Archive for April 2015

Telling right from wrong with 'The Sense of Style'

Telling right from wrong with 'The Sense of Style'
Regular readers may recall that I’ve been writing elsewhere about a wonderful book, “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century” by Steven Pinker (2014, Viking Penguin). I have enjoyed it so well that I’ve written other posts about the prologue and chapters one, two and three. Chapters four... Read more »

Ephemeral, but worth defending

Ephemeral, but worth defending
I love old postcards, magazines and other illustrations, as you may be able to tell from the art I choose to decorate these posts. But the older I get, the more likely I am to start recognizing the “old” or “antique” paper goods I like to explore. That’s when I like to talk and write... Read more »

Religious freedom, customer service, and love: a parable

Religious freedom, customer service, and love: a parable
I went to Macy’s at Water Tower Place earlier this month. I hoped that I could get my wristwatch battery replaced there before I went from work to an evening service at Fourth Presbyterian Church, just across Michigan Avenue. But when I asked a young lady in Macy’s jewelry department, she said that I couldn’t get... Read more »
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Necessity and injury

Necessity and injury
I’m sorry to have been silent for a while. A bruise on my left hand has made many things difficult. (Saying my left hand is dominant is like saying snow dominates winter in Siberia.) Luckily for my sanity, my handwriting has been only slightly painful, and the results look normal. However, one of the more painful... Read more »

Just one question, Chicago, so answer!

Just one question, Chicago, so answer!
Earlier today, I voted in Chicago’s “runoff” mayoral election. The choice of mayoral candidates was the only question on the ballot. It took only seconds to answer. (Some of the city’s wards will have two questions, since a runoff was needed to determine their new aldermen. But even with two questions, it’s a short ballot.)... Read more »

My Easter bonnet, Chicago style

My Easter bonnet, Chicago style
(NOTE: This is an updated version to fix the garbled end notes. Do something a hundred times, and a computer will still find a way to get a glitch in there!) In my Easter bonnet, with all the tweed upon it, are all the scars of rainstorms and the blizzards I’ve braved. I could have... Read more »
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I've told you a hundred times... really!

I've told you a hundred times... really!
For this, the 100th post on Margaret Serious, I started thinking of all of the, er, hundreds of ways we talk about the word “hundred.” Here are some of my favorites. One thing that kept me from starting was that first sentence — I first tried to make it “many different ways.” Is there much room... Read more »