William Safire 'On Language' - my hero among logophiles

William Safire 'On Language' - my hero among logophiles
When my fellow blogger Marianne Goss offered some editing books, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of them I brought home was “On Language” by William Safire (New York, TIMES BOOKS, 1980). I recognized quickly that this book, a collection of definitions (and letters from readers) culled from his New York Times language... Read more »

Dad's question: What can you do with what you already have?

When it comes to missing people these days, I had about a year’s head start. “All of this,” closings, stay-at-home orders and all, began just after the first anniversary of my father’s death. The political moves and the logical and scientific announcements (accurate or not) often leave me thinking I want to talk to him... Read more »

An imaginary meeting about a real emergency in my Imaginary Writers' Room

An imaginary meeting about a real emergency in my Imaginary Writers' Room
Last night, I dreamt I went to the Imaginary Writers’ Room again. (How’s that, Daphne?) When my dreams calmed down enough to let me get to the writers’ room in my imagination, there was a familiar-looking sign on the door: “Urgent Meeting! Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.” I didn’t... Read more »
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What's the difference between pandemic and epidemic?

What's the difference between pandemic and epidemic?
As a word maven, I am enjoying something during all the stories about the novel Coronavirus pandemic. I am enjoying the use of the specific, but previously rare, word “pandemic” itself. On the other hand, I’m reluctant to write that we’re “in the middle of” a pandemic — not because I’m worried about the word... Read more »

I'm gonna be (able to walk "500 miles" someday)

Thumbnail image for 'I'm gonna be (able to walk "500 miles" someday)'
I just tried distracting myself by working on a post about this song — and it had to come down because the post was early. But this version of the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)” by Caledon, Scotland’s tenors, cheers me up so much — and it’s so evocative of being so far away... Read more »

'The bliss of solitude'

'The bliss of solitude'
For oft, when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood, They fall upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude; and then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils. — “The Daffodils” by William Wordsworth   This has been one of my favorite poems for much... Read more »
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Browsing through Bartlett's -- a 'new' edition

Browsing through Bartlett's -- a 'new' edition
When my fellow blogger Marianne Goss published this post on her fine blog, Retired in Chicago, the phrase “editing reference books” caught my eye much better than the word “outdated.” Her edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations is two editions younger than my previous 1956 edition, which I inherited from a friend of a friend, so... Read more »

'Kindness and Wonder' -- Share what you've learned, as Mister Rogers did

'Kindness and Wonder' -- Share what you've learned, as Mister Rogers did
“I know how much I’ve struggled to look with my heart and not just my eyes when I see someone who is obviously different from me. If adults have such a challenge, imagine what a challenge that can be for children,” Fred Rogers once said. Gavin Edwards mentions that quotation in his tenth and final... Read more »

'Don't Wanna Hold Your Hand' -- a ballad for virus season

'Don't Wanna Hold Your Hand' -- a ballad for virus season
(Tune: “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something I think you’ll understand: Coronavirus coming — Don’t wanna hold your hand! Don’t make me hold your ha-a-a-and, Don’t wanna hold your hand!   Oh please, say to me you really washed your hands; then I’ll say... Read more »
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'Kindness and Wonder' -- Accept the changing seasons, as Mister Rogers did

'Kindness and Wonder' -- Accept the changing seasons, as Mister Rogers did
The ninth “way to live more like Mister Rogers” in Gavin Edwards’ book, “Kindness and Wonder,” is “Accept the changing seasons” — but it goes much deeper than watching for signs of spring. Edwards starts the chapter with the story of the March 23, 1970, episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” when Rogers goes to feed... Read more »