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Week in review: laurels and darts


As college students, we’re all too familiar with the linguistic quirks and fillers that seem to make up the conversations of so many young people. We hear and use them daily, whether it be statements pronounced as if they’re questions (uptalk) or the perpetual insertion of “like” between every other word or the sloppy slang of terms like “reduce” or “legit.” But the latest trend infecting teens and 20-somethings across the nation is called “vocal fry,” better known as that creaking, croaking sound invoked at the end of a sentence. And what’s more, linguists have traced its origin to young women. Now, according to David Crystal, an honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor, linguists don’t “praise or condemn, they simply observe and describe and try to explain what’s going on.” Well, Crystal, we’re not afraid of praising or condemning, so we’ll do it for you — we dart the use of vocal fry and other infectious linguistic quirks that make young people sound so ignorant. ’Cause, like, no one wants to sound like a stupid college student, ya know?


Stephen Hawking, the celebrated British theoretical physicist with arguably one of the brightest minds science has ever known, has recently found to regularly frequent a California sex club, according to media reports. We must admit, we’re not sure what to say. As a scientist, Hawking ranks up there with the likes of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, and he was in 2009 awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award in the United States. On top of that, Hawking is almost completely paralyzed by a neurological disorder know as motor neuron disease. To think of him making the rounds in a room of soft flesh and G-strings, confined to a wheelchair, paints him in a totally new light. But, at the end of the day, Hawking is still human — and everybody’s got to get their kicks in some way or another. We laurel Hawking for refusing to let his condition get in the way of his libido.


Not even the rain and cold could keep a group of about 30 protesters from continuing to spread the message that Occupy Wall Street protesters began last year in Zuccotti Park. The group gathered in front of the Johnson & Johnson headquarters in downtown New Brunswick this week to rally against corporate greed, an event that is part of the “National Day of Action to Shut Down the Corporations,” taking place in different cities across country as part of a nationwide Occupy event. J&J, according to protest organizer Jacob Nettleton, has “systematically worked against any health care reform at the state and federal level.” We laurel the protesters for expressing their right to free speech and peaceful protest. We’re glad to see individuals out there still fighting the good fight — even if the weather does not cooperate.


The Rutgers University Programming Association is making earnest attempts to cater to the interests of our diverse student body. Celebrity Adrian Grenier and YouTube sensation Karmin are among RUPA’s featured guests this semester. But the organization seems to have missed the mark on Tuesday, bringing hard-rock band Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.) to play. This may have been successful if the University was a middle school, and the students were angsty, pre-pubescent 16-year-olds. But, unfortunately, neither is true, and instead of satiating the interests of a specific group, RUPA unintentionally insulted the musical tastes all the indie/punk rock fans here at the University. We dart RUPA for mistaking the University student body for a group of adolescents with bad haircuts. But we are glad that Aziz Ansari is coming to the University today.


Students, faculty and administrators have publicly denounced the actions of the New York Police Department in monitoring Muslim Student Associations at schools across the Northeast between 2006 and 2007. As one of those schools affected by the NYPD’s actions, University community members on campus also came out against the allegedly unauthorized surveillance, recognizing a clear infringement on the civil liberties of so many Americans. On the opinions page, we witnessed an outpouring of support for the victims of the monitorings during the past week, taking the form of letters and statements from student organizations and individuals expressing their concern. University President Richard L. McCormick issued a mass email Tuesday to University students declaring his support for an investigation into the legality of the department’s actions. We laurel the student organizations, administrators and all others who’ve made clear their disapproval of the NYPD monitorings. Injustice anywhere, as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, is a threat to justice everywhere. Seldom have these words rang so true.

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