Monday, February 8, 2016


Today, in the grocery, I could not reach the Real-Lemon which was on the top shelf.  A young couple turned in the aisle and I asked the young man, "Will you help me?"  He immediately handed the bottle to me and I told him and his wife the following story about Vic Cassano:

When I worked at Rockwell, Vic Cassano was a guest speaker at one of our Management Club meetings.  Vic Cassano was known as the "Pizza King".  Cassano told that in his business philosophy there are some magic words and those words are: "Will you help me?" He told how he used the question in all aspects of his business. For instance, if he were in one of the restaurants and he asked one of the cooks that question the answer would be, "Of course, Mr. Cassano." He said that if he asked one of his Managers that the response would be, "Sure, Mr. Cassano, glad to help." He said when he would ask his Board of Directors, they would usually respond, "Maybe, Vic." but he said that sometimes he would have to change it to "ARE you going to help me?" and they would answer, "Of course, Vic."

Since then, I have used Cassano's "magic words" quite often in my life!

Sunday, February 7, 2016


A young friend was poking fun at the way people in Louisiana speak and I asked, "And how often do they make fun of YOUR accent?  He answered, indignantly, "I don't have an accent!"  I laughed and said, "Tell me how you pronounce 
O-R-A-N-G-E!"  When he did, I laughed and said, "Definitely OHIA!"  (I deliberately mispronounced Ohio for effect.)  I continued, "Tell me how you pronounce M-A-R-Y, M-E-R-R-Y, and M-A-R-R-Y."  Each time he replied, I would screak, "OHIA!"

I like regional differences but find it irritating when people from other areas think that our pronunciations are automatically incorrect.  A woman from Massachusetts who is a member of our Lunch Bunch said that we pronounce the word "aunt" like the insect.  I said, "I'm certain that if you look in the dictionary, you will find that A-N-T in a perfectly good pronunciation." She insisted that A-U-H-N-T is the only acceptable pronunciation.  I laughed and said, "The only people I hear say it that way are from the hills."  

I repeated the same exercise of telling her to pronounce O-R-A-N-G-E, etc.,  and then I asked "How do you pronounce G-H-O-T-I?"  When she answered, I said, "No, it's pronounced FISH!"  I told her of the old conundrum usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw, but the first documented usage was by William Oiler:

GHOTI is pronounced "FISH":

The "GH" is pronounced as the "F" sound in "TOUGH"
The "O" is pronounced as the "I" sound in "WOMEN"
The "TI" is pronounced as the "SH" sound in "NATION"


Here is another example:


"GH" as the "P" sound in "HICCOUGH"
"OUGH" as the "O" sound in "THOUGH"
"PT" as the "T" sound in "PTOMAINE"
"EIGH" as the "A" sound in "NEIGH"
"BT" as the "T" sound in "DEBT"
"EAU" as the "O" sound in "BUREAU"


It's not surprising that English is difficult for speakers of other languages to learn.

Just consider these five words ending in "OUGH":

BOUGH rhymes with COW
COUGH rhymes with OFF
ROUGH rhymes with PUFF
THOUGH rhymes with GO
THROUGH rhymes with SHOE

Saturday, February 6, 2016


The pineapple is a symbol of WELCOME.  It is certainly welcome in our diet.   Read the article sent to me by my health-conscious friend Mona Lisa who knows how much I savor fresh pineapple.

                                THE SIMPLE PINEAPPLE 

The pineapple is a member of the bromeliad family. It is extremely rare that bromeliads produce edible fruit. The pineapple is the only available edible bromeliad today.

It is a multiple fruit. One pineapple is actually made up of dozens of individual flowerets which grow together to form the entire fruit. Each scale on a pineapple is evidence of a separate flower.

Pineapples stop ripening the minute they are picked. No special way of storing them will help ripen them further. Color is relatively unimportant in determining ripeness. Choose your pineapple by smell. If it smells fresh, tropical and sweet, it will probably be a good fruit.

The more scales on the pineapple, the sweeter and juicier the taste.

After you cut off the top, you can plant it. It should grow much like a sweet potato does.

This delicious fruit is not only sweet and tropical; it also offers many benefits to our health. Pineapple is a remarkable fruit.

We find it enjoyable because of its lush, sweet, and exotic flavor, but it may also be one of the most healthful foods available today. If we take a more detailed look at it, we will find that pineapple is valuable for easing indigestion, arthritis, and sinusitis.

