Word Routes

Exploring the pathways of our lexicon

Mailbag Friday: "These Ones"

Welcome to another edition of Mailbag Friday! Carol B. writes in with today's question:

As an American living in Australia, I'm overwhelmed by the common use of "these ones." I came across it yesterday in a British memoir! It grates on my nerves. Anybody else?

I don't know if other American expats share Carol's negative reaction, but this is not a figment of her imagination: these ones (as opposed to just plain these) does appear to be far more common in English as spoken in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries like Australia. In 2007 on Language Log (my other blogging home), Stanford linguist Arnold Zwicky looked into the matter and asked for judgments from English speakers in different countries:

The big news is that the expression [these ones] is indeed regionally distributed: my US correspondents are mostly dubious about it, but my UK correspondents find it unremarkable (and were consequently astounded by my judgment that it was non-standard).

Zwicky's correspondents in Canada and Australia agreed that these ones seemed perfectly standard to them. By and large it was only Americans who found it odd to use these ones rather than these or those ones rather than those. (The distinction wasn't entirely cut and dry: some American correspondents said that these ones and those ones were common in their dialects.)

Though Zwicky's results are anecdotal, we can back them up with more systematic data. In order to determine the frequency of patterns of words like these ones and those ones, we need a huge collection of texts, known as a corpus. And to weigh the relative frequency of a pattern in American English versus British English, we would need not one corpus but two corpora, each providing sufficient coverage of their respective dialects. Fortunately, there are two such corpora readily available for analysis. The British National Corpus, created in the 1990s, encompasses 100 million words of written and spoken English. A US counterpart, the 385-million-word Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) has recently gone online thanks to Mark Davies at Brigham Young University.

these ones
those ones
these ones + those ones
US: occurrences 60 43 103
US: per million words 0.16 0.11 0.27
UK: occurrences 87 60 147
UK: per million words 0.87 0.60 1.47
UK/US ratio 5.58 5.37 5.49

As you can see, based on the COCA and BNC data, these ones and those ones are far more likely to occur in British English than American English: roughly five and a half times more likely, in fact. Of course, this isn't a perfect test of regional distribution, since the two corpora don't offer a precise apples-to-apples comparison: the overall makeup of source texts differs somewhat, and COCA generally covers more recent material than BNC. Still, the numbers are compelling.

Though it's clear that this is a genuine regional variation, the question remains: why are these ones and those ones generally disfavored in the US but not in the UK or Commonwealth countries? The situation isn't comparable to how Noah Webster popularized American spellings like center rather than centre or honor rather than honour. No American linguistic authority has decreed that these/those ones should be avoided. As Zwicky notes, English usage guides have not seen fit to remark on this variation. (One exception: Paul Brians of Washington State University lists these ones in his "Common Errors in English," but he gives no indication that this is an American preference and doesn't provide a rationale for it.) In other words, it's largely flown under the radar of the usage mavens on both sides of the Atlantic (and Down Under too).

So kudos to Carol and her finely tuned expatriate ears for picking up on this distinction. How do other readers feel about these ones and those ones? Leave your reaction — good, bad, or indifferent — in the comments below!

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Ben Zimmer is language columnist for The Wall Street Journal and former language columnist for The Boston Globe and The New York Times Magazine. He has worked as editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press and as a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary. In addition to his regular "Word Routes" column here, he contributes to the group weblog Language Log. He is also the chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society. Click here to read more articles by Ben Zimmer.

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Comments from our users:

Friday May 15th 2009, 12:49 AM
Comment by: Judy B. (New Richmond, OH)
Yes, it drives me nuts!!
Friday May 15th 2009, 1:57 AM
Comment by: Craig D.
I find that "these ones" and "those ones" have perfectly acceptable and rather common usage in American English -- but only when a more specific geographic reference is required to clarify for the listener. Example: "Which ones? These ones here." Or, similarly: "Which ones? Those ones [over] there."

Further, if "these ones" and "those ones" is found to be funny, why then is "Which ones?" not? To me, the same "rule" should apply.
Friday May 15th 2009, 2:52 AM
Comment by: Dr. Don (Brentwood, CA)Top 10 Commenter
I grew up in Pennsylvania and was always amused by our Pittsburgh neighbors' colloquial use of "you ones."

