November 28, 2006

Do you have "every right" to create a new word and "deploy" it as you see fit?

Neologisms are fine, says Stephen Bainbridge. I agree. I played the neologist -- -ist! -- early on in this post -- twice! -- when I said "intrablogospherical squabblage." Bainbridge reminds us that Thomas Jefferson wrote: "I am a friend to neology. It is the only way to give to a language copiousness and euphony." The problem is not the creation of a new word per se, it's what you do with with that word and what effect you have on other people.

MORE: Classical Values continues the allusions to Alice: "The Red Queen shook her head, `You may call it "nonsense" if you like,' she said, 'but I've heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!'"

44 comments:

Theo Boehm said...

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs: they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"

"Would you tell me please," said Alice, "what that means?"

"Now you talk like a reasonable child," said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. "I meant by 'impenetrability' that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life."

CB said...

You've embiggened us all with this cromulent post.

Bleepless said...

Blogitudinal, antiobfuscatorial immanentizationaling. D'oh.

Alan said...

Gosh darn it...and away goes one of my favorite Mac features, the built in dictionary.

SMGalbraith said...

Hmm, didn't the inventor of the guillotine get executed on one?

There's a lesson there for the neologists but I'm not sure I can find it.

Damned. Started out with a burst of inspiration and then it fizzled out.

SMG

Tim said...

Ebonics.

Harkonnendog said...

If we're talking about the word "Christianist" the answer is no. Because given the times, given the wide use of the word Islamist, any usage of "Christianist" that doesn't imply Christianists want to use coercion to create a Christian theocracy will be misunderstood.

If I invent the word "dumbitch" and use the sentence "That woman is such a dumbitch," I can't then say "Oh no, I invented the word dumbitch and it means "woman who smells good."

Harkonnendog said...

Awesome friggin' quotation, theo!

Matt said...

If we're talking about the word "Christianist" the answer is no. Because given the times, given the wide use of the word Islamist, any usage of "Christianist" that doesn't imply Christianists want to use coercion to create a Christian theocracy will be misunderstood.

You're basically suggesting that people that will ignore:

a) the explicit definition of the word, given by Sullivan
b) the implicit definition of the word, given by the traditional use of the "ist" suffix
c) the literal meaning of any sentence in which the word appears.

To date, you're the only person I've seen make such leaps.

But you may have a point--after all, it does seem as though a large portion of the righty blogosphere believes "Islamist" is a contraction of "Islamic terrorist."

Slac said...

Yes... if you're homosexual! I think it's safe to say that gays are the undisputed champions of creating new words and deploying them as they see fit. Yes, "gay," "queer," and "fag" are not creations of homonormative culture, but their meanings are.

So is the meaning of the entire visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, formally known as the rainbow. It used to not mean anything. Now one cannot look at it without being reminded of homosexuality.

Revenant said...

Since (a) requires a longer response, I'm responding to that last.

You're basically suggesting that people that will ignore:

b) the implicit definition of the word, given by the traditional use of the "ist" suffix

The implicit definition, given by the traditional "ist" suffix, would be "an adherent or advocate of Christianity". I.e., all Christians.

So much for the implicit definition.

c) the literal meaning of any sentence in which the word appears.

The word appears in sentences as a shorthand way of saying "bad right-wing Christians I disagree with". That tells the reader nothing about what sorts of Christians the people in question are.

a) the explicit definition of the word, given by Sullivan

"Explicit definition", eh? And where's that definition hidden, exactly?

For example, in this Time post, Sullivan writes:

I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda.

(He also writes "The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist", just in case any of you are still stupid enough to think he wasn't trying to equate the Religious Right with people who crash jet planes into skyscrapers)

But then in this Hugh Hewitt interview he states:

A Christianist is someone who uses religion as a political tool, who uses it to rally people to a political party

So now we're up to two completely different definitions -- in the first, a Christianist is a person who believes politics must serve Christianity, while in the second a Christianist is a person who believes religion is just a means to an end (political power).

