Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015


I LOVE autumn! The yard is a scream of colors and the smell is glorious!

I especially love my ginkgo tree;  it was a gift from my mother in 1985 and it has grown splendidly.  This year the leaves of the tree seemed to turn yellow overnight!

Mother and I always loved the song Autumn Leaves;  the instrumental by Roger Williams was very popular when I was a girl, but I love the lyrics.  It was difficult to choose which rendition to use:  Frank, Nat, Ella, Doris Day, Sarah Vaughn, Eva Cassidy, or even the original in French by Edith Piaf, but it's impossible to go wrong with Keely Smith!

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away, the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song,
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall.

C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous,, les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie separe ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants desunis.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


My friend Susan Manbevers sent the THESAURUS CLUB image to me.  Whenever I see or hear the word "natter" I immediately think of "nattering nabobs of negativism" which were words penned by the speechwriter William Safire to be uttered by the reprehensible Spiro Agnew.  Although we were politically diametrically opposed, I admired the brilliant wordsmith Safire and I have four of his books on my library reference works shelf.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


This is a Facebook message from my friend Susan Manbevers:

Ok... So, I'm watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure with Zakk and Zoe... And I just had to explain what a phone booth was. Zakk doesn't buy my story about phones on every corner that took a quarter, but he totally believes it could be a teleportation device.... Hmmmmmm.

I commented that there is an outside phone (not a "phone booth") at the convenience store on U.S. 41 North.

My brother remarked about Christopher Reeve in Superman when Clark Kent rushed to change clothes and there was just a phone on a pole. I told him that we are old because we remember George Reeves as Superman changing clothes in a phone booth!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


At a local church,  I attended a "concert" advertised to contain  "music for woodwind quintet and organ".  I looked forward to going as there were going to be selections from Bach, Ravel, and Holst.  I was especially interested in hearing selections by Jongen and Warlock as I had never heard their works performed.

The performance was presented via a video shown on a large-screen but, because of the size of the church,  the television should have been a Jumbotron as one could hardy distinguish the performers on the television.  I could tell the flutist, bassoonist, clarinetist, and horn player from their instruments but one performer was obscured by the organ and a music stand but I could see a tiny head pop up intermittently thus I assumed she was the oboeist!

Preceding each composer's work, the Master of Ceremonies gave a short description of each composer and selection.  He also told about the performers.

After each composer's work a strange thing happened:  the audience erupted in applause.  I did not applaud as it seemed rather ludicrous to be applauding a taped performance, but I noticed that several people around me looked over at me with my folded arms.

When all the works were completed the audience arose--like a standing ovation--and directed their hands in applause to the church's Choir Master who is also the  Director of Concerts as he was standing in what I assume is a balcony.

I was the only person who remained seated and I could detect numerous people giving quizzical looks at me.

Do these people people believe that by some magical, mystical method that their plaudits are somehow transmitted to those performers wherever they might be in the universe?

I have always been amazed when people applaud in movie theaters after a movie.  Do they think Meryl Streep--or perhaps a director--know that they are being applauded?  Honestly, while listening to classical music from WOSU radio, I do not applaud in my car or home!

Read an interesting article:

Monday, October 26, 2015



I love making popcorn balls and other treats that kids are not expecting!  See below for Carla Hall's recipe for Fall Acorns and my mother's recipe for popcorn balls.

For Witches Hats:   take fudge striped cookies; turn upside down;  add orange icing;  top with a Hershey's Kiss!

How cute is this!

Fall Acorns Recipe by Carla Hall - The Chew
These adorable acorns are a perfect Halloween snack!

Popcorn ball making was a big family event when we were kids.  My brother Kenny was certainly the most creative:  for the Halloween popcorn balls he added M &Ms, candy corn, and food colors to the recipe.  For Christmas, he added red and green food colors.  The recipe calls for "wrapping";  ours seldom needed wrapping!  Below is my mother's recipe:


3 quarts popped corn
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light Karo (You can use ONLY KARO, folks!)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Pop the popcorn;  spread on baking sheet.
Combine sugar, Karo, butter, and salt in heavy saucepan.  Over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes while continuing to stir constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and baking soda (this bubbling will shock first-time makers!)  Pour syrup over popcorn.  Butter your hands (or put on plastic gloves which you spray with cooking spray, we learned years later after many burns!).  Shape into balls.  Wrap in plastic.  This recipe makes about 12 3-inch balls.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Seeing Presidential candidate Ben Carson caught on video claiming that his prostate cancer had been cured by using a tree bark supplement reminded me of a former local doctor who gained fame--and notoriety--for prescribing LAETRILE even after it had been outlawed.  Astoundingly, that doctor's book supporting the use of laetrile is still referenced on the internet--as science--by current quacks proclaiming a government conspiracy outlawing laetrile.

