Thursday, February 28, 2013


For many years, I have refused to use the term "Indian" to describe Native Americans as it is offensive. Recently, when I called out someone for using the derogatory term, the person told me, with an overweening attitude, that not only was it NOT offensive, but, in fact, was complimentary, because the word is derived from the Spanish phrase "gente di dios" (people of God).

I reacted by asking, "Are you out of your mind?" She answered, "I've read it several different places." Because of her arrogance, I answered, with great irritation, "Don't you know that paper will hold still for anything to be printed on it; it doesn't mean it's true?"

I offered to bet that I was right, with no success.

I just received the following from one of my favorite websites Grammarphobia. Of course I forwarded the article to her.


Q: I came across a website that says the use of the word “Indian” for a Native American is derived from the Spanish phrase Gente de Dios. Whaddya think?

A: Didn’t your mother tell you not to believe everything you see on the Web?

The website of La Prensa, a weekly newspaper for Latinos in the Midwest, does indeed say the term “Indian” is derived from that Spanish phrase for People of God.

A “Latino History” page on the site says Gente de Dios was later shorted to en Dios, then endios, and finally “Indian.”

“Yes, ‘Indian’ they were called Indians,” La Prensa adds, “not because they were thought to live in India but because they were children of God.”
As you suspect, that etymology is nonsense—or as one would say in Spanish, una tontería.

The truth, as you were undoubtedly taught in school, is that Christopher Columbus did indeed think he’d reached India when he landed in the Americas and that he referred to the natives as “Indians” in Spanish.
In the diary of his first voyage to the Americas, which Columbus wrote in 15th-century Spanish, he repeatedly referred to the indigenous population as indios and yndios.

Here’s a modern Spanish version of the diary in which he describes the islands he visited in the region as estas islas de India (these islands of India).

As the Oxford English Dictionary explains, the use of the term “Indian” for the indigenous people of the Americas is the result of “Columbus’s assumption that, on reaching America, he had reached the east coast of India.”

The word “Indian” in this sense first showed up in English, according to OED citations, in the mid-16th century.

The earliest reference in the OED is from A Treatyse of the Newe India With Other New Founde Landes and Islandes (1553).

Here’s the citation from Richard Eden’s translation of a work by the German cartographer Sebastian Münster: “They saw certayn Indians gatheringe shel fyshes by the sea bankes.”

Not surprisingly, the adjective “Indian” in reference to the people of India entered English a lot earlier—in the late 1300s, and the noun “Indian” in that sense first showed up around 1400, according to OED citations.

Although English adapted the adjective and noun “Indian” from the Anglo-Norman and Middle French indien, the dictionary notes, the geographic name “India” is a direct borrowing from Latin and showed up centuries earlier.

The OED has two Early Old English citations from History Against the Pagans, a work by Paulus Orosius, a church historian who lived in the late 4th and early 5th centuries.

We won’t go through La Prensa’s “Latin History” page point by point, but we should note one other questionable statement: “Christopher Columbus, by the way, was not his real name—it was Cristóbal Colón.”

Columbus, who made four voyages to the New World under the auspices of the Spanish Crown, was born Cristoforo Colombo on Oct. 31, 1451, in the Republic of Genoa, now part of modern Italy.

“Christopher Columbus” is an Anglicized version of his name in Latin, Christophorus Columbus. Cristóbal Colón is the Spanish version of his name and Cristóvão Colombo is the Portuguese version.

Columbus was a man of the world who spoke all those languages. We imagine that he referred to himself by the name used in whichever language he was speaking.

In his diary, for example, Columbus writes his name in the Spanish of his time: almirante don x’val Colón (almirante is Spanish for “admiral” and “x” is short for Cristo, or “Christ”).

Columbus, by the way, didn’t invent the use of “x” as an abbreviation for “Christ.” This convention is more than a thousand years old, as we’ve written on our blog.

In a posting six years ago, we noted that the practice grew out of Greek, in which “Christ” begins with the letter “chi,” or “X.” In Greek letters it’s spelled ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


After writing the NRA (Not Really Admiring) BLOG article, I asked my clever friend Patty and others to supply me with other acronyms ridiculing the NRA. ONLY Patty is willing to be quoted!