He has also:

(1) labelled as "Christianists" people who believe defamation of religions should not be allowed (a position that, amusingly enough, makes the secular states of Europe officially Christianist)
(2) described "The Passion of the Christ" as "A Christianist movie" (the reasons for this label remain locked in Sullivan's tortured mind)
(3) stated that Christianists are "convinced that there is a direction, that it is leading to the Apocalypse, and that salvation lies in the future" (which rules out Catholics as Christianists)
(4) labelled Catholics as "Christianists" for opposing abortion (contradicting 3, above)

... the list goes on and on

The problem isn't that people might ignore Sullivan's "explicit definition". The problem is that Sullivan has "defined" the word in so many incoherent and mutually-contradictory ways that NO real definition exists.

Personally, I'd like to see Sullivan give a coherent explanation as to why Martin Luther King wasn't a Christianist (since admitting that he was would mean admitting that a 'Christianist' led the greatest expansion in civil rights in modern American history). Several conservatives (such as Jonah Goldberg) have raised that question, and each time Sullivan has responded by attacking the questioner and changing the subject.

it does seem as though a large portion of the righty blogosphere believes "Islamist" is a contraction of "Islamic terrorist."

Sullivan uses "Islamist" that way himself, dumbass.

Brian O'Connell said...

Andrew Sullivan has a problem with being called "hysterical", because of the weak 'n' womanly origins of the word. In fact I think he's correct that some people deploy the word with a bit of gay-bashing in the back of their minds. It's connotation and subtext. He's right to call them on it, even though the "explicit", "implicit", and "literal meaning" of the word have nothing to do with the slur.

So it's a bit rich that he's now using "Christianist" and that he and others are claiming to be shocked, shocked that maybe the context and connotations matter. But this is a false pose- they know exactly what they're doing.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Has anyone ever met a "neologist" who was not carapachiazeutiose? That's the problem with those people.

JorgXMcKie said...

Maybe "a large portion of the righty blogosphere believes "Islamist" is a contraction of "Islamic terrorist." "

I don't know that. Perhaps it seems that way to some. However, I'm willing to bet that most Islamic terrorists are, indeed, Islamists, else why commit terrorist acts for the sake of Islam?

So, that not all Islamists are terrorists doesn't mean that all Islamic terrorists are not Islamists.

Simple logic.

Theo Boehm said...

Adding ist or ism to a word usually colors it negatively....

Yes, one thinks of quite a few pianists, or, in the world I inhabit, flutists, who color the world negatively.

Anonymous said...

Ann, take a look at his recent post on the contraception billboard. The title is "Christianist Watch." The billboard reads: "Birth Control is HARMFUL."

http://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/11/christianism_wa_2.html

Notice that there is NO mention of religion, yet he nevertheless assumes that "Christianists" are behind it (which, no doubt, Christians are involved, but the billboard does not specifically use religion or invoke it for authority).

Further, the billboard has nothing to with "legislating morality" or whatever he thinks constitutes being a "Christianist."

What do you think his reaction would be to a billboard that said "Jesus loves gays too"? Would that be a sign of the evil Christianists merging religion and politics? No, it's pretty clear you're only a "Christianist" if you're a social conservative airing your opinion in public.

His own usage (even in the middle of this scuffle) contradicts his explanation that he is merely trying to describe a theocratic tendency among a subset of Christians. What does that billboard have to do with theocracy? One can only conclude that he uses the term to denounce social conservatives generally (which is precisely what you accused him of). Sure, social conservatives can believe birth control is immoral, but the second they dare to present their case to the public on a billboard they venture into "Christianist" territory.

I am beginning to form an idea of what the means by this term "Christianist." If you shut up and know your place, which is irrelevant silence, then you're a Christian. If you dare to speak publicly about morality, you're a Christianist. Well, at least if you're socially conservative. I don't want to bother, but I am sure Sullivan's linked religious leaders supporting gay marriage on religious grounds. Are they Christianists because they seek to influence a political debate with religious appeals? Anyway, I'll stop my rant before I become any more incoherent. =)

Alpha Liberal said...