It only made me wonder if Mr. Carson is also a QUACK!

Mike Wallace's expose of laetrile from 1974 from1974: sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwirgeTK2L_IAhWBez4KHU2JCw4&

Saturday, October 24, 2015


I don't feel bad about disliking Donald Trump!

My brother reminded me of another reason to dislike Donald Trump (as if I needed one).  He recalled that when Cyndi Lauper appeared on  Celebrity Apprentice the boorish Donald Trump attempted to correct Lauper when she said, "I feel bad." and he cavalierly corrected her by saying, "You feel badly."; unfortunately, she let him get by with that bullying attempt.  

It's difficult to imagine anyone being able to tolerate Trump long enough to watch that show, but like that incident,  I have actually had people--not very subtly--try to correct my usage of "I feel bad" by uttering "I feel badly" shortly thereafter.  It just provided me with an opportunity to tell about Miss Digman, my favorite grammarian, grabbing the hand of a classmate who had said the unpardonable phrase "I feel badly", and scolding, "You feel BAD unless your fingers aren't working properly."

BAD is an adjective;  BADLY is an ADVERB.  Adjectives describe nouns or pronouns;  thus, "I" (the pronoun), feel BAD!  Adverbs modify VERBS:  e.g.:  "He was BADLY injured."

Didn't people learn about adjectives and adverbs in school or perhaps they think that "badly" sounds better? 

Do people say or write 'I FEEL GLADLY", "I FEEL MADLY", "I FEEL SADLY" or "I FEEL HAPPILY"?

Friday, October 23, 2015


A friend from Indiana had never heard the term "Beggar's Night" prior to moving to Ohio. From 1971 until 2008, Gerald and I would go all-out for Beggar's Night. We dressed in costume; some memorable ones: Hester Prynne and The Reverend Mr. Dimsdale, W.C. Fields and Mae West, the Coneheads, Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara , Dorothy and The Cowardly Lion, Glenda and the Scarecrow, Nellie Forbush and Emile de Becque, Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhuru, and Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (which was especially amusing with Gerald's red beard and triangle on his nose.)

We had our side yard filled with tombstones and we would add a new one each year. Some of the tombstones                                                                         included supposed "last words" such as:
"PARDON MY DUST" (from Dorothy Parker) 
"THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!" (from Mel Blanc)

We had elaborate decorations using a fog machine, black lights, accompanied by sounds of screaming and creaking doors. We didn't just give out simple treats; we gave out bags of marvelous goodies including candy apples, popcorn balls, big candy bars, and a dollar in each bag! Gerald and I would put on a performance of "The Monster Mash", dancing in the street.

One year we had a young couple come with their baby and the young father told us that he had always made sure to come to our house when he was a kid because of the "show" and the great treats, and he wanted to bring his child to our house for his baby's first Beggar's Night and he asked if he could film us! I held the baby as we danced to "The Monster Mash" and the baby didn't even cry!

One time we had a wooden coffin and Gerald popped up out of the coffin to hand out treats, but we only did it once because it was too scary!

Each year the attendance dwindled and I can certainly understand the concern of parents about kids being out in the dark, combined with the craziness of a few people ruining it for others. It is with a mixture of sadness--and relief--that we no longer participate in Beggar's Night. We decided to disband our yearly spectacle but I still miss our extravaganza.

I am glad that several organizations now put on "safe" events for children. Our local newspaper The Record Herald, is hosting "BEGGARS NIGHT BOONANZA" which will be held at the Fayette County Fairgrounds on October 29, 2015, from 5:00 PM--7:00 PM.

Les, ever the wit, said, "Wonder if the ghosts of Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker and Pernell Roberts will be there?"


Thursday, October 22, 2015


When I was a kid, I preferred Fleer's Double Bubble rather than Bazooka.

