I just rediscovered this interesting clip on YouTube about Robert Anton Wilson and his thoughts on language. He does a good job of explaining e-prime, which is English without the use of the verb "to be". It's a tough speech pattern to pick up but can do wonders for your outlook on the world. When you stop focusing on what something "is" and start focusing on how it "seems" the less dogmatic your thoughts become. At the very least you get in less fights that way.