I guess those of you who stress over "these ones" and "those ones" would be driven mad by "you ones" (which is actually reduced to "you'ns.")
Friday May 15th 2009, 3:01 AM
Comment by: mark T. (Kent Town Australia)
As an Australian exposed to American English via television then how about some comments about unnecessary words that Americans use. One that grates on me is the use of ‘second of all and third of all’. Why include the word ‘of all’? Why not just say, first of all or firstly, secondly, etc. finishing with 'and last of all' or lastly. Another classic is the reference to tuna fish. It their any other type of creature that bears the nomenclature of tuna that is not a fish? Why not just say tuna? All this sounds petty and it is, but no more petty than Carol B’s comments about Aussie dialect.
Friday May 15th 2009, 4:08 AM
Comment by: L. michael C. (Fairbanks, AK)
I was in 'Stralia for two weeks before I realized they were speaking English. They do have some colorful idioms under the Southern Cross; "siphon a python" being one of my favorites.
Friday May 15th 2009, 4:21 AM
Comment by: Virginia F. (Geneva Switzerland)
I find it difficult to imagine this usage - does anyone have examples? Working from Craig's post, I imagine that it appears where 'ones' is a lazy replacement for a noun. ie. 'Those people', 'those dogs' etc. I don't believe I have ever heard 'those ones' used amongst expatriates in Switzerland, which seems to indicate that it is a recent development.
Friday May 15th 2009, 5:30 AM
Comment by: Barry A B. (Sparks-Glencoe, MD)
Speaking as an ex-Pennsyl-wanian, I laughed at the Pittsburgh area use of You'ns, while around York and Lancaster it was youse or youse guys. . . Much better. . . .

My question is when did people forget that "bring" is not the same as "take" . . .

Friday May 15th 2009, 7:01 AM
Comment by: adaletheactor (louisville, KY)
i'm one of those who loves the fact that what people say in loose, colloquial conversation eventually becomes standard. it's nice that we english speakers do not have the same paranoia about our precious language as the french. i've been amused by those who blanch when i say: "can you access it?" when sending a link or an attachment. i say let the language grow and develop. and i'm writing a memoir in which i imagine some people will have to reach for the smelling salts.
Friday May 15th 2009, 7:35 AM
Comment by: Orin Hargraves (CO)Visual Thesaurus Contributor
I've noticed a similar pattern (or perhaps just an extension of the same one) in Brits' preference to use possessive adj + pronoun in cases where Yanks use possessive pronoun alone. Brit version: "Your one is bigger than my one." American version: "Yours is bigger than mine."
Friday May 15th 2009, 8:26 AM
Comment by: Theodore C. (Loudon, TN)
I agree with the original commentary. In the South, you do not have to be an expatriate to run across regardless or crude, misused English. I am irritated over phrases as "you all" and "irregardless." "Those over there" is an acceptable phrase. "Those ones..." is a term a bit redundant and better left out since the word "ones" is understood. Although I have to agree it is phrase that the speaker's use doesn't deflect the intended meaning, the recipient may not take your grammar seriously.
Friday May 15th 2009, 9:48 AM
Comment by: Gail F. (Centereach, NY)
I first heard the phrase "these ones" about fifteen years ago from a young woman who came to our office as a temp. I thought it was an odd redundancy but probably a new colloquialism used by the younger generation and which had not yet migrated into the general population. As I took a liking to the person, the "odd" phrase evolved in my mind from irksome to adorable. However, I never use the phrase myself.

I think language is alive and changes to suit new events and technologies, which makes it so much fun. I love to coin new phrases and words to describe feelings and express ideas. Some work, some don't.
Friday May 15th 2009, 10:23 AM
Comment by: Marcus P. (Randolph, MA)
I'm amused with the difference of the British and Americans use of the word "the"
America - "in THE hospital", British - "in hospital"

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.
--George Bernard Shaw
Friday May 15th 2009, 10:46 AM
Comment by: Noel B.
(Launceston, Tasmania, Australia)

