Archive for October 2019

The awkward but necessary singular they

From a New York Times online discussion about the use of the gender-neutral they/them/their as singular: Marilou: “[T]hey is a doctor.” Tallulah: “[Y]ou conjugated the verb ‘be’ wrong; you should have said, ‘They are a doctor.’” Lars: “[Marilou] conjugated her phrase correctly, according to nonbinary usage, which just goes to show that our current understanding... Read more »

Let's not force people to change healthcare plans they like

They say we become more conservative as we age. (Sorry to sound like the harebrained president with that ambiguous “they.”) I don’t know whether I’ve moved right or others have moved left, but I’ve been finding myself not always agreeing with the most liberal positions anymore. I’m aligning more with the moderates than with the... Read more »

Why I prefer novels to nonfiction

When I was sick for several days recently, I caught up on the New York Times Sunday Review and the New York Times Magazine. As usual, the exceptional writing impressed me. But after a few days, I craved a novel. I needed to immerse myself in a story and get to know its characters. I... Read more »

Out of step with our real estate–obsessed culture

Three recent things prompted this post: (1) As my siblings and I cleaned out our parents’ condo to put it on the market, we had trouble giving away some of their furniture. Habitat for Humanity asked for photos, looked at them, and didn’t want anything. The Salvation Army came and took only a matching sofa... Read more »

How to spell the Ukrainian president’s name

You may not have noticed this as much as a former editor would, but the Ukrainian president’s surname, in the news these days in connection with Donald Trump’s impeachable behavior, has been variously spelled Zelenskyy, Zelenskiy, or Zelensky. A cardinal rule of journalism is to spell names correctly. So, some of these news stories must... Read more »