We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, June 2. 2007
KINDERGARTEN kids in ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas have been coming home to their parents and talking about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar. The "weird" one turns out to be Bob Dylan, whose grandson (Jakob Dylan's son) attends the school. He's been singing to the kindergarten class just for fun, but the kiddies have no idea they're being serenaded by a musical legend - to them, he's just Weird Guitar Guy.
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It's mildly depressing to see what whole english instruction, coupled to the repetition of mistakes on the internet, is doing to spelling.
Kindergarten is spelled correctly, if that's what you're referring to. It's the headline I was mentioning. It begins not to look wrong because you see it repeated incorrectly over and over again.
OK. I guess I missed the point that the quote came from something that was thre some time ago.
Here's how my sister and I remember:
We are weird sisters.
Eye of newt, anyone?
That's how I remember it--'weird' starts with 'we'.
And, I realize that the period in the sentece above should be inside the single quotation mark (AKA 'apostrophe'), rather than outside it (as I put it). I just think it looks better my way.
Us 'puter types call them "tics" or 'quotes' depending on hw many they are.
And I thing the trailing dot ought to be inside if the quoted material had on there and outside if not.
But my English grades were not a lot better than my math grades.
I wonder if anybody noticed my attempt at irony.
' a tic
" a quote
The New York Post pointer still points to a "Loopy Abdul" piece, so I did a nit-comb thing to see if I was missing something.
Sheehan's hefty medical bills after Sheehan, who lost her son in the Iraq war, had to undergo a hysterectomy. O'Donnell told a pal, "[Sheehan] has served our country well." O'Donnell's rep said, "Rosie is a true patriot."
[Off to find the mind bleach]
That it is, because it's missspeled.
I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre frontal lobotomy.
I've always done the punctuation as you do. It makes sense. The word you highlighted with single quotation marks is not part of the whole construction of the sentence. Therefore, the end mark belongs on the outside. The British do it this way, and for the most part, they tend to grammar more efficiently than we do.
Buddy - This is the funniest, best grammar book ever. It's worth the small price just for the humor:
"Eats, Shoots & Leaves" by Lynne Truss.
Also, Karen Elizabeth Gordon has several wonders out that are worth it for the humor:
"The Transitive Vampire; A Handbook of GRAMMAR for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed."
"The Well-Tempered Sentence; A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed."
I don't know which you are - innocent, eager or doomed, but you'll still like 'em no matter. :)
A review of Truss's book, but really more an analysis of what writing is, or isn't. I remain envious of you who do it so well as too make it appear easy.
You should not envy anyone. I have read this blog about six months and I am constantly amazed and blown away by your writing. Writing is a reflection of how you think, and all I have to say is you are capable of going places in the thinking realm that few of us are capable of visiting. And then you come back and write those thoughts in exquisite, unique prose that just takes my breath away.
Trust me - I've spent 20 years teaching and grading writing and another three as an editor. You are one of the best. I also know you don't believe me, but your writing is ethereal. So, as it is, is your thinking.
Yeh, imho Luther is an excellent sylist, with substance behind it. Even though he's pretty much thrown in the towel on that "to vs too" thing.
Thanks for those titles, P. They look fun. Ha --grammar as 'fun' --ain't we weird!
My kids suffered the to, too, and two. I never taught rules because they're boring, and I had a knack for tricks that worked.
Here's just a short one for 'too'.
Substitute the word 'also' in the sentence where you've used 'too'.
If the sentence makes sense using 'also', 'too' is correct. If it doesn't make sense, use 'to'.
I invented 'sucede'. Better'n 'sylist'. :) More depth. har..
Neologisms, I like "reintarnation" (being reborn a hillbilly), and "rectitude" (the dignified, formal bearing adopted by many proctologists). More:
I come from a family of word people. We love all word games and puzzles. Neologisms are one of our favorites. I have a list of some really funny ones somewhere on my computer. I only come across it by accident so have no idea where to look.
Filenesia: When you can't find a favorite file on your computer.
Dang, tried to close my laptop but my head kept getting in the way :-)
A sincere thanks Phoenix. But you are right, I don't believe you. Better put, I can't believe you. There is entirely to much evidence to the contrary, plenty of it right here at Maggie's.
I was doing some research the other night and ran across an old comment of something Buddy said a couple of years ago, which was that I appear to write from the heart. Well really I do, I can't imagine any other way of doing it. I respect the art to much to do any less. I've always stood in awe of the written word. From stones to pixels it has truly shaped the world.
I will share a stupid story which, even though it is completely ridiculous for it to still have an effect on me, I think continues to damage any confidence I may have in my writing. Miss Mooney's 10th grade English class. Book report, 500 words(?), "what do books mean to you?". I submitted my (I latter realized, stereotypical) paper. On the day of grades, in front of the whole class, this teacher accused me of plagiarism and gave me the lowest grade possible. I was dumbfounded. I became a reader only after that.
I shouldn't use the bandwidth for such personal stuff, just felt it explanatory.
Thanks again Phoenix.
Buddy, as far as "stylist", it is true I was the squad barber over there. I'll just leave it there.
That is the down side of teaching.
I some times wonder if I might have been an important physicist if the teachers ... ahh well, water under the bridge.
You have by your own testimony proved that Miss Mooney made a grievous error, get over it. Stuff happens.
Oh. I'm hanging my head. I messed up trying to be succinct with my example of using 'too'. :(
It also means emphasis. Too much food. Too much rain.
Luther, I'm sorry.
But I'm not sorry for anything else. I am correct about your writing. I know it's from the heart, but you still have a way of writing that is so sublime I don't have the words to describe it. Sometimes as I'm reading a thread I am stopped short by the way you've written something. In honesty - You are one of the main reasons I stayed with the blog even when I wasn't commenting.
I have heard your story a hundred times. Stupid teachers. I go crazy that there are teachers out there who do not understand the impact they have on a kid. My son experienced something like what you went through, and I got him in my class for his tenth and twelfth year. It would take too long to describe how I taught writing, but I can say it was positive - never negative.
I assigned essays on Tuesdays for all classes every week of the school year. They were due Wednesday and Wednesday nights I graded for hours. I'd staple the left hand corner of a batch and flip through writing all kinds of nice comments and gentle suggestions. Then I'd write a note at the bottom telling the student what I liked best. I'd pick out the top three and read them aloud on Thursday. I also sent the names of the top three to be announced over morning announcements.
I was grading a batch and came across my son's. He wrote about a 24 hour bike race that he'd had to do alone because his teammates didn't show up. It was a big race and he finished it. He wrote like you do..... from deep inside his mind and heart, and he wrote that the dawn was his favorite time because he could hear the birds chirping in the woods before any hint of sunlight, and he said after the loneliness of the night, it gave him a great feeling of hope to hear the birds and to gradually see all of nature as the sun rose. I'm not able to describe it, but it made me cry. I just couldn't believe my son had it in him to write and think like you do. He wrote of personal experience, but it was from his place in a world we all share - ethereal.
Darn. I can't describe it. Anyway, I read his paper and he was embarrassed but proud. I still have it.
I could not write as you or Parker did that time. Leave it at that..... your writing gives me shivers. To touch people the way you do