grammar and semantics in modern race-baiting

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much blood and ink has been spilled over the above facebook post, but will will not rehash the debate that keeps lambo zang up at night furiously typing into the bwog comments section.

Instead let us take a look at the surprisingly OVER looked question which will haunt us immemorial.  Consider exhibit A:

Does anyone have a CC section taught by a professor of color.

Let us parse.  Anyone is the subject.  Does ANYONE have a cc section taught by a professor of color.  At first glance, this seems to be a simple question.  Perhaps the author is conducting a poll of the relative frequency of instructors of color amongst the class of 2016 to validate the supposedly official statistics that columbia releases to relieve themselves of the burden of white guilt.  (this would be an admirable cause, but sadly it is not what our friend is doing here).  However, this text is complicated by the addition of the second section.

Section 2: “Flexible on time/days”.

Suddenly the curtain has been pulled back.  The true intent behind this question is revealed.  Close reading of the text shows that in fact the question is not simply informational, and that one can infer an attempt to coordinate some sort of activity involving the author as well as the aforementioned instructor of color.

Section 3: “The teacup”

The teacup just reaffirms her support for tea.

Exhibit B: The supportive friend

Everyone has a friend, or if they do not they wish they had a friend so for the purposes of our analysis we can assume they have a friend.  But does your friend unconditionally shower praise upon you for performing an informal internet survey?  Most likely not, unless you paid them to, but a paid friend is not actually a friend you should have learned that by now.

The 100 here has also been suggested by Ruden, et. al.  to be an answer to the question rather than an exclamation of praise.  However, modern research has cast doubt on the idea that a single student would be enrolled in 100 classess taught by professors of color simultaneously.  Further attempts to tally the hundreds results a grand total of nearly a thousand, which does not make the proposition any more tenable.

Exhibit C: “The magnum opus”

Suddenly, our heroine returns to settle the score.  Although we know that authorial intent is irrelevant,  here the author comes to clarify, with the phrase “more specifically I am asking…”  This offers a glimmer of hope that we will be able to understand what she is saying, but nay, it is a false hope.  Several fetal sentences have been grafted together into a chimeral behemoth.  Attached to the tail is the phrase “it is important to my health and my life thanks”.  This indicates that the beast it is attached to is personally important to her physical or mental well-being, or perhaps just necessary for the ritual known as “life thanks” (also known as saying grace).  But what exactly is so important to her “health” and “life thanks”?  Clearly it involves some sort of “switch[ing] sections w[ith] me”, but the exact nature of the the switch, and the other parties involved, remains mysterious.  Three possible interpretations have been advanced by various levels of Aegean thought.

The first interpretation suggests that the author began with the intent to switch sections with a white person who is in a CC section with a Professor of color.   Notice that her stance has evolved since the original post.  Not only has she narrowed the search to switch with only white people (white hispanics likely remain in a grey area as always), but additionally she has decided that the instructor must be a Professor (it’s unclear if adjunct professors count).  However, according to this interpretation,  she amends her options, and considers that she would also be willing to switch with a student of color.  Note that she does not require the student of color to have a CC professor of color.   It seems that the color is commutative.

The second camp has suggested that the first camp is a bunch of morons for thinking that’s what she meant.  They suggest instead that the addtional group of students of color to which she is extending the offer of the switch is also bound to the requirements of having an instructor of color and also it cant just be any old instructor its gotta be a professor.  This group advances the argument that she is colorblind, and so would not discriminate against whichever student she switches with.  White and black students follow the same rule that they need a black CC professor, and so they can live in harmony together.

The third camp thinks the first two camps are a bunch of imbeciles. To this camp, the sentence is grammatically clear, and it is obvious to them that  “another student of color” is part of the direct object, not the subject.  Read this way, the author is suggesting that a white person who has a professor of color must switch places with any person of color (including the author herself). Likely expressing a form of OCD where like colors must be organized together, this swap would indubitably improve her quality of life thanks. You are very welcome.

Who is right in the end I do not know sometime things are unknown because nobody knows them.  Unfortunately we cannot rely on the author to clarify further because that’s what she did and it just made things more confusing so maybe she has a future writing postmodern philosophy.

ps. i just squinted and looked at the coffee cup and it kinda looks like a thumbs up so maybe it’s a hidden message

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2 Responses to “grammar and semantics in modern race-baiting”

  1. The Phantom Shadow Says:

    this is brave

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