TONIGHT, during a downpour, I actually told the following joke which I remembered from the inside wrapper of Double Bubble bubble gum:



I was probably about 10 years old when I unwrapped that joke;  Mother had to explain it to me because we had no taxis in our town and I didn't understand the "HAILING" pun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


As unbelievable as this sounds, I actually heard someone compare the loss of a pet to a grieving parent who had just lost a child!  It took all of my reserve not to physically attack the offender.

 "I know how you feel...."   HOW could any normal person be that insensitive to compare the death of a dog to the death of a child?  It is beyond my comprehension.

As a person who never had children but loves animals, it is astounding to me to hear people state that their animals are "just like" or "the same as" the children of human parents.  I know that people become very attached to their pets and I empathize with them at their losses--I've even sent bereavement cards to people who've lost pets--but it is just plain stupidity for them to compare animals with humans!

NO, they are NOT "the same as " nor "just like" human beings--they are NOT children--they are ANIMALS!  It is insulting to humankind for people to utter such ridiculous remarks.  I am embarrassed FOR them that they would even think that way, let alone say their inanities aloud!

In discussing this topic with a friend, she told me that it was not as rare a belief as I had assumed. She sent the following link to me:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015


At a community gathering, I was sitting with a friend, and seated to the left of me was a school principal.   I asked, "Where did you matriculate?"  He answered that he did not know that word.  I explained that it meant where one attended college or university.

I turned to my friend, and asked, incredulously, "How could a person holding at least a Master's Degree NOT know such a common word?"  My friend answered, "What makes you think that a so-called educator is educated?"

Our conversation continued and my friend leaned around me and asked the principal, "Why do you call yourselves educators rather than teachers;  when  did THAT euphemism start?"

The "educator" got up and moved away.  I chided my friend for insulting the principal and she in turn criticized my use of a polysyllabic word and stated that I was "showing off" and demonstrating  a passive aggressive method of one-upping the principal.  I countered  that I was not attacking teachers--or administrators--and that I have a fondness for a number of teachers and instructors.  She replied, "And an equal disdain for some others."

Later, in relating the incident to my brother,  he commented, "Of course you COULD have just asked him where he went to school!"

I screamed, "OUCH!"

He said, "Your friend was much harsher than I."  I answered, "But YOU are my only moral compass!"

Sunday, October 18, 2015


The local Presbyterian Church had aphorisms posted on its outdoor bulletin board weekly. The Reverend W. Darrell Holmes' name (the "W" was probably used to distinguish him from all the other Reverend Darrell Holmeses!) was also prominently posted. One Monday I noticed that one of my favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde was posted:

"A cynic is one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

The quote was displayed on the bulletin board but with no attribution.  I called "The Reverend W. Darrell" and asked him why he hadn't attributed the quote to Wilde as I thought it was important to educate people. "The Reverend W. Darrell" told me that he didn't think it was important.  I did not like his dismissive attitude and since I am an ornery cuss I said, "I thought it might be because he was gay and went to prison for sodomy."

"The Reverend W. Darrell" said archly, "Well, I didn't know that." I asked him, "Will you post the attribution before the week is out?" He said that he would. The quote was taken down the next day!

I sent "The Reverend W. Darrell" a note to let him know of my disappointment of his not keeping the Wilde quote on the bulletin board for the week and I ended my note with this quote from Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol":

"Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword."

For some reason "The Reverend W. Darrell" did not respond!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


I recently used the word "wonk" in conversation and several people swore they had never heard the word used previously.  I commented that it is rather an "old" word to me as I recall hearing Al Gore being labeled as a "policy wonk" during two campaigns.   I was not very surprised that "elderly" people such as myself did not know the word but I was surprised that a young person, who was present, also did not know the word, as it is sometimes used--although I think incorrectly-- as a synonym for "nerd".

"Wonk" is used nowadays as a disparaging term for a detail-oriented, studious, hard-working person, thus a "policy wonk".

It is unfortunate that we do not have MORE "wonks", especially when I hear the current crop of Presidential candidates display their ignorance about the Constitution, history, politics, economics, world geography, religion, and TRUTH!

However, the derivation of the word is interesting.  My "bible", The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) shows that the word "wonk" has been used since 1918, in the UK as a slang nautical term for an ineffectual person, in Australia in 1938 to describe a white person, again in Australia in 1945 to describe an effeminate person, and in 1962 in a Sports Illustrated article using the words "preppies, "jocks" and "wonks" to describe different kinds of students at Harvard.  More recently, Erich Segal used the word in 1970 in his book Love Story to describe a "musical wonk".  It has been suggested that it might be an acronym for WithOutNormalKnowledge.  In 1992, the word was used in The Washington Post to describe a "policy wonk", thus the current, common usage.

