Archive for September 2020

A little post-debate refresher on 'A Civil Tongue' from Edwin Newman

A little post-debate refresher on 'A Civil Tongue' from Edwin Newman
If, like me, you’re still recovering from trying to understand the presidential debate last night, you may enjoy a little reminder of what the expression “a civil tongue” means and some examples of it. Luckily, I still have Edwin Newman’s book, “A Civil Tongue,” handy. Here are a few calm examples from the early pages.... Read more »

Naming my new characters, or James Bond was an ornithologist

Naming my new characters, or James Bond was an ornithologist
I’ve spent some of my extra time in the past few months finishing my detective story — the book I was going to finish “someday, when I have the spare time.” Well, someday has come and gone. The case is solved. What now? Start a new novel, of course. My main characters, student Daisy MacDonald... Read more »

Is 'A Civil Tongue' only a book now?

Is 'A Civil Tongue' only a book now?
I recently began re-reading a charming book, “A Civil Tongue” by Edwin Newman (1975: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis and New York). Newman, a former “correspondent” — reporter and anchorman — for NBC News, wrote that when he came into the news business in 1940, he “thought that I had taken an oath to preserve, protect,... Read more »
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The comfort of teatime

The comfort of teatime
I’m only on page 227 out of 503 (before the sources and bibliography) in Erik Larson’s book “The Splendid and the Vile: a Saga of Churchill, Family and Defiance During the Blitz” (New York: Crown, part of Penguin Random House, 2020). But even apart from the two times when I’ve laughed out loud already, I’ve... Read more »

More about self-care: Move!

More about self-care: Move!
It’s been a tough few days — anniversaries will get me. So, assuming that a particularly obvious anniversary’s effects may be common among us, I’m going back for today’s post to my pandemic-time survival index, “The *More or Less* Definitive Guide to Self-Care” by Anna Borges. I have been looking for my sewing supplies today, since... Read more »

Anniversary stories and today's news

Anniversary stories and today's news
Nineteen years ago today, on Sept. 11, 2001, I had been working as a newspaper copy editor for a month. We were going to put out the first edition of a new paper, the New Trier Times, because the one we already had, the Evanston Express, also came out on Tuesdays. When I hear the... Read more »
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'If ye break faith with us, who die/We shall not sleep'

Thumbnail image for ''If ye break faith with us, who die/We shall not sleep''
I’m not going to be able to forget the autumn of 2018, when I was asked to read the poem “In Flanders Fields” as part of a concert at my home church. I had practiced for a long time before I found the attached video of Dame Helen Mirren reading it for the centennial of... Read more »