Saturday, October 03, 2015

Conjunctions are cohesive

In one way, after is a temporal con- junction. But reading after as because is so common, it's its own logical fallacy - post hoc ergo propter hoc, "after this therefore because of this".

And that makes its use - particularly in headlines - very problematic. This particular headline (Vatican Fires Polish Priest After He Comes Out as Gay to Reporters) begs to be read as "he got fired because he came out as gay".

But that's not what happened. He got fired because he's bragging about having a sex life. If he'd paraded a woman around the same thing would have happened, and a nice tame celibate gay priest would be a coup for a church that claims it loves gays as long as they don't, you know, act that way.

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