CLICK HERE to read an interesting article:  "WHERE DO NEW WORDS COME FROM?":

Friday, October 16, 2015


When I first saw the bottles of Coke with names on them, I thought, "What an ingenious marketing strategy." It was indeed brilliant as I found myself willing to pay $1.69 for a bottle of Coke with "Sue" emblazoned on it. Naturally, it was easy to find "Sue" on a bottle of Coke but then began my obsession with finding the names of friends and family on Coke bottles. I found one with the name of my friend's son "Trevor" on it. After that there was "Derek", "Gretchen", "Tracey", "Les", "Chris", "Patty", "Judy", "Michael", et. al.

After receiving her bottle, my friend Judy asked if I would be on the lookout for one for her granddaughter "Audrey". She thought that having the other granddaughter's name would be impossible as it is "Kaylee". Yes, I haven't located that one but I told Judy that there were now bottles marked "Cheerleader", "MVP" and other sports references. Hey, every kid is an "MVP"!

Of course I NEVER expected to find one with GERALD on it, and I haven't, but since I was able to find one with "GERALDO" on it, my husband is now honorarily Hispanic!

Yesterday, Gerald, Judy, and I were having lunch with a friend named "Angela" and I presented a bottle to her with her name on it. Angela agreed that it was a brilliant marketing strategy by Coca Cola. The waitress asked, "Do you want a glass of ice for that?" and she said that she wasn't going to DRINK it!

That is what everyone tells me: they do not DRINK the bottles of Coke which have their name.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I've had a cricket--and maybe more--in my family room for several nights and the chirping is driving me batty! Locating the whereabouts of the crickets is quite a task. They must be nocturnal as I hear them only at night.

Last night I saw a huge cricket scampering across the carpet; I grabbed a candle holder and plopped it upside down, trapping the cricket. I intended to take it outside in the morning; I didn't want to kill it as I assume they are beneficial to nature.

When my brother saw the overturned candle, he thought that it had been overturned by accident and immediately placed it on an end table. He saw the cricket run away.

Later, when I mentioned that I thought that the cricket would be beneficial, my brother screaked, "They're NOT ladybugs;  squash the damned things!"

From The Wise Geek: An equation was developed in 1897 by Amos Dolbear which states that by adding the number 37 to the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds will provide a rough estimate of the temperature. It is known as Dolbear's Equation.

My brother asked, "Why wouldn't he just look at a thermometer?"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Recently, at a Rummage Sale at the Bloomingburg, Ohio, Presbyterian Church, I purchased several books, among which was an autographed copy of The Inside Story Of The Harding Tragedy which was written by Harry M. Daugherty in collaboration with Thomas Dixon.  I wondered why a book with such historical significance--especially for Fayette County--had been donated.  The volume is a First Edition in good condition but it is missing its dust cover.

The inscription reads: 
"To Ray Maddox, Esq.  With high esteem and best wishes always.  Sincerely, Your friend HM Daugherty  Jan. 26th, 1932".

Harry Micajah Daugherty was the Attorney General of the United States between the years 1921-1924. Thomas Dixon was a notorious racist and segregationist.  His book The Clansman was the basis of D.W. Griffiths' reprehensible movie The Birth of The Nation. Ray Maddox was a well-known, successful attorney, who defended Daugherty and his brother Mal Daugherty.

I have had a lifelong interest in the Harding Administration and the Fayette County connection with Harry Daugherty and his family, Jess Smith, and Roxie Stinson.    I once remarked that there were only two famous people from Fayette County and both were criminals!  However, I should amend that because Harry Daugherty, although tried twice, was never convicted.

I do not plan to sell the book but I am curious to know the value.  I checked Amazon and other sources to find the value of such an edition.  A Second Printing edition in supposedly Very Good condition, with dust cover, but with NO AUTOGRAPH is for sale for $35.00 at BIBLIO.COM.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


While listening to news programs, I have noticed a trend of reporters using incomplete sentences and  incorporating a great number of participles (e;g;: "struggling", "flickering", and "hoping").  I suppose that the newscasters think that it is dramatic, but it is irritating.