How many NRA members does it take to screw in a light bulb? It doesn't matter; they'll still be in the dark!

I heard that joke about LIBERALS, so I just switched it around to fit the NUTCASE ROBOTIC APPROVERS!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I've been reading Jon Mikolashek's biography of General Mark Clark. I can't hear Mark Clark's name without thinking of the actress Joan Van Ark's less famous brother MARK CLARK VAN ARK! I heard Joan interviewed many years ago and she mentioned that her brother was named for Mark Clark; her father had served under General Clark in
World War II.

I have written other articles about odd names (click here). My all-time favorite is DWARD FARQUAHAR who was Dodie Goodman's dance teacher in Columbus, Ohio. My friend Patty's favorite is: FERN TEESEETLE ARNOLD who was the aunt of Patty's friend Linda.

Monday, February 25, 2013

NRA (Not Really Admiring)

Yesterday, at Kroger, I saw an elderly man sitting on a cart used by handicapped people. I noticed his hat, and I thought the hat had a military service-related insignia on it. I was going to thank him for his service to our country. As I got closer, I saw that it was an NRA logo instead, and I backed away. The man noticed that I was looking at his hat and that I had backed away.

He said, "You didn't like me when you saw that", as he pointed to his hat. I answered, "I wouldn't judge anyone without knowing him." He said, "A lot of people hate the NRA." I asked, "Really? I'm surprised, especially around here." He said, "I hear it from people all the time." I said, "It doesn't mean they hate you; it means they dislike what the NRA leaders are saying." Although I was surprised, I was nevertheless pleased to learn that others--especially local people--had expressed to him their dislike of the NRA.

I said, "I thought it was a military insignia on your hat and I was going to thank you for your service." He answered, "Well, I had 31 years in the service." I started to take his hand to shake hands but part of his hand was missing. He offered his other hand to me and I said, "Thank you for your service, sir; you should be wearing a hat showing your service." He said, "They didn't give me a free one!" (That was funny!) I answered, "I'll get one for you!"

I don't think it's appropriate to verbally attack a stranger and I understand that polls show that the majority of the members of the NRA disagree with Mr. LaPierre, who is nothing more than a shill for weapons manufacturers. A number of weapons barons are members of the Governing Board of the NRA, and they obviously serve up LaPierre as their whipping boy! Actually, it's very brilliant of them: they must have learned the tactic to hide from the media and Congress from the cigarette producers who were pilloried before Congress.

I know several NRA members who agree with me on issues relating to gun control. One, who is a hunter, told me that he has written to, e-mailed, and called Mr. LaPierre to tell him that he doesn't believe in using military equipment to kill a deer.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


On my friend Arminta's Facebook page, several friends have responded to my request to name favorite Oscar picks.


PICTURE: Lincoln
ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis (although she hopes for Bradley Cooper)
ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain
SUPPORTING: Philip Seymour Hoffman
SUPPORTING: Anne Hathaway
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg


PICTURE: Silver Linings Playbook
ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence
SUPPORTING: Anne Hathaway
DIRECTOR: David Russell


ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
ACTRESS: Emmanuelle Riva


ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
ACTRESS: Jessica Chastain
SUPPORTING: Tommy Lee Jones
SUPPORTING: Anne Hathaway
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

Those are my picks on the ones I think WILL win; here's my list of the ones I would LIKE to see win:


PICTURE: Lincoln
ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis
ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence
SUPPORTING: Philip Seymour Hoffman
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

After a long thread, another friend wrote: "Blehhhhh, I suppose you're having Oscar-watching parties." I replied that I had had Oscar parties in the past!

I wrote: "How in the Hell can they logically nominate films without the Directors? They did that to Barbra back in the day and Spielberg was egregiously bypassed until he directed what they considered "mature" -- Schindler's List! Why aren't The Master and Paul Thomas Anderson on the list, along with Affleck, Tarantino, and Bigelow? Why are there more than 5 films nominated when it is limited to 5 nominees in other categories? It's to appease the corporations and the mega-grossing films! I hated Les Miserables and Anne Hathaway, but adored Jackman. It was so classy of Day-Lewis to praise Phoenix at other awards; I didn't care for Watts. I thought the best screenplay should go to Zero Dark Thirty."