To answer your question, "yes." If your new word has inherent power, it will grow in use. If not, it dies.

Ann says: "The problem is not the creation of a new word per se, it's what you do with with that word and what effect you have on other people."

And when Ann Althouse says "Islamist" she doesn't really care about the effect she has on other people.

You have one set of standards for Christians, but a whole different set for Muslims.

Not exactly even-handed. More biased and discriminatory.

And the sanctimony is pathetic from one who argues by caling her protagonists "slimeball" and "idiot."

Knemon said...

"In fact I think he's correct that some people deploy the word with a bit of gay-bashing in the back of their minds."

As Ace often points out, this is bullshit.

Sullivan does, in fact, have a pronounced tendency to argue in a shrill, hysterical manner. Are we not allowed to point this out because he's gay?

Knemon said...

"And when Ann Althouse says "Islamist" she doesn't really care about the effect she has on other people."

?

??

???

Do you think the AK Party would *mind* being called "Islamist?"

Brian O'Connell said...

As Ace often points out, this is bullshit.

Then Ace and I apparently disagree. My point is that Sullivan believes it's true, so he's well aware of connotations and their abuse.

Alpha Liberal said...

Hey, when are all you Christians who are so consumed over forcing clerks to say "Merry Christmas" going to give a damn whether these same retailers are open on Christmas and New Years?

Why isn't that an issue?

Knemon said...

"Hey, when are all you Christians ..."

Whom are you addressing?

Some of the regulars here are Christian (possibly even ChristianIST?), others are not.

I thought you were all about nuance, tolerance and diversity?

Revenant said...

Hey, when are all you Christians who are so consumed over [various straw men blah blah blah]

Mind naming some names of regular posters here who are "consumed" over that issue?

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha Liberal said..."And when Ann Althouse says "Islamist" she doesn't really care about the effect she has on other people. You have one set of standards for Christians, but a whole different set for Muslims. Not exactly even-handed. More biased and discriminatory."

You are quite wrong. As I've said on the blog several times, I use Islamist to avoid using "Muslim." It makes a distinction between ordinary religious people and those who want to work through government and impose their will on people. I accept the same function for the word Christianist. If you see a double standard, you haven't been reading here. Maybe you get your information from other blogs. How about stepping up and discovering that the blog you relied on lied?

Pogo said...

Well, Sullivan and Greewald have been successful in setting sail a glorious new word, with a definition lacking precision, and one that appears to be intentionally inflammatory.

That is, if success can be defined as reducing support for your proposed policies, antagonizing potential proponents, and smearing oneself as hysterically partisan.

It is akin to calling his opponents Christo-Nazis, then claiming no intended connection between the right and fascists, just that they both have political rallies. I can think of no other useful term to describe such a politically charged word than Bullshit.

But I mean no disrespect.

knoxgirl said...

Ugh, "Christianist" / "War on Christmas" ....

two sides of the same annoying, myopic coin.

AJ Lynch said...

Absotively & OKledokley!

I have also used "spokesbot" to cast negative aspersions on guvment PR flacks.

And have used "expertiness" in homage to the brilliant to Stephen Colbert.

Alpha Liberal said...

Here's an example of the Bill of Rights-trashing Christianist movement.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2006/11/local_look_neig.html
"Pagosa Springs -- A homeowners group says it will fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that has offended some other residents as an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. Lisa Jensen said she's not taking it down until after Christmas."

The Durango Herald has a photograph of the wreath and more details from the neighborhood. Jensen tells the paper she doesn't intend the wreath to be an anti-Iraq war symbol.

Kearns, who fired a five-member neighborhood panel that refused to cite Jensen, gives his argument against the symbol: "The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it. It's also an anti-Christ sign. That's how it started." But the Herald finds a mixed origin for it.
-----------------
Got it? Christ hates peace symbols! Christ must love war!

And if the Christianists say a symbol is the sign of Satan, then by god no-one else can use exhibit it.

Let's hear your even-handedness, Ann. chirp, chirp.

knoxgirl said...

Mary, welcome back!

