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Opening Arguments

Comings and goings

I haven't bothered you with a word-usage peeve lately, so indulge me today. Under the headline "Emigrant first in her family to earn degree," the South Bend Tribune has a story about a refugee from Bosnia getting her degree from Indiana University South Bend. There is this short paragraph:

She and her family eventually found their way back to their village, but learned there was no future for them there. They immigrated to South Bend 10 years ago.

Between the headline and the story, they manage to get it wrong both ways. When you leave your old country, you are emigrating. When you get to your new country, you are an immigrant. Oh, and if you like reading musings on the meanings of songs, check out this most interesting take on Bob Dylan's "I Pity the Poor Immigrant." 

A deeply religious person is a tourist in life, thinking eagerly about returning home to God. A less religious or secular person is a traveler, unsure of any desire to return home, uncertain if there is a home. Put another way, from a religious perspective, we are all unwilling immigrants in the land of the living, exiled from paradise and placed into the broken and happily temporal world where we must struggle against the temptations to do evil and instead choose to do good. To the religious person, there are signs of truth everywhere. To the secular, reality is only reality without intimations of Godly designs or Heavenly destinations.


Wed, 05/12/2010 - 7:21pm

A common, but irritating mistake. Dylan should be no surprise, though. He gave us "Lay lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed." He gets credit for alliteration, but no one seems to know the difference between "lay" and "lie."
And of course Clapton gave us "Lay down Sally."
Television "journalists" invariably get the lie-lay thing wrong.
And don't get me started on infer/imply.
But we've both worked in the same field. None of this is news to you.
But it still grates on the ears and the brain.