Archive for December 2016

How I Became the Laughingstock of the Canadian North Woods

First, an instructive old joke: The scene: the cavernous assembly hall at world-respected Erudite University. Plotkin, a distinguished young professor at Erudite and  one of the great young intellectuals of his day, is stepping up to the podium to deliver before two thousand other noted intellectuals his paper on the nexus connecting quantum mechanics, punctuated... Read more »

Linguistic Atrocities: Addendum

A short time ago, I posted a gripe about some linguistic atrocities in currency today. I regret that I omitted two that had slipped through my perforated memory bank—two I regard as particularly nettlesome. In the past four or five years both malefactions have been turning up on the airwaves with the proliferative magnitude of... Read more »

How I Got to Schmooze With Two Terrifying Villains of the Cinema

If there is one immutable form of pleasure-seeking that mortars all the generations of fatuous American youth, it has to be: loving to scare themselves senseless at the movies.  Surely, it was true of me as a mid-20th-century Chicago youth, when I crouched, curdled, cowered and perversely thrilled at the treachery of the movie monsters,... Read more »