Knemon said...

"Bill of Rights-trashing ... A homeowners group"

This homeowners' group is, how can I put this, RETARDED. (I don't normally use that word in that sense, but it just feels right here).

However, they're not a government, so I don't see how the Bill of Rights applies.

How's that for nuance, AL: I think that this is a really bad thing to do, but not unconstitutional.

Pogo said...

AlphaLiberal,
When the Pagosa Homeowners Association Chrisianists start lopping off heads, forcing neighbors to wear burqas, blowing themselves up in crowded restaurants, and flying Cessnas into the Pagosa Springs Town Hall, you can get back to me.

Otherwise, it falls far short of generating concern over an imminent 'theocracy'.

Alpha Liberal said...

So, Pogo, you don't really care when a citizen's First Amendment rights are violated by a quasi-governemntal organization?

Very typical, and sad. Sorry we can't agree to support the First Amendment anymore.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Knemon said...

"quasi-governemntal organization"

A *homeowners' association*?

*

"Sorry we can't agree to support the First Amendment anymore."

Sinclair? ABC?

Pogo said...

Re: "So, Pogo, you don't really care when a citizen's First Amendment rights are violated by a quasi-governemntal organization?"
1. Who said I didn't care what happened?
2. My point, as you twist to avoid it, was that this Christian who demands the removal of a wreath is no Islamist, who would have killed the homeowner for disrespecting Islam. They are not morally equivalent.
3. Since when is a voluntary hoemowner's association "quasi-governmental"? That's a weak argument, AlphaLiberal. Very weak.

"Sorry we can't agree to support the First Amendment anymore."

No, it's very typical and sad that your favorite logical fallacies are straw men and non sequiturs.

Revenant said...

So, Pogo, you don't really care when a citizen's First Amendment rights are violated by a quasi-governemntal organization?

A homeowner's association is not a governmental organization at all, "quasi" or otherwise. It is an organization homeowners voluntarily enter into as a condition of buying their house, which they then have contractual obligations (and which in turn has contractual obligations to them, e.g. enforcing the rules).

Nobody's first amendment rights are being violated, as there is no first amendment right to enter into a contract and then blow it off whenever you want.

And saying that being anti-peace-symbol means being pro-war makes about as much sense as saying that being against the "burning cross" symbol means being pro-atheism. The people don't object to peace, they object to all of the extra baggage that goes along with that particular peace symbol.

Harkonnendog said...

"You're basically suggesting that people that will ignore:

a) the explicit definition of the word, given by Sullivan"
I'm suggesting most people will never be aware of his explicit definition.

"b) the implicit definition of the word, given by the traditional use of the "ist" suffix"
If that WERE the implicit definition you would have a good point. However, the implicit definition has more to do with the word Islamist, which implies there is a real danger that Christian theocracies around the world are bankrolling a Christianist movement in the US and in minority Christianist enclaves in Europe and that other Christianists who are also terrorists are going around murdering people to make such theocracies happen. There are no Christianist states ruled by a Christian version of Sharia. There is no broad worldwide Christianist movement. There is no Christianic Terrorism problem. That's why the word suck.

"c) the literal meaning of any sentence in which the word appears."
Crap.

Shanna said...

Pagosa Springs -- A homeowners group says it will fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign ...said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs.

The evils of the homeowners association in general is a totally different subject.

I want to know when we started using Islamist instead of Islamic.

Anonymous said...

Err, guys... there seems to be a lot of talking past each other here. Maybe this will help
(I doubt it, but it can't hurt to try):

1. "the implicit definition of the word, given by the traditional use of the "ist" suffix."

In scholarly contexts, "X-ist", when applied to a political position or tendency, has a literal meaning something like "pertaining to the view that the values specifically associated with X should play a central role in public policy". So we have "Marxist" where X = Marx, "Secularist" where X = secular humanism, "Nationalism" where X = whatever nation is in question, etc.