No, I'm not having a party because I'm CRANKY!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


My friend Patty said that she and her friend Linda invented karaoke in the late 1950s in Indiana. She said that she and Linda sang and acted out songs for hours at a time. She said they even acted out instrumentals! They loved "Stranger On The Shore", "Autumn Leaves", "Poor People Of Paris" and today she wrote that she had spoken to Linda and told her about our conversation and Linda asked if Patty had told me about their signature number "Behind The Green Door". I wrote back, "Jim Lowe; I am so OLD!"

I wrote back and told her that while she and her friend in Indianapolis were doing that, my fellow Elvis fanatics in Bloomingburg were doing the same thing.

I wrote to Patty: "As my Algebra teacher Mr. White used to tell us: "Great minds run in the same channel OR fools think alike!"

Friday, February 22, 2013


This cartoon from The New Yorker reminds me of my mother who was known to use salty language and sometimes at inappropriate times. Gerald would ask, "Are you sure Gladys wasn't a sailor?"

One time, when my nephew Allen was a teenager, he and I went to the flea market and while there I bought a bag of hot, roasted cashews to take home to Mother, because she favored them. When Allen and I went in to the family room, there was a roomful of company. Allen handed the bag of nuts to my mother and she immediately put them down beside her chair, because she had no intention of sharing her treat!

After a few minutes, Allen asked her if she were going to open the cashews and she answered, "That's like taking your pecker out in a whorehouse!"

Allen shrieked, "GRANDMA, I can't believe you just said that!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013


We were enjoying a typical dinner, sitting in front of the television in the family room. Les had prepared one of Gerald's favorite meals: Arizona Skillet Dinner. As usual, Gerald had the remote on "MUTE" during a commercial as I was reading paragraphs of The New Yorker television critic's review of The House Of Cards, which is Netflix's foray into television production.

Typical? Eating dinner, watching TV, and reading during commercials. Seems typical to me.

I had highlighted a word in the review I didn't know. Les had gone to the kitchen during the commercial to fetch our desserts. (Gerald is the only one who doesn't "multi-task"; he just eats and mutes the TV). Les returned; the commercial was still playing, and I said to Les, "Hey, look up this word for me", as I tried to hand him the magazine with the highlighted word. He quickly had a dictionary in hand and said, with some annoyance, "Just SAY the word." I said, "I don't know how to pronounce it." He answered, "Then just SPELL it!" I spelled out the word B-A-S-I-L-I-S-K.

Between bites of garlic bread, Gerald casually said, "Oh, that's a mythical sea creature." I said, "How the Hell did you know that?" Gerald put the TV on "PAUSE" and said, "Oh, I heard it in a science fiction movie." Les began to read aloud the definition: "A mythical reptile with a lethal gaze or breath, hatched by a serpent from a cock's egg" or "a long, slender, mostly green lizard found in Central America".

I am the one who is usually asked word meanings. Les began to hoot joyously that Gerald had one-upped me.

Les continued, "Oh, by the way you can use the word COCKATRICE as a synonym!"

Dinner at the Raypoles!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


This is a Chinese Feng Shui horoscope. If you are honest this tells the truth. Write your answers on paper.

1. Which is your favourite color: Red, Black, Blue, Green or Yellow?
2. Your first initial?
3. Your month of birth?
4. Which color do you like more, Black or White?
5. The name of a person that is the same sex as you?
6. Your favorite number?
7. Do you like California or Florida more?
8. Do you like a Lake or the Ocean more?


1. If you chose:
Red: You are alert and your life is full of love.
Black: You are conservative and aggressive.
Green: Your soul is relaxed and you are laid back.
Blue: You are spontaneous and love affection.
Yellow: You are a very happy person & give good advice to those who are down.

2. If your initial is between:
A-K: You have a lot of love and friendships in your life.
L-R: You try to live your life to the max & your love life is soon to bloom.
S-Z: You like to help others and your future looks very bright.

3. If you were born in:
Jan-Mar: The year will go very well for you and you will discover that you fall in love with someone totally unexpected.
Apr-Jun: You will have a strong love relationship that will last forever.
Jul-Sep: You will have a great year and will experience a major life changing experience for the good.
Oct-Dec: Your life will be great; you will find your soul mate.