"These" & "those" seem to be written language, "these ones"/"those ones" are often used in speech when the items referred to are present.
As for something that really is strange & irritatingly unnecessary, how can one justify the usage "off of" when a simple "off" (or often "from") does the job???
(And do persons from USA realise that some states in other countries carry the same abbreviated form as their own??)
Friday May 15th 2009, 10:54 AM
Comment by: Virginia F. (Geneva Switzerland)
Dear Orin, I assure you that no Brit would ever formulate this idea as 'Your one is bigger than my one.' If they did exceptionally mention it at all, they would say 'Mine is bigger than yours'!
Dear Adale, Don't Bother! Ten years ago Open University had a full course called 'The English Language', which glorified all 'Englishes' - American, Indian, Irish, Caribbean, antipodean, thick local dialects, etc. etc. The bottom line was that all forms of English are rich, varied and evolving fast, that all new words, forms, contractions and deformations were welcome, and that it didn't matter a good g**d**n if English-speaking people didn't understand each other! I got top marks contesting this last point vigourously, but only because they like a good argument. They truly believed it. So if English is not supposed be any use for communication, why bother to learn it at all, unless it is only for Internet?

Marcus, I wonder if 'in THE hospital' has anything to do with the former French colonies, since the French also use the definite article in this way.

I thought it hilarious that Australian TV series had to be dubbed for Americans until I watched a completely incomprehensible programme in French-Canadian!
Friday May 15th 2009, 12:49 PM
Comment by: Manuela F. (Washington, DC)
We Americans say "in the hospital," but we don't say "in the school." Well, actually, we do -- but "in school" has a completely different meaning and describes the process of being enrolled at an institution rather than describing the physical place itself. "In the school" refers to being physically present within a particular structure.

So, maybe "in hospital," as the Brits say it, means that someone is hospitalized without being specific about the place they're staying at, and "in the hospital" refers to the building? Just a thought.
Friday May 15th 2009, 12:52 PM
Comment by: David L.
As an American, having lived in Australia in my youth, I was constantly amused by the dialect and language used. When first arriving I remember a shop keeper asking me, "Are you right?” instead of "May I help you?"
Then in Tasmania, travelling from Burnie to Hobart, we stop by a familiar farm for eggs and asked for Mr. Gray, the proprietor. We were saddened to hear that Mr. Grey went to Hobart “todie.” Having seen our reaction the person we questioned quickly told us that he would be back tomorrow.
Friday May 15th 2009, 1:05 PM
Comment by: Virginia F. (Geneva Switzerland)
Anonymous; yes you are right sorry. Brits say they are IN hospital for an operation, that they will be going INTO hospital at some point, and that there's a good cafeteria IN THE hospital. I expect Americans say the same.
Friday May 15th 2009, 5:15 PM
Comment by: John S. (Napa, CA)
Ben, I am with you on this one. I grates on me to hear the language abuse of "these ones." Another I don't quite yet understand is the use of "on accident." More and more frequently I hear Americans using this and question their correctness when one considers the meaning of "on" versus "by." The that happens "on accident" sounds like it wasn't an accident at all.
Friday May 15th 2009, 10:13 PM
Comment by: Carol B.
Thank you Ben and everyone else for your comments. Perhaps it just comes down to the fact that one is singularly specific. You could say 'those three ones' if you were referring the number one, as opposed to a substitution for a specific noun. Otherwise, those & these are plural and can only modify a plural noun. I admit I sound like my grandmother.
Saturday May 16th 2009, 7:48 AM
Comment by: julianne C. (virginia beach, VA)
Yup, it bothers me too. I find its usage to be socioeconomically and regionally specific. As far as evolving goes, I feel that it is good, to a point. I believe that the meaning of communication is supported by structure/grammer and the definitions/usage of words. It is possible that the changes can serve to degrade the users ability to communicate. That is what I am concerned with.
Saturday May 16th 2009, 10:43 AM
Comment by: Julie S. (Columbia, SC)
As a retired English teacher in, as well as from, the South, I have heard many different expressions over the years. I do have to admit that I never heard “these ones” from a southerner, just a few students from the north. Some students from Pennsylvania had delightful ways of stating ideas. I did teach ten years in Hawaii, and that experience added lots of interesting words and phrases to my vocabulary. There are two things (problems to me) which occurred in the above entries which drive me crazy. First, the use of their for they’re. For a person who sounded as articulate as the writer, the mistake is inexcusable. Second, is the note with no capital letters. The idea that she is writing a memoir that others may read is downright scary. After having just read an epistolary novel, I would have been insane several pages into it with no capitals. Give those baby fingers a workout! Some members of my book club were relating the finding of their parents’ love letters. What are we going to have in the future? Love emails with no caps! Oh my!
Saturday May 16th 2009, 12:27 PM
Comment by: Diana R. (San Jose, CA)
It's a pity to be annoyed by regionalisms rather than enjoy them as a mark of our different cultural heritages. When I go back to Tennessee to visit relatives, I enjoy hearing people say "you'ns" and "ain't" (although I've yet to hear "these ones." We all have our little pet language peeves, but whenever we can identify them as a dialectal difference, isn't that an opportunity for us, as linguists, to smile and be pleased at the diversity of usage in our global language?
Saturday May 16th 2009, 3:44 PM
Comment by: Ellen M.
I'm with Virgina--can anyone provide an idiomatic example of "these ones" in use? Being from "youse guys" country (Chicago), it doesn't sound like it would grate much in speech--maybe in writing. I work with New Zealanders, whom I sometimes find simply incomprehensible--although the most incomprehensible English for me was a London cabbie--so much for being anglophone! Indians are frequently much easier to understand than many English dialects.
Saturday May 16th 2009, 8:28 PM
Comment by: Carol B.
Sure, Ellen.