2. On this model, "Islamism" is, literally speaking, the view that the values specifically associated with Islam should have a central role in public policy. It is *not*, literally speaking, the idea that Islamic values should be promoted by terrorism or other undemocratic means. That's why parties like the Justice and Development Party in Turkey are generally referred to as "moderate Islamists". People who condone terrorism can be distinguished from Islamists in general by referring to them as "extreme" Islamists or "pro-terrorist Islamists" or whatever.

Any reasonable person will find *both* these sorts of Islamism utterly unacceptable, of course, but there is a difference between them.

3. Correspondingly, the literal meaning of "Christianist" should be "pertaining to the view that the values specifically associated with Christianity should play a central role in public policy." There is absolutely no tension here with Sullivan's explicit definitions. (Remember that Sullivan has a background in political philosophy.)

4. All this being said, however, it is also the case that what most bloggers have in mind when they say "Islamism" is "extreme Islamism". So talking about "Christianists" and "Islamists" in the same breath can give the *impression* that you are accusing typical Christianists of being like pro-terrorism Islamists, which is false, rather than accusing them of being like moderate Islamists, which is true (or at least arguable) and quite damning enough.

What Sullivan is doing is rather like saying that Garibaldi was a "nationalist" in a context where the people you are talking to think that the only sort of nationalism is Fascism. Doing this can lead to miscommunication, and is therefore probably to be avoided if you don't want to get bogged down in irrelevancies, but it is not *incorrect*.

Revenant said...

In scholarly contexts, "X-ist", when applied to a political position or tendency, has a literal meaning

Um, Andrew Sullivan's not a scholar. He's not writing for a scholarly audience. Why, therefore, are we to assume that he's using the "-ist" suffix in the manner in which a scholar would?

In colloquial English -- which is what Sullivan writes in, and which is used by his target audience -- the "ist" suffix isn't so well-defined. Moreover, Sullivan himself repeatedly used the "Islamist = terrorist supporter" construction and approvingly quoted other people who have, back before he decided that George Bush was a bigger threat to him than Osama bin Laden. It therefore stretches credibility well beyond the breaking point to say that "Christianist" is meant simply as a scholarly term for people who think Christianity should have a central role in public policy.

Particularly since that's actually NOT one of the many definitions Sullivan has given for the word. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post, Revenant. Some thoughts (nothing knock-down):

1. Um, Andrew Sullivan's not a scholar. He's not writing for a scholarly audience. Why, therefore, are we to assume that he's using the "-ist" suffix in the manner in which a scholar would?

True, Sullivan is not a professor, but he did write a PhD thesis on Michael Oakeshott, so it's not unlikely that some relatively precise usages could have leaked into his blogging.

Moreover, although the broad and literal usage of "Islamist", "nationalist", etc. is most common in purely scholarly contexts, that doesn't mean that it isn't common enough outside academia, particularly in public-affairs magazines like The New Republic, which Sullivan used to edit. When Leon Wieseltier described Isaiah Berlin as a friend to "the nationalists" in TNR a few years ago, he was praising him, and not calling him a quasi-fascist. This doesn't go directly to the usage of "Islamist", but it does make the point that the broad "X-ist" construction is not entirely esoteric.

2. Moreover, Sullivan himself repeatedly used the "Islamist = terrorist supporter" construction ... It therefore stretches credibility well beyond the breaking point to say that "Christianist" is meant simply as a scholarly term for people who think Christianity should have a central role in public policy.

Particularly since that's actually NOT one of the many definitions Sullivan has given for the word. :)


There is nothing unusual or unreasonable about using a term narrowly on on occasion and broadly on another. I use "guys" sometimes broadly to include both men and women, and sometimes narrowly to include only men. It's OK as long as you make clear or the context makes clear which usage you mean.

Now, does Sullivan make clear that he intends a broad usage of "Christianist" that corresponds to "Islamist" in the broad sense and not to the narrowly pro-terrorist sense? It's true that Sullivan doesn't use exactly the definition I offered of the broad usage, but he does give something to much the same effect, which is

I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.