4. If you choose:
Black: Your life is about to get better. You are more than ready for the change.
White: You have a friend who completely confides in you and would do anything for you, but you may not realize it.

5 This person should be your Best Friend.

6. This is how many close friends you will have in your life time.

7. If you choose:
California : You like adventure.
Florida : You are a laid back person.

8. If you choose:
Lake : You are loyal to your friends and your lover. You are very reserved.
Ocean: You are spontaneous and like to please people.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013



I checked on snopes (see article HERE) and although the following can happen, it's unlikely.

Microwaving Water:

This is something many of us did not know:

A 26-year old man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the microwave off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but suddenly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build-up of energy . His whole face was blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring.

He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye. While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. (nothing metal, of course)

General Electric's Response:

Thanks for contacting us; I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

Here is what a local high school science teacher had to say on the matter: "Thanks for the microwave warning. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur any time water is heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water (less than half a cup)."

What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new, then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat that has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point.

What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.

Monday, February 18, 2013




The idiot drivers that move steadily along, but suddenly increase speed when they wake up and realize you are passing them. If they succeed in blocking your opportunity to pass, they will immediately resume the former, annoying pace. If you pass them successfully, they will ride your bumper for a short time before returning to la-la land.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


A Facebook friend posted:

"I'm trying to create a wedding registry and feeling overwhelmed by the many choices in bath towels." The earnest descriptions have amused me for the past hour; my favorite: "For the ultimate in pampering, these towels truly offer the best post-bath experience". I had never considered the interlude between exiting the bath to getting dressed as an experience. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

I answered: "Perhaps the ultimate experience could happen PRE-BATH which would be cause to use the towels!"

Saturday, February 16, 2013



The first known use of the abbreviation "OMG" was found in a letter to Winston Churchill, written in 1917.

The first recorded use of the abbreviation "OMG", which stands for "oh my god," "oh my gosh" or "oh my goodness," was from a letter written in 1917 by Lord Fisher to Winston Churchill. In the letter, Lord Fisher jokingly refers to a new order of knights signified by the letters "O.M.G" (Oh! My God!). Many decades later, the abbreviation became a part of textspeak -- the common abbreviations used by people who are communicating via text messaging or through social media.

Friday, February 15, 2013



1) You can't count your hair.
2) You can't wash your eyes with soap.
3) You can't breathe when your tongue is out.
Put your tongue back in your mouth, you silly person.

Ten (10) Things I know about you..
1) You are reading this.
2) You are human.
3) You can't say the letter ''P'' without separating your lips.
4) You just attempted to do it.
6) You are laughing at yourself.
7) You have a smile on your face and you skipped No. 5.
8) You just checked to see if there is a No. 5.
9) You laugh at this because you are a fun loving person and everyone does it too.
10) You are probably going to send this to see who else falls for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



While leading a seminar, a young woman confidently walked around a room with a raised glass of water while and explaining stress management to her audience. Everyone knew she was going to ask the obligatory question, "Half empty or half full?" She fooled them all. "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 ounces to 20 ounces.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm."

She continued, "If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She added, "That's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

She continued, "As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden; holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Pick them up again tomorrow if you must."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013



My friend Lori likes aphorisms. Here are some new ones from PATTY BURCH:


1. Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4. Drive carefully; It's not only cars which can be recalled by their Maker.

5. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8. Never buy a car you can't push.

9. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11. Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12. The second mouse gets the cheese.

13. When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty, and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19. Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.


20. Save the earth; it's the only planet with chocolate!

Monday, February 11, 2013



Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her pupils put on his boots?

He asked for help and she could see why.

Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the little boots still didn't want to go on.

By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat.

She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet."

She looked, and sure enough, they were.

Unfortunately, it wasn't any easier pulling the boots off, than it had been putting them on.

She managed to keep her cool as, together, they worked to get the boots back on,
this time on the correct feet.

He then announced, "These aren't my boots."

She bit her tongue, rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?"
as she wanted to do.

Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet.

No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, "They're my brother's boots but my Mom made me wear 'em today."

Now she didn't know if she should laugh or cry.