"Ing-lish" is a word coined by the linguist Geoffrey Nunberg to describe the phenomenon!  As Mervin Black said, "The ing thing, as I call it, is unnatural, unjournalistic, ungrammatical, and unjustifiable."

Doonesbury is Not a Fan of ‘World News’ Writing Style

Monday, October 12, 2015


For many years I have not "celebrated" Columbus Day; instead, I join with A.I.M. (the American Indian Movement) to demand that our country abolish it as a "holiday" or "observance"; and instead recognize INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY or NATIVE AMERICANS' DAY.

If you'd like to know the true story about Christopher Columbus, please read on. But I warn you, it's not for the faint of heart.

Once again, it's time to celebrate Columbus Day. Yet, the stunning truth is: If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus' reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish. 
Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?

CLICK HERE to continue reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


In the debate about marijuana, Issue 1 has been largely overlooked.  I am voting YES on Issue 1 because the current system of apportionment is totally unfair.

I am voting NO on Issue 2 and YES on Issue 3.  I must preface my remarks by stating that I have NEVER used marijuana and have no desire to do so even if it is legalized.  Just as I have never tasted alcohol, it doesn't mean that my personal beliefs should dictate the usage of alcohol--or marijuana--for others. I believe that alcohol is far more detrimental than marijuana.

I have procured marijuana for the use of family members suffering from cancer. At the time, I was fully aware that I was breaking the law, but fortunately, in now admitting this, I know that the statute of limitations has expired, but I would do it again.

The only downside that I foresee is that cronies of the current administration will receive the rights of distribution and I dislike the idea that his buddies will profit.  The upside is that we would have tax revenue generated with the passage of Issue 3.

YES on Issue 1, NO on Issue 2, and YES on Issue 3.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I love rainy and overcast days because I suffer from PMLE (Polymorphic Light Eruption) which means that I am allergic to the sun. I have always been very careful: I slather on sunscreen, avoid sunlight, wear long sleeves even in the summer, have tinted windows, and had never had a suntan until recently.

This past summer I was caught in an unfortunate situation of being exposed to the sun for a lengthy time and although I was able to protect my face, neck, and arms by using an umbrella, I ended up with a suntan on my HANDS and FEET! That day I was wearing "Mary Jane-style" shoes; thus, the suntan on my feet was quite noticeable because of the strap on the shoes. It took two weeks of doctors' visits and medication to recover from the ordeal.

The following week I was dressed to attend a wedding and my husband laughed at seeing my feet in pumps and said that I had "two-tone feet"!

My brother says that I am the only person who says that "Rainy Days and Mondays" always get me UP!

Friday, October 9, 2015


I am forever hopeful of having civil discourse during Facebook discussions. It is always my intention to abide by the "commandments" during all personal interactions and especially with Facebook discussions.

Recently, however, in a thread about Planned Parenthood, one person interjected that because of Israel's legalized abortion policy, the 4-billion-dollar aid to Israel demonstrated the hypocrisy of right-wing defenders of Israel because they are also opponents of Planned Parenthood funding.

Another person took umbrage about the comment and stated that my "like" of the comment somehow showed "personal prejudice" from me.

Not only did the second person engage in AD HOMINEM remarks, but also exhibited the STRAW MAN FALLACY, made a HASTY GENERALIZATION and BEGGED THE QUESTION, demonstrated POST HOC/ FALSE CAUSE, showed a FALSE DICHOTOMY, displayed AD IGNORANTUM, presented a BURDEN OF PROOF REVERSAL, committed a NON SEQUITUR, and jumped on the BANDWAGON FALLACY.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yes, I have Dollar Tree reading glasses located at various spots throughout the house:

beside the couch in the family room, beside the telephone in the family room, beside the computer in the library, beside the upstairs computer, in the kitchen, in the living room, in the downstairs bathroom, in the upstairs bathroom, in the bedroom, in the spare bedroom, and a pair in my car!

That is ELEVEN pairs! I also have TWO pair of prescription glasses in my purse!

NO, I will NOT wear any around my neck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Oftentimes I am saddened--and alarmed--by the lack of "the milk of human kindness";   I was touched by the recent example of a stranger aiding a mother with her crying baby.

A friend and I attended the Dayton Air Show and fortunately we were shuttled from the parking lot to the event.

After spending a marvelous day, we were exhausted. People were clamoring to get on the bus. I was lucky and found a window seat. A rather large young man sat down beside me and his acquaintance was next to him.

