Archive for December 2018

'FEAR' and New Year's Eve: a poem

'FEAR' and New Year's Eve: a poem
Author’s note: What follows is a tribute to the work of my esteemed colleague and friend, Aquinas Wired, in the style of his outstanding blog, The Quark in the Road. Now it’s December thirty-first and politics seem at their worst. (Do not give yourself a rash, of course I’m aping Ogden Nash.) I’ve read all... Read more »

Whoops, we have to put '19' back in the year!

Whoops, we have to put '19' back in the year!
Whether I thought of the letters as Christmas cards or year-end ones, depending on who would get them, I tried to follow my usual habit of writing “Happy (year number)” instead of just “Happy New Year.”¬† I like that for myself when I’m looking at old cards — if someone’s wishing me a happy 1987,... Read more »

How to answer 'Happy holidays' or other season's greetings

How to answer 'Happy holidays' or other season's greetings
I hope you’ll get the greetings you want over the next few days. I suppose I will; meanwhile, my thoughts on returning the greetings are changing. I used to worry about whether to reply to “Happy holidays” by saying “Happy holidays to you,” “Merry Christmas” (my preference) or something else. But then I tried a... Read more »
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Have some empathy -- but empathically or empathetically?

Have some empathy -- but empathically or empathetically?
(Author/editor’s note: My thanks to Dr. L.W., my¬†onetime teacher and present-day good friend, for this fine idea of which word to defend.) I have been asked to look for the difference between empathic and empathetic — both relating to the word empathy. At first glance I couldn’t tell which word needed more defending. Here’s what... Read more »

This year's -- in January? You missed it, then

This year's -- in January? You missed it, then
The middle of December’s almost here, but I just heard a reference on TV to something happening “this year” in January. No, I hadn’t missed it. The event was coming up in January 2019. Let’s all be careful out there — “this year” means 2018. If you mean the future and want to say something... Read more »

Gloria the angel -- you know, Harold's friend!

Gloria the angel -- you know, Harold's friend!
Hearing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” brings back a memory at least once a year. Thanks to the flat Midwestern accents I heard from most people as I grew up, I thought “herald” — not a word I heard the rest of the year — meant the same as the man’s name Harold. I was... Read more »
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