But she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots BACK onto his feet again.

Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"

He said, "I stuffed 'em in the toes of my boots so I wouldn't lose 'em!"

Sunday, February 10, 2013


A friend posted on Facebook:

"I really don't understand why young women would use foul language on Facebook. Do they not realize how trashy it sounds? I don't like it for guys OR girls, but I guess I just expect more self-respect from females. I'm quite happy my daughter does not talk like that."

Her posting caused a lengthy thread: as of today, there are 43 comments with 10 "likes": the comments range from humorous to Bible-quoting; to arrogant, supercilious, self-aggrandizing, and conceited postings. I think my remarks are humorous.

I responded by writing: "When I knew the world had changed: in the old days (as recently as the 1990s), whenever people would use distasteful language in my presence, I would clap my hands over my ears and screak, "What would your mother think?" and that would be followed by profuse apologies, until one day I said it and the person replied, "Where do you think I learned it?" Now, I only react to what I consider "offensive language" (ethic slurs, stereotypes and falsehoods), which keeps me rather busy."

Sticks and stones.......

Saturday, February 9, 2013


My brother asked, "When did concept become a verb?" I answered that I wasn't aware that it had. He said that several times he's heard people using "concepting".

I said, "Well, ever since Eisenhower started saying FINALIZE, nouns becoming verbs--it's been all downhill." He did not know that Eisenhower's usage of "finalize" placed it irretrievably in our lexicon. He doubted me; I had to show him several articles!

I said, "Well, there have been several words originated by our Presidents such as sugar-coated by Lincoln and iffy and State of the Union by FDR." I told him that I had seen Paul Dickson interviewed on Book Notes (click here to see the video) and he told about a number of others such as:

HARDING: "normalcy" and "founding fathers". Harding was such a mangler of words and syntax that H.L. Mencken called his speech Gamalielese because of his middle name Gamaliel..
MADISON: "squatter"
JOHN ADAMS: "caucus", "spec", and "quixotic"
JOHN Q. ADAMS: "gag rule"
WASHINGTON: "tin can" and "bakery"
ANDREW JOHNSON: "racial discrimination"
TAYLOR: "First Lady"
BENJAMIN HARRISON: "keep the ball rolling"
WILSON: "Potomac fever" and "watchful waiting"
MCKINLEY: "war room"
EISENHOWER: "Mulligan", "domino theory" and "counterproductive"
LYNDON JOHNSON: "pressing the flesh"
NIXON: "winding down the war"
OBAMA: "shovel-ready" and "snowmageddon"
JEFFERSON: "belittle", "pedicure", "monocrat" "ottoman" and "shag"
THEODORE ROOSEVELT: "muckraker", "bully pulpit", "weasel words", "loose cannon", "mollycoddle", "lunatic fringe", "nature fakers" and "good to the last drop".

Although Jefferson has 114 words and phrases which he coined that are documented in the OED, TR's contributions are my favorites, but Jefferson deserves the award for the BEST, because he originated the word NEOLOGY which means: "creating new words"!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Gerald has a cold. He couldn't get in to see his doctor quickly; he decided to go to the Adena Clinic. I did some shopping while he was being treated. After awhile I sat down in the waiting area. A young woman came into the Clinic with her mother and three children trailing behind. She was cradling her hand in her other hand. I asked if she wanted to sit down and she answered that she needed to "pace". I asked her if she'd injured her hand and she said it was burned. She showed the hand to me and there was a large burn and blister. She stood there for at least 10 minutes and then the "MA" Maria came out and asked, "Who's next?" I pointed to the burn victim and said, emphatically, "SHE'S IN PAIN!" The MA said, flippantly, "We all are." I said, "NO, WE AREN'T; I'M NOT, YOU'RE NOT, AND THEY'RE NOT!" I couldn't believe her unprofessional behavior; it was very unseemly, inappropriate and cheeky.

She began asking the woman questions and now I know these items about the patient:
1. the woman's name
2. her birth date
3. her address
4. her insurance company's name
5. the fact that she's been a patient there previously

I have no "right to know" those things. With the information I heard, I could probably have gotten into her banking account or burglarized her home!