Numerous people were standing, holding straps.  A young woman came down the aisle and she had a child--a toddler-- by the hand and a baby on her hip, as well as carrying a diaper bag, purse, and other essentials for mothers.

I nudged the man beside me and asked, "Aren't you going to give her your seat?" He grunted,"Nah." I asked his acquaintance but he didn't even reply.

I rose up and asked the woman, "Would you like my seat?" She asked, "Are you sure?" and I replied, "I am QUITE sure!"

I'll admit that I performed a very dramatic exit, deliberately hitting my purse and other items against the two of them as I moved to the aisle and I said, "You two can move over to give her the aisle seat!" I stood, hanging on to the strap. Another woman offered to have the toddler on her lap which the mother was grateful to accept.

CLICK HERE to read article.  Kind stranger helps new mom quiet screaming baby on flight
If anything proves how a simple act of kindness can make the world of difference to another person, this is it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


At my birthday celebration, rather than having a birthday cake, I had requested PAVLOVA.

The chef had placed three candles atop the Pavlova and when I started to blow out the candles, my friend Vivian grabbed my arm and said, "DON'T DO THAT, you'll be spitting on it!"

I had NEVER thought of that but of course it IS correct. Nearly everyone at the party agreed that they had never thought about it!

I know I will never blow out another candle and I'm having another birthday cake tomorrow.

My brother Les said he wouldn't put candles on the cake because we would need to get permission from the Fire Department to have such a risky fire!

CLICK HERE for an interesting article.

Monday, October 5, 2015


Below is an e-mail from my friend Patty.  See my response after her message:

FROM PATTY:  Why is it when you call a company for information the message that directs you to the source of the information is an American voice, but the live person who answers you is an Indian? Today I called American Express to get some information, and I got “SAM”, obviously an Indian. He didn’t know anything so he switched me to “SAL”, another Indian, who didn’t know jack, so he switched me to “TIFFANY” a third Indian. After TIFFANY and I struggled with our different languages for half an hour, she finally gave me the answer I needed. I was so “hot” by then that I wanted to yell out “Listen, Cochise”, put an American on here before I put my war paint on!” Oh pardon me, are you THAT kind of Indian? Wasn’t I calling AMERICAN Express? I wanted to say that, but I didn’t.....................America America Confused smile!


I have noticed the prevalence of names such as "John" and "Scott" when talking to these "service representatives".  I am so ornery that I always ask the Indian/Pakistani voice:  "How's the weather in Mumbai today?" That really confounds them!  When I am feeling very rambunctious I'll ask about DELHI and KOLKATA!  I'll admit I have NEVER asked about KARACHI or ISLAMABAD weather.

Read an interesting article "Slash Talk" from GRAMMARPHOBIA.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


FAYCO (Fayette County) speech: Last evening, I was visiting a friend and she was admiring flowers of the across-the-street neighbor. We both thought they were mums but we had never seen chrysanthemum plants growing with red and yellow flowers together.  The neighbor was outside watering plants. I stepped across the street and asked what the flowers were and she said, "They are Xenias (pronouncing it as the town over in Greene County!)"

MORAL DILEMMA: Should I tell the woman who is the wife of a prominent elected official about ZINNIAS?

Years ago my mother and I were watching "Crockett's Victory Garden" and Mr. Crockett mentioned the lovely CLEMATIS but he pronounced it as: "CLEM-UH-TUS".

I looked at my mother and rushed to get a dictionary. YEP! We could hardly believe that we'd been pronouncing it incorrectly all of our lives! I find it amusing that people now look at me strangely when they hear the correct pronunciation; I've actually had people try to correct my pronunciation which naturally leads to a conversation about numerous mispronunciations, especially in FAYCO!

CLICK HERE to read interesting
I was chatting with the knowledgeable owner of a local nursery. ?I can?t resist these hew-KER-uhs,? I told her as she rang up my purchase of three heuchera plants. ?Oh, yes, the YOO-ker-uh is very ...

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Recently I have noticed a proclivity of people to PRONOUNCE punctuation symbols in conversation. It was bad hearing "comma", and "period" said aloud but the worst transgression is the use of the despicable "air quotes"!

