out to their gay neighbors in love?  Or is simply casting a ballot the end of their dealings with the gay community.  I’m discouraged by the attitudes I’ve seen, because they suggest the latter.

  • rybam

    In the offchance anyone here likes football :

     Gordon Gekko, Ronald Reagan, Taxcuts for millionaires, Halliburton,Ann Coulter, Dick Cheney….. your boys took one hell of a beating

     ;-)

  • Gregory

    Yes, breaking news is that voters in California has backed the amendment.

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    By the way, do Brits not pronounce the “H” in “Historic”?  I’m wondering where there’s an “An” at the beginning of your post instead of an “A.” 

  • Gregory

    Jay I believe that you are mistaken in believing that it’s to do with pronunciation of the letter “h” in a word that determines whether the indefinite article is “a” or “an”.

    There are reasons relating to the stress in pronunciation and  there are reasons relating to the etymology of the word in question.

    “historical” should be preceded by “an”

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    I’m not really trying to pick a fight.  I just know that in American English, it’s a pretty general rule that if there is a consonant sound at the start of a word, you would put an “A” in front of it.  If there is a vowel sound, you’d put an “An.”

    Thus, I’d say, “A hat,” instead of “An hat,” or “An apple” instead of “A apple.”  If you’re going to tell me that “Historical” is a special case, you need to give me some evidence other than simply saying there are etymological reasons.  Give me the reasons themselves, because I won’t just take your word for it.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    This link here should explain all.

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    Well, that’s interesting.  Thanks!  I think I just found a topic for my linguistics paper that’s due soon.  I love it when blogging helps out with school work.  Usually it does just the opposite!

  • Robert Simpson

    On this side of the Atlantic (= UK) there is a lot of disagreement about things like this.  I personally say “an historical” with silent h but many regard that as old-fashioned and/or mannered and, lacking the linguistic-historical knowledge of the author of Peter’s link, insist on “a historical” (including the people I proofread for, who ought to know better). The reference to My Fair Lady is telling: h-dropping over here is the sort of thing people get het-up about (or even et-up!) because it’s so connected with class and social position. There are those who would rather die than be heard dropping h’s that they think (often on rather flimsy grounds) ought to be there. But I guess in the country where anything’s possible [= topical reference] you don’t need to worry about such things!  (To be fair on us, it’s much less of an issue over here, at least for most people, than it used to be.)

  • http://www.theophiliacs.com Tony Hunt

    Winston,

    It seems that the demographics that voted for Obama are quite wide and varied.  He won among whites, women, even hispanics.  I think that we will see Obama continue to stake out the more moderate approach that he has taken during the campaigning. 

    Whatever your politics, please pray for our new leader, and as citizens, the harsh divisions have got to stop.  We should be able to work together.

    Tony

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