After the MA escorted the woman to the inner office, she returned and said, "Your husband asked if you were out here waiting for him and I told him that you said that he should get out here right away." I had NOT said that, nor anything else to her, except about the woman's pain. Perhaps she thinks she is charming, amusing, and cute, but I find her behavior to be totally improper and crude. I have the phone number and address of the Company Headquarters in Chillicothe and I shall complain.

I am appalled by the lack of privacy at a number of places. If I had been the patient, I would have demanded privacy! I refuse to answer any of those questions in public. I refuse to put my name and any information on a sign-in sheet in public view. The rampant lack of privacy in this town is the reason that I go out of town to doctors. I've written previously about similar incidents at the local hospital and doctors. (See "The Right To Know" HERE and "Why HIPAA Is Important" HERE) My doctor's office changed their sign-in system to a number system after I complained.

At a local pharmacy, I raised so much Hell about the lack of privacy that there is now a privacy rope one must stand behind and there is a large sign to instruct people. Recently, at the pharmacy, a woman went right in front of two people who were dutifully standing in line behind the rope. I said, "Excuse me, did you NOT see the sign?" and I pointed to the sign. She said, "I just have a question." I said, "So do I, but I was here AFTER these people; they're probably sick and need to have their prescriptions filled." The woman got in line behind me. (Les keeps warning me about correcting people: "You know they might be packing heat!")

Once, Gerald and I were stranded in a snowstorm and we had to find a motel to stay; there were a great number of people in the lobby, obviously there for the same reason. Gerald and I were signing in and the desk clerk announced, "You'll be in Room Number..." and she said the room number out loud. I said, "No, I won't; I need to see the Manager!" When the Manager came, he did not seem very upset that the clerk had violated my privacy. I said, "I can't believe that she would be announcing my room number when they are STRANGERS around!" Of course, I lectured him about privacy! We received another room.

I've found that speaking up is a GOOD thing!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Since publishing SHERBERT, I have had a great outpouring of CRINGE-worthy materials! Although some words may have been used in other CRINGE postings, I am posting all I've received since SHERBERT, and thanks to all the contributors!!

IG-ZAK-LEE for exactly
POM POMS for POM PONS (two people battled over this one!)
DOC-U-MEN-TERRY for documentary
WIS-GAH-SUN for Wisconsin
MO-DEM for modem
POIN-SETT-UH for Poinsettia
IS-REAL for Israel
DRAW for drawer
CE-REE-BRILL PAW-ZEE for cerebral palsy
ORRY for awry
HARRIS for harass
CANNIDATE for candidate
FED-RULL for federal
FILLUM for film
LIT-RUH-LEE for literally
REE-DICK-U-LUS for ridiculous
DISCUSS for disgust
THEE-ATE-ER for theater
WIMPLE-TON for Wimbledon
JEW-LUH-REE for jewelry
LIE-BERRY for library
LIDDER-CHURE for literature
DOMINATE for dominant
NORTH CARE-LINE-UH for North Carolina
ORANGUTANG for orangutan
PISH-ERR for picture
PITCHER for picture
COLLAR for color (my mother hated that one!)
PROBLY for probably
PROLLY for probably
MISS-CHEEV-EE-US for mischievous
WALMARK for Wal-Mart
BAD-MITTEN for badminton
CUMF-TUR-BULL for comfortable
WOI-YER for warrior
BATT-REE for battery
CUM-BER-BUN for cummerbund
WAH-LAH for voila
INNER-NET for internet
PUNDINT for pundit (Oprah was heard saying it!)

and I have saved the BEST for last:

PRO-NOUN-CEE-A-SHUN for pronunciation!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


My brother asked, "Did you notice some people saying in-AW-guh-RAY-shun this year?" He said he'd heard several newscasters pronounce it that way.

I replied that I hadn't noticed, but that I still had some inaugural events recorded and I would listen again; when I re-visited the recordings, I heard one of the commentators mispronounce it!

I couldn't find any dictionary which gave "in-AW-guh-RAY-shun" as a proper pronunciation, but when I checked two sources online ("how j say" and "Pronounce How"), both had the pronunciation as in-AW-guh-RAY-shun! (Hear the pronunciation HERE)

BUT, we are still saying:


We'll see if it is totally corrupted in four years at the next inauguration!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


The headline is shocking (see article HERE); yet another child dies because of bullying. I can't think of adequate words to comfort the parents. "What if?"........ There are no answers for them.