The juice has an anthelmintic effect; it helps get rid of intestinal worms.

Pineapple is high in manganese, a mineral that is critical to development of strong bones and connective tissue. A cup of fresh pineapple will give you nearly 75% of the recommended daily amount.

It is particularly helpful to older adults, whose bones tend to become brittle with age.

Bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme, is the key to pineapple's value. Proteolytic means "breaks down protein", which is why pineapple is known to be a digestive aid. It helps the body digest proteins more efficiently. Bromelain is also considered an effective anti-inflammatory.

Regular ingestion of at least one half cup of fresh pineapple daily is purported to relieve painful joints common to osteoarthritis. It also produces mild pain relief.

In Germany , bromelain is approved as a post-injury medication because it is thought to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Orange juice is a popular liquid for those suffering from a cold because it is high in Vitamin C. Fresh pineapple is not only high in this vitamin, but because of the Bromelain, it has the ability to reduce mucous in the throat. If you have a cold with a productive cough, add pineapple to your diet. It is commonly used in Europe as a post-operative measure to cut mucous after certain sinus and throat operations.

Those individuals who eat fresh pineapple daily report fewer sinus problems related to allergies. In and of itself, pineapple has a very low risk for allergies.

Pineapple is also known to discourage blood clot development. This makes it a valuable dietary addition for frequent fliers and others who may be at risk for blood clots.

An old folk remedy for morning sickness is fresh pineapple juice. Fresh juice and some nuts first thing in the morning often make a difference.

It's also good for a healthier mouth. The fresh juice discourages plaque growth.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Today is the anniversary of my mother's birth.  If she had lived, she would have been 103 today.  In her heart, she was always young.  

My mother was very pretty, but she hated to have her picture taken as do I and three of my brothers. I have only three photographs of her. The one shown was taken when she was 21 years old holding my brother Gary. She always laughed when she told me that she was married two years before she became pregnant and she thought she could not have any children; then she had eight children in 21 years! We were loved unconditionally.

Of all of us siblings, Gary looked the most like my mother, with his pretty skin, dark complexion, pretty teeth, black wavy hair and "snapping black eyes" (as my grandmother would say). Oh, damn, I look like my father's sister! When I saw my aunt the last time, I turned to my brother and said, "Please tell me I don't look like her!" He answered, "You better start saving for the face lift!"

My mother--I'm going to phrase this politely--had a "prominent nose". One day when my brother Gary was about 10 years old, he came home from school and said, "Boy, Mom, I thought you had a big nose until I saw Mrs. Greene's!" Mother said, "Well, I'm glad someone's is bigger than mine and Jimmy Durante's!"

My mother always looked young for her age and as my father was eleven years her senior, she was often mistaken as his daughter. When my father and mother came to my eighth grade graduation, one of my fellow students said, "I didn't know you had an older sister." I answered that I didn't. She then asked, "Who was that girl with your dad?" I answered that it was my mother and she asked, "Wow, she's pretty--what happened to you?"  

Flash forward--when I was in my twenties--my brother Les and Mother came to pick me up from work, and a gal named Beverly King asked the next day, "Was that your sister in the car?"  I said, "No, that's my mother."  She asked, "She's pretty, what happened to you?"

I saw Beverly King Duncan recently and I reminded her of that exchange.  Bev redeemed herself by saying that my mother would have been proud of me.  I hope so.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


A reader of my BLOG left a comment that I had used the word "propriety" incorrectly in my article titled WHY IS IT YOU WANT TO KNOW?  The sentence in question:  "I was more offended by her lack of propriety in asking in such a public place."

I asked, "What word do you think would have been correct usage?"  He answered, "Proprietary."

I replied, "Perhaps you are confusing PROPRIETARY with PROPRIETY."  I learned that he wasn't aware that there was the word "propriety".

PROPRIETY:  "the state or quality of conforming to conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals."

PROPRIETARY:  "of or relating to an owner or ownership."

No, Dear Reader, the woman showed NO propriety when asking embarrassing questions!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


It is College Championship Week on Jeopardy!  Last night, Carissa, the contestant from West Point, kept saying "HUNNERT" as she chose the 2 HUNDRED, 4 HUNDRED, etc., categories.

I smirked and said, "You can take the girl outta West Layfayette, but........",   (Sorry, Patty, for that snide remark)

Les answered, "Yeah, they probably say HUNDRED in East Layfayette!