Decisions. Decisions.

by Hugh Fitzgerald (May 2008)

Coffee or Tea?


Olive oil or butter? Butter or jam? Jam or Patum Peperium? Rice or Pasta? Steak or Lobster? Mu Shi Pork, or Mu Shi Chicken? Mushrooms or Bamboo Shoots? Sushi or Sashimi? Franks or Burgers? Coke or Pepsi? Gherkins, or Bread-and-Butter Pickles? Ciabatta or Whole-Wheat Bread? Equal or Splenda? Le Cru ou Le Cuit?


The Guelfs or the Ghibellines? The Red or the Black? The Blue or the Gray? The Federalists or the Jeffersonians? The Colorados or the Blancos? The Descamisados or the Sans-Culottes? The Liberals or Conservatives? The Democrats or Republicans? The Red States, or the Blue States? Obama or Hillary?


Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton? Leno or Letterman?  Bix Beiderbecke or Bunny Berigan? Picasso or Matisse?


The English “Office” or the American “Office”? The Little-Enders or the Big-Enders? The Wave-Theorists, or the Particle-Theorists of Light? Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard? Provence or Tuscany? Rent, or Buy?


Harvard or Yale? Exeter or Andover? Oxford or Cambridge? Macintosh or MS/DOS? Dickens or Thackeray? Shakespeare or Dante? Leonardo or Michelangelo? Dryden or Pope? Corneille or Racine? Ambrose Bierce or Bret Harte? Damon Runyon or Finley Peter Dunne? Benchley or Thurber?


The Wise Man or the Fool? The Blonde or the Brunette? The Prude or the Libertine? The Crossword, or Puns and Anagrams? Capablanca, or Kasparov?


Roundheads or Cavaliers? La Montagne ou La Gironde? Bolsheviks or Mensheviks? Clerics or Anti-clericals? Syllabotonic or free verse? Keats or Shelley? Browning or Tennyson? Stevens or Frost?  Georgia or Abkhazia? Tibet or China? China or Xinjiang?


Marie Boroff or Max Beloff? Jean Seznec or Jean Starobinski? Alexandre Kojève or Alexandre Koyré?


Dos Equis, or Kirin? Kirin or Tsingtao? Tsingtao or Dos Equis? Burgundy or Bordeaux? Barolo or Amarone? Beggers or Choosers? Debtors or Creditors? Eve or Lilith? Mars or Venus? Scylla or Charybdis? The Devil, or the Deep Blue Sea? David Copperfield, or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea?


Pinyin or Wade-Giles? Senecan Amble, or  Lipsius his hopping stile? The Metaphoric, or the Metonymic Pole?


Truth, or Reconciliation?


All, or Nothing At All?


Decisions. Decisions. 

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