Archive for April 2018

Yes, it's Louis -- not Lewis

Yes, it's Louis -- not Lewis
I was delighted to hear the radio stories this morning about the names of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s baby — Prince Louis Arthur Charles. I was happy because of the names’ historical connections, but also because I could hear the first name first. Here in the former colonies, we’re more likely to spell this pronunciation... Read more »

What keeps me up at night? That's too personal

What keeps me up at night? That's too personal
The challenge came on the Chicago Now Facebook page at 8 p.m. Central Time, as it does once a month for what we call Blogapalooz-Hour. We are to write and publish a post in one hour on a set theme. Tonight’s question, the first I’m free to participate in, is “What keeps you up at... Read more »

What's a cyclopedia, he asks?

What's a cyclopedia, he asks?
In my previous post about logomania, I received a comment wondering about why so many of certain books are cyclopedias. That drove me to my dictionary to check on the difference between cyclopedia and encyclopedia. The difference is there, at least in my Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, copyright 1966. The book’s nowhere near wearing... Read more »
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'There's a Word for it' -- logomania

'There's a Word for it' -- logomania
I’ve found some wonderful books in the Little Library boxes that decorate my neighborhood — the red one behind the nearest school, the one that looks like a gingerbread house outside the bakery, and the psychedelically painted one on the way to my alternate bus stop. The idea of these little “book immobiles” (as opposed... Read more »

Of April showers and proportions

Of April showers and proportions
It’s been a dark and stormy night. (The “typo of the year” contest is now closed; just tried to make it “a darn” one.) It’s going to keep storming all day, to judge from the dull skies and the over-excited forecasters. Rain, rain has no particular interest in going away, it seems. Meanwhile, in the... Read more »

'Moby-Dick' -- How'd the book get so big?

'Moby-Dick' -- How'd the book get so big?
When he was writing Chapter 63 of “Moby-Dick,” out of 135 chapters, Herman Melville must have had a bad time. Either that, or he didn’t want readers to grow faint. Chapter 63 begins: “Out of the trunk, the branches grow; out of them, the twigs. So, in productive subjects, grow the chapters.” So they do,... Read more »
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It's happened: I'm typing 20 first in years

It's happened: I'm typing 20 first in years
I’ve had a lot of typing to do in recent days, all concerning things that happened well over 19 years ago. I’ve caught myself making a change I thought I’d never make. When I try to type a year, I reach automatically for the “20” first, not the “19.” I’ve observed this only in the... Read more »

'Moby-Dick': Ahoy there, Mr. Starbuck!

'Moby-Dick': Ahoy there, Mr. Starbuck!
“There, there, give it to him!” whispered Mr. Starbuck in chapter 58 of “Moby-Dick,” which I read on Monday night. But it wasn’t a cup of coffee that was given to a person — it was a harpoon given to a whale. (Not the whale, but the first up-close whale encountered in the book.) Fifty-eight... Read more »

Using Sherlock Holmes' rule to find my keys

Using Sherlock Holmes' rule to find my keys
I went downstairs and got my newspaper one recent morning. Then I put my keys in my purse, not thinking it mattered to get them into the zippered pocket where I’d found them. Then I knocked over my purse. My keys jingled against something hard, so I looked at my hardwood floors. (By the way, is... Read more »
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