Archive for August 2015

Van Gogh, sunflowers and words

I thought at first that they were tomato plants. But as I kept walking past the row of plants near a building on the way to my Edgewater bus stop, I kept thinking “They’re taller today.” When I went to another bus stop for a few days, then back past the plants’ street, the plants... Read more »

Serious questions that just might blow you away

Serious questions that just might blow you away
Why is it so tempting to keep talking about a news story, even when the gist of it is “We’ll have to wait for the facts” and we don’t have much more? Why does the end of August feel more like the end of the year than the end of December? (Is it just because... Read more »

The wisdom of Thomas Carlyle

The wisdom of Thomas Carlyle
A comment by my esteemed colleague Aquinas wired on my previous post drove me to look at Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations for information about what he meant when he mentioned British essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). I’m not alone in letting my knowledge of Carlyle’s work get rusty. Here’s a famous excerpt from “A Study in Scarlet”... Read more »
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Words of the day for Left Handers Day

Words of the day for Left Handers Day
Happy Left Handers Day! That’s the style for the holiday mentioned in a newsletter I get from a company called Anything Left Handed, from the Left-Handers Club in the U.K. (Personally, I’d make it Left-handers’ Day, but that’s an editorial quibble.) You can find the newsletter and other information at  www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk. Apart from awareness, with... Read more »

Patrick Kane and the sin of hero worship

Patrick Kane and the sin of hero worship
I thought another championship for my favorite sports team, the Chicago Blackhawks, meant another summer of fun stories: Who had the Stanley Cup recently? What did he do with it, and where? Then came the news that star forward Patrick Kane is under criminal investigation in a sexual assault case. My belief in the presumption... Read more »

'Suppose' is a word worth avoiding

'Suppose' is a word worth avoiding
During a recent conversation, my father and I discussed our irritation with the frequent use of the word suppose. Suppose is an everyday conversation-filler, even on TV. Dad wondered aloud about the word’s real definition, and that was my cue to go to my trusty Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary and look for it. I... Read more »
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I write like... whom?

I write like... whom?
A good friend directed me to a fun web site, I Write Like (iwl.me). I thought it would be fun to see how they analyzed my writing, so I’ve tried some different texts in its “analyzer” box. I thought it would be fun — I found out it’s funny! For instance, I put in the... Read more »