"I'm taking these ones. Do youse guys want your ones, or those ones over there?
I agree with Julianne. The usage is largely regionally & socioeconomically (RE:educationally) based. I'd be curious to know how long it's been in use. Is grammar still taught?
Saturday May 16th 2009, 8:30 PM
Comment by: Carol B.
Sure, Ellen.

"I'm taking these ones. Do youse guys want your ones, or those ones over there?
I agree with Julianne. The usage is largely regionally & socioeconomically (RE:educationally) based. I'd be curious to know how long it's been in use. Is grammar still taught?
Sunday May 17th 2009, 3:31 AM
Comment by: Clarence W.
I grew up with these ones around here in rural Oklahoma. Grandma spoke of those ones around here too, so they's been round these parts goin' on 75 years or more.

While I grew up hearing the phrases and most certainly using them conversationally, I'm willing to bet that is the first time I've ever used them in writing. The phrases do look awkward to me written, though I'd never give them a glance askance when hearing them spoken. I'm sure that means on some level they would seem natural as written dialogue for characters in a novel.
Sunday May 17th 2009, 2:17 PM
Comment by: Daniel C. (Leicester United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Football is not as popular in the U.S.A. as it is in other English speaking countries. Perhaps 'those ones' refers to a group of goal keepers?
Sunday May 17th 2009, 6:58 PM
Comment by: allan C.
I've lived in the southern USA and heard the those ones expression often. I took it to emphasize the individuality of the members of the group. Do you want those ones? Rather than meaning all of them, those. Do you want those?
I liked "those ones" as it felt informal and more friendly.

One of my favorite greetings by a shop keeper heard all around the mountains of North Carolina was "What can I do you for?"
Monday May 18th 2009, 12:06 AM
Comment by: Carl A.
This useage drives my wife and I up the wall, but I can offer an even "better" example. We have actually heard someone repeatedly say "my ones" and "youse ones" to mean "mine" and "yours." I agree with the educationally based use.
Monday May 18th 2009, 5:08 AM
Comment by: AnneMae (Englewood, CO)
Can't stand the use of "these/those ones"! It reminds me of how we speak when we are young, when we cannot differentiate by any other means verbally which group of objects we mean. When we are older, more educated, and have a wider base of vocabulary from which to choose, we should avoid this usage error, and use only "these" or "those".
Monday May 18th 2009, 12:00 PM
Comment by: Marian C. (Murphys, CA)
Why is it necessary to use the word "ones" at all? These, those seem to be a complete thought to me. Where did the "ones" come from in the first place? My mother was horrified when anyone said, "where's she at?" or "where's my book at?" Her answer was always the same, "Just before the 'at.'" Isn't "ones" just as incorrect in these examples?
Monday May 18th 2009, 12:21 PM
Comment by: Wood F.
I'm from Minnesota, with a BA from Harvard, and "these ones" sounds completely natural to me; so I'm not sure the socio-economic explanation is valid. As in the quote from Ben's article, I'm astounded to hear that some people consider it non-standard. Could it be regional? I'm not aware of any undue influence on my dialect from our neighbors to the north; or perhaps it's my mother's upper-crusty east-coast dialect? In fact Virginia F.'s comment that it's hard to even imagine a context in which "these ones" would be used makes me wonder whether the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis might really be true: the thoughts we can have are constrained by the language we learn. (And Virginia: I have indeed heard Brits say "your one" rather than "yours.")

