Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 24, 2021

tops out
Well, a million is an exaggeration, even if you count by them two-by-two. But even one exposed boob was probably one too many for some onlookers yesterday, when advocates for National Go-Topless Day marched the streets near Central Park, with bared breasts on display.

And in the Empire State, it’s all nice and legal:

New York is the only state in the country where women can be topless legally, after a 1992 ruling in the state’s highest court. That means any woman can walk around the city at any time with no shirt on.

Among the speakers was Ramona Santorelli, of upstate Rochester, who was the plaintiff in the 1992 case.

“It’s not about baring your breasts,” she said. “But the true meaning is to normalize women’s bodies.”

I could get used to this kind of normalization. Although considering that this Go Topless stunt was organized by the cuckoo-go-nuts Raelian Movement, I think any claims to “normal” are forfeited.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/24/2009 01:16:35 PM
Category: Fashion, New Yorkin', Society, Women
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I’ve always liked the expression “addition by subtraction”, because a related, dual meaning underlies it: A negative action results in a positive effect, as in when an under-performing or damaging asset is removed, making the remaining whole more cohesive and, therefore, stronger. A power-packed turn of the phrase.

In fact, it’s deserving of a mathematical ramp-up: I propose “multiplication by subtraction” to really emphasize an improvement accruing from such a purge-and-surge. When addition doesn’t cover it, multiplication will.

I never realized that the original phrase is primarily regarded as a sports-media cliche. I guess I probably first came upon in that vein; but I freely use it in other contexts, and don’t see it as exclusive to any particular subject area. By contrast, “multiplication by subtraction” hasn’t gained much traction yet, so there’s room to grow — by an appropriately large margin.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/24/2009 10:58:35 AM
Category: Media, Sports, Wordsmithing
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It’s apparently been around since the mid-1960s, yet this past weekend was the first time I’ve ever heard the coining of the phrase “faction”. That’s a meld of “fact” and “fiction”, as applied to books, movies, and other works that integrally incorporate real-life people and events into a fictional account/narrative. Just about any docudrama, historical fiction, and the like would qualify.

That crunching-together sounds good at first — until you realize that “faction” is already a word, with a distinctly different definition. The common description of a dissenting group within a larger one isn’t everyday language, but it’s far from obscure.

I wonder if “faction” in the literary sense is a British invention, and is used more widely in the UK than over here. Even if it is, it’s still a linguistic reach, given the existence of the established definition. Just stick to “fictionalization” for the fact-fiction combos, and be done with it; no need to get cute or pithy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/24/2009 09:46:02 AM
Category: Movies, Publishing, Wordsmithing
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