Sullivan's point is that Christianism in this broad sense is bad in the same way (though not to the same degree) that Islamism even in the broad sense is bad. Not because either necessarily requires supporting anything like terrorism or anti-democratic methods, but because each says that specifically religious doctrines should find expression in our policies and laws. In the Islamist case, it might be a law barring unmarried couples from having sex. In the Christianist case, it might be a law encouraging the teaching of intelligent design, or discouraging use of contraceptives.

Sullivan is simply making the standard argument that even if one is a devout member of a Christian sect that teaches the falsity of evolution and the sinfulness of contraception, one should oppose basing policy or laws on such teachings. The argument is that it is reasonable to vote for the expression in law or public policy of what you believe to be true, except for cases where one's reasons for believing it to be true are essentially revelatory in nature. Revelation might justify private faith, but not the promotion of such doctrines by law or public policy. Because trying to use revelation to justify the public promotion of such doctrines leads to intractible disputes. (Only genuinely non-revelatory reasons will do; pretending you having them is not enough.)

This venerable old argument targets Christianists and Islamists in the broad sense, and not just in the pro-terrorist sense. Moderate Christianists and moderate Islamists may disagree with it, but they should agree that it involves no assumption that they support terrorism or anti-democratic methods.

So if Sullivan is accepted as intending by "Christianist" the broad meaning he explicitly says he intends, then he is saying something very arguably true and relevant, and in no wise offensive.

3. On the other hand, he clearly enjoys the rhetorical effect of the fact that Christianists in the broad sense, very few of whom are in favour of Christian terrorism, find themselves belonging to a category corresponding to that of Islamists in the broad sense, many of whom are pro-terrorist. As he says, he is being 'provocative'.

This is not exactly the most high-minded approach, but on my scale of sins, it ranks as pretty minor.

Knemon said...

"I want to know when we started using Islamist instead of Islamic."

Used properly, Islamism refers to political Islam, the idea (and its manifestations in actual parties/organizations/regimes) that Islam can and should function as a political ideology.

This comes in soft forms, like Turkey's AK Party, and hard forms, like the Taliban.

Using it as shorthand for either Islam itself, or for terrorism, is sloppy at best.

Revenant said...

True, Sullivan is not a professor, but he did write a PhD thesis on Michael Oakeshott, so it's not unlikely that some relatively precise usages could have leaked into his blogging.

Heh! I think any objective observer familiar with Sullivan's writing would agree that it is *extremely* unlikely for precise usages to show up in it at all, whether through leakage or otherwise. I wrote an earlier post on the scattershot and mutually-exclusive ways in which he's used the term "Christianist".

that doesn't mean that it isn't common enough outside academia, particularly in public-affairs magazines like The New Republic, which Sullivan used to edit.

It is generally considered by New Republic subscribers that the magazine took a sharp downturn in quality on Sullivan's watch, shifting away from intellectual analysis and in a poppier, more entertainment-oriented direction (which is what brought on the whole Glass fiasco). So I wouldn't point to Sullivan's stewardship of the magazine as evidence that he's accustomed to precise writing.

In any case, as I noted before, this is all moot -- whether or not Sullivan is familiar with that usage of "ist", it is for a fact not the one he used in defining "Christianist".

It's true that Sullivan doesn't use exactly the definition I offered of the broad usage, but he does give something to much the same effect

The definition you cited is, indeed *one* of the many definitions of the word Sullivan has used. He has also used alternate and contradictory definitions, such as describing as "Christianist" anyone who sees religion as a means to a political end. Again, I suggest you consult my earlier post on the subject.

As he says, he is being 'provocative'.

People who call him a "disease-ridden sexual deviant" are being "provocative" too -- and showing an equivalent degree of decency and intellectual honesty.

Simon said...

Ah, but:

"The two justices, ideological opposites, shared a passion for policing abuses of the language. They kept an Enemies List: the words "parameter" and "viable" were on it. In 1991, Justice Scalia invited Justice Blackmun to join the Chancellor's English Society.

"The mission of the Society is to identify and stamp out illiteracies and barbaric neologism in legal writing — or at least commiserate about them. I am the only other member," he wrote.
"