To me, "ones" is a perfectly acceptable plural pronoun that can take the place of a plural noun that is already understood to be the topic of the sentence. If we're talking about the comparative quality of two bins of tomatoes at the grocery store, I would have no problem saying "These ones look riper." Saying "These look riper" would suffice but would sacrifice the pointed comparison between "these ones" and "those ones."

I don't think any of the commenters have expressed a similar distate for "This one" or "That one." Why isn't "these ones" a perfectly natural pluralization of "this one," and "those ones" of "that one?" If asked to choose between two tomatoes, I would say, "I want this one." (Not "I want this.") Why shouldn't I say, if asked to choose between two groups of tomatoes, "I want these ones?"
Monday May 18th 2009, 1:32 PM
Comment by: Jane B. (Winnipeg Canada)Top 10 Commenter
Wood F's comment makes the distinction that I would.

As a born in American, now Canadian, I've had to adjust to a surprising number of different usuages and customs (vinegar on fries being one that I've not adopted in close to 50 years of living here!). I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, and my parents jumped on me for any use of the colloquial. But I find the PD dialect beautiful and fun to read.

In fact, (I had typed 'as a matter of fact' but then decided it would be found to be 'wordy'!) I am trying to find a copy of, or an example of, writing that appeared in the Morning Call-Chronicle, Tales My Gosfader Told Me. They were low German renditions (a creole, perhaps) of fairy tales, quite understandable, however, in English.

Though many common usuages today bother me, I'm thrilled by the diversity of English. And as I meet more English speakers from round the world, I'm thrilled with what we do with our Mother Tongue, in addition to being upset by those who 'abuse' it, the ones (I think that's justifiable!) who should know better.

But having a thing about 'lie' and 'lay' myself, and 'irregardless' and many other usuages, I'm not in a position to refer to anyone else as picky.

Oh, to our UK friend who said, "Football is not as popular in the U.S.A. as it is in other English speaking countries. Perhaps 'those ones' refers to a group of goal keepers?"

Football is extremely popular, not just in the US, but in Canada. (We have bigger balls than the Americans.) But we use the term to refer to a game that has little to do with feet connecting with balls. We call your game soccer, as you well know, having had your tongue far into your cheek when you wrote that!

And for the person in Switzerland who finds French Canadian incomprehensible, take comfort in that my born in France husband was corrected there for asking for pommes des terres instead of potates. When I as him to translate something I hear from a Francophone here, he cannot. And he taught university level French here for years, so he's reasonably current, though not with what might be French slang now.

It's a dialect that dates from colonial separation from the Mother Country, just as our English does. But it has diverged more, or stayed more as it was, separated -- than American English.

When we travelled to Nova Scotia and heard Acadian French, neither my mother-in-law, a woman still very much French, nor my husband, had a clue as to what was being said.

But all this is wonderful! The Francophones here speak differently from the Quebecois, but then we differ too in speech from the Newfoundlers.

An American friend commented to our British friends at a website, asking why the crowd roared when a young girl mentioned putting her hair in 'benders'. She meant 'curlers', but there's a double meaning.

I was tempted to comment on 'curlers', that to me, they are involved in another ice sport! But I decided to let a sleeping dog lie!

One UK usage that confounds me is 'I was sat' there, thinking about dinner.'

That use of 'sat' instead of 'was sitting' grates, but is fairly common usage, I've learned.

The difference enchants and intrigues.
Monday May 18th 2009, 2:44 PM
Comment by: Marian C. (Murphys, CA)
Wood F. your comments make sense, and perhaps my problem with this issue is moving from singular to plural. I, too, would say, "I want this one." But if there were two of whatever it is, I would say, "I want these." Which brings me to 'these' and 'those.' I would say these to indicate what is near by and those to indicate items across the table, the room. Now I am wondering why I do that? Usage is a fascinating topic when one begins to dissect it. But it takes more time than I have this morning.
Monday May 18th 2009, 4:34 PM
Comment by: Jane B. (Winnipeg Canada)Top 10 Commenter
I should have been more clear with regards to the 'no problem' problem. It grates when I say 'Thank you', to have someone say it. It might just be a fussy generational problem.