Bullying was prevalent when I was a girl, but it is worse today, because of the social media there is far greater access and possibility of greater injury. When I was a girl, there were plenty of "mean girls" but nearly everything was done in person, at school, or by vicious notes, gossip, and telephoning. Although I know that the "mean girls" in schools attempted their bullying with me, I was a fighter--and quick with retorts--so, although I was wounded, I survived.

Can we ever let go of the shame and fear of not belonging? Do we recreate high school in the ways we treat and interact with others? Are the cruel words permanently damaging?

Someone said that we never get over high school. It's true--why else would I NEED to write SCHADENFREUDE?

Monday, February 4, 2013


Years ago, a friend asked me to help her with her housework as she was feeling overwhelmed. I folded her laundry and then I noticed she took the pile and refolded the towels. I asked her why and she said she didn't fold them that way. I asked, "What does it matter?" She said, "That's the way they SHOULD be folded."

I'm rather OCD-afflicted myself and should NOT have been judgmental of her, but I was miffed and said, "If that's the kind of thing that's important to you, you'll end up in the looney bin!" She attempted a lame apology and since I don't believe in apologies, I said, "I'll see you later" and left, piqued. As I was leaving, she said, "But I want you to COOK!"

Later on, the woman did experience what used to be called "a mental breakdown" (what is it called now?). Of course, it wasn't caused by that incident, but when she told me about her problem, she laughed and said, "You told me I'd end up in the looney bin!"

Recently, another friend told me about re-folding towels; I was so glad it wasn't about my folding!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


A friend who read the "CRINGE" article about SHERBERT responded that "sherbert" is how everybody pronounces it! I said, "Well, NOT everybody; nobody in my family says SHERBERT!" Her daughter was with us and when she later told her father he was mispronouncing sherbet, she "texted" her mother: "send a picture of that sherbet container so Dad knows I'm right." When I told Les, he replied, drily, "OR, look in a dictionary!"

The little girl is now collecting "CRINGE" words for me: her contributions include: "sidewards" instead of "sideways"; "I upsterstand" instead of "I understand"; "gau" instead of "gauze"; and the seemingly omnipresent "ideal" for "idea"!

She's only nine but she is already CRINGING! There's hope for the future!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Last night, in discussing Groundhog Day and its origins and the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, it seemed quite natural for me to mention that when I was a kid, we ate groundhog and that if one liked dark meat, it was very dark meat. I could see the sickened-looks on the faces surrounding me, but I thought it might be comforting to mention, "A young groundhog is really good, but you don't want an old one, because they are tough."

One person asked, "You are making this up--just for the shock value--aren't you?" Gerald chimed in, "Oh, no, her mother actually prepared it one time." Another asked Gerald, with some incredulity, "You didn't eat it, did you?" Gerald said that of course he didn't eat it! I said, "More for Mother and me!" Another asked, "Is it kosher?"

See the article from THE STRAIGHT DOPE HERE.

Friday, February 1, 2013


A friend sent the following blog item to me. I told her it's a keeper! I especially liked the part about "flinders".

I am always interested in HOW we learn things. I did not remember the nursery rhyme Little Polly Flinders:

Little Polly Flinders
Sat among the cinders,
Warming her pretty little toes.
Her mother came and caught her
For spoiling her nice, new clothes.
And smacked her little daughter.

Polly Flinders was a line of beautiful hand-smocked dresses which were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The dresses were made for the ages of infant to size 12. I bought Polly Flinders dresses for my goddaughter from the time she was born until around the age of nine or ten (when, of course, she hated those "prissy" dresses). My goddaughter's mother would have her picture taken in the new dress every year.

I will admit that I was influenced in buying the dresses because Caroline Kennedy was photographed wearing Polly Flinders dresses.

Imagine my pleasure when my goddaughter told me that she brought her daughter home from the hospital in the same Polly Flinders dress that her mother had used more than twenty years ago! I always knew that she had appreciated the dresses, but did not realize that she'd kept them. I love tradition!