The most recent irritation has been the usage of "SLASH". On television I heard a person use the term "actor SLASH writer", saying the word "slash" aloud! During a dinner party, I mentioned that my mother allowed us to eat dessert before the meal.  A dinner guest replied, "My mother's rule was-SLASH-is not to eat dessert first.". THAT prompted my asking if anyone knew the words "SOLIDUS", "VIRGULE", and "WHACK" to distinguish between "forward slash" and "back slash" and the word "RETRONYM".  [I can't help myself: I was a proofreader.]

I have written previously about people saying "e.g." and "i.e." (rather than using an additional breath of air to say "for example" and "that is". ) My witty brother commented, "People think it is impressive but do not realize it's depressive; rather like not knowing that alcohol is a depressant rather than a stimulant!"

I believe that Mrs. Craig, my teacher of Latin I, II, and III, would be proud that I still remember "exempli gratia" and "id est" are the actual terms, but I shan't be throwing those INTO conversations!

CLICK HERE to read interesting article:  Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore

Friday, October 2, 2015


Today, as some politicians would like to take away VOTING RIGHTS, it is good to reflect about how far we have come and that we never want to go back! Remember, it was not until 1920 that women WON the right to vote! (I hate it when it is referred to as "given" or "granted" the right to vote!) Voter registration remains one of my passions.

This is the story of OUR grandmothers and mothers who lived only 90 years ago.

On November 17, 1917, suffragists picketed the White House demanding the right to vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. Thus unfolded "The Night Of Terror" when the Warden of Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

By the end of that night they were barely alive. Forty prison guards, wielding clubs with their Warden's blessing, went on a rampage against the thirty three women unjustly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic".

Here are some of the heroines:

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed, and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought that Lewis was dead, and Cosu suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting, and kicking the women.

When the leader Alice Paul embarked on a hunger strike, she was tied to a chair, had a tube forced down her throat, and had liquid poured into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out of prison and there was a public outcry about the treatment of the prisoners.

Pauline Adams pictured in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.

For weeks, the only water for the women came from an open pail; their food was infested with worms.

Edith Ange of Jamestown, New York.

Every one of us should rent the movie Iron Jawed Angels. It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain of the polling booth and have my say!
HBO has released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies, and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum. I wish that it would be shown at political events, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

Suffragists conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution at the National Woman's Party Headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington, D.C.: L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, and Mabel Vernon (standing, right).

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized but it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave and that didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity".

Helen Hill Weed, of Norwalk, Connecticut, serving a 3-day sentence in a Washington D.C. prison for carrying a banner which read: "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Please pass this on to all the women you know. We need to register people to vote, we need to get out to vote, we need to encourage people to vote, and use the right for which these women so valiantly fought.

So, refresh my memory: you won't vote because: you have to go to work, you have to carpool, it's raining, you think your vote doesn't count, you don't want to be called for jury duty, etc.?

As my mother used to say: "Any excuse is better than none!"


Thank goodness for the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith and its continuing crusade against injustice.  The lynching of businessman Leo Frank 100 years ago in Marietta, Georgia, was probably the worst example of anti-Semitic violence in our country's history and it prompted the creation of the Anti-Defamation League of the B'Nai B'rith

I am astounded by the number of times I have heard anti-Semitic remarks in my community. I live in a small, rural county and there are no more than 4 Jews in the county, but even though the stereotype is that they all "stick together",  I only know TWO of them personally!

Recently, an anti-Semitic remark was made in my presence.  I asked the person, "How many Jews do you know?" She was visibly shocked and answered that she didn't know any. I asked, "Then how can you use derogatory terms about people you do not know?" She answered that she had heard it all of her life. I responded, "Then you've been offensive all your life!" I thought, but did not say, "At least you didn't counter with the old saw 'Some of my best friends are.....!'"

There is an ARYAN NATION group in our county. I would not be surprised to have a cross burned on my yard.

CLICK HERE to view history of the Leo Frank case:

Thursday, October 1, 2015


While watching "Law And Order: SVU", one of the characters said, "That's like Occam's Razor". I asked, "Hunh? What was that?"

I backed up the DVR to listen to the dialogue. I asked again, "What is that?" My husband answered, "Oh, it means that the fewer assumptions made, the better."

With incredulity, I asked, "HOW do you know THAT?" He chuckled and said, drolly, "Oh, I'm 70 years old and I READ!"

Before a dozen of you let me know that I deserve an upbraiding for my condescending attitude, my brother already gleefully reminded me of my supercilious behavior!

CLICK HERE to read more about Occam's Razor.