If I said 'Thank you' to someone, and that person said nothing, in my social set that would be rude.

But I don't think that you had my context clear, and you would probably then (in that situation) simply say 'you're welcome'.
Tuesday May 19th 2009, 2:53 AM
Comment by: HelenLR (Maylands Australia)
I have no issue with "these ones" versus "those ones" but as for learning grammar/written english for the internet (Virginia F), I certainly don't think that is the case. Poorer examples of grammar and spelling exist nowhere else I find.
My pet redundancies are "continue on" and "return back". Arrgggggh!!
Tuesday May 19th 2009, 11:32 AM
Comment by: Daniel C. (Leicester United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
@HelenLR, I presume your problem with 'continue on' is in the context of 'continue on down the path,' rather than 'continue on the path.'
Tuesday May 19th 2009, 5:29 PM
Comment by: Virginia F. (Geneva Switzerland)
Not really on the subject, but I just read the First Spectator Lecture at the Royal Geographical Society by Stephen Fry. All British and all Americans should fall about laughing - and language is also an issue. If you read the Spectator, or come across it, don't hesitate! Sorry, no link yet, just the magazine.
Thursday May 21st 2009, 10:01 AM
Comment by: Wood F.
@Marian C. (twitter syntax is already infecting our non-twitter discourse!) -- "These" vs "those" *is* an interesting distinction. Again, it's the plural version of the distinction between "this" and "that." Looking at it from an evolutionary standpoint, "These ones" (near me) vs. "those ones" (over there) must have been a sufficiently valuable distinction to the users of the prototypical language to merit separate pronouns to describe them.

It's interesting that German, closely related to English, doesn't have this distinction: "diese" serves as a distance-neutral pronoun equivalent to "these," but there's no corresponding equivalent to "those." The closest Germans can manage is "diese dort," which translates literally to "these there." "Diese" also is used for both singular and plural nouns. So English has four words ("this," "that," "these," "those") where German only has one. I wonder if the common ancestral language had the distinction, which has since died out in German but not in English?
Sunday May 31st 2009, 10:07 AM
Comment by: Jane B. (Winnipeg Canada)Top 10 Commenter
My gut reaction, first reaction, to Mr. Fry's speech is this: What a snob! But then I'm safe, living as I do north of North Dakota. I can be sure I'll never be his neighbour.

Upon thinking more, I realize what a pity it is, that someone supposedly so well educated as he, can by so gleefully and noisily defining the United States by its opposites, miss so much of its beauty and power.

I feel sorry for him. But I shouldn't. He'll live happily half-time in his elite world and never see the huge reality just 'beneath' him. He'll not miss it. His 'greys' don't include the United States I know and love and still admire, the place where my family lives.

And I don't love my British friends any less for having become aware of him.
Sunday May 31st 2009, 12:51 PM
Comment by: Dr. Don (Brentwood, CA)Top 10 Commenter
I found Stephen Fry's speech to be amazing. I would have made sacrifices to hear him deliver that. It certainly wasn't flawless (there are, in fact, beautiful badlands in North Dakota; I think there are technical solutions to our water problems), but his use of language was like music. Plus, he really loves our country, he said.

"Now in case this is sounding like an attack on American values and traits, let me say that my love, admiration and fascination for America remains intact. I am taking a line for a walk, I am playing with ideas here, not denouncing America and America’s characteristics, but delineating them as I see them from my wholly secular and idiosyncratic pulpit, this lectern."

I didn't have time to read the entire speech, but I read it anyway. Absolutely marvelous! The best thing I've read in a long time.

And I'm just like him! Half the time...

"I want the truth. I want it unsweetened. I want to wash my mouth free of all sweeteners. I want to test all claims and statements on the anvil of experience or by empirical, double-blind randomised cohorts according to best scientific practice. I want to doubt, to experience, to think, to challenge and to scoff.... I want learning, language and literature, not philistinism, fantasy and infantilism."

Right! But only half the time. And it isn't a gray sort of thing for me.

Thanks, Carl!

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