The Evolution of a Science News Story

Scientists: ‘Our study showed a weak correlation between the presence of two particular sections of chromosome, and self-identification of homosexuality.’

Science journalists: ‘Scientists have proven a link between genes and homosexuality.’

Non-science journalists: ‘Scientists have found the gay gene.’

Non-science editorial writers: ‘This raises the possibility of “fixing” the gay gene.’

News website comment sections: ‘We should fix the gay gene.’

Bombay

For the purposes of this post, I will be following Christopher Hitchens‘ policy and refusing to accept Hindu extremist party Shiv Sena‘s etymologically spurious name change, and stubbornly continuing to call the city ‘Bombay‘.

Before I left Delhi, my friend Nidhi told me that there’s a big rivalry between the two cities, and I would have to choose which one I liked. It couldn’t be both. Within five minutes of arriving I could answer her question: Bombay. Definitely Bombay.

The Taj Hotel and Gateway to India, South Bombay

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What I hate most about opponents of equal marriage

What I hate most about the opponents of equal marriage – aside from their closeted homophobia and blocking of decent egalitarian legislation, obviously – is when they claim to object to “changing the meaning of the word ‘marriage'”.

Last week it was reported in the press that the Oxford English Dictionary had updated its entry for┬áthe word ‘literally’, including a second definition, “informal, used for emphasis while not being literally true”, thereby legitimizing its longstanding misuse.

Now, obviously this enrages me to the point of bloodlust. However, I don’t see any of those people who suddenly appeared from nowhere, claiming to be linguistic purists when ‘marriage’ was at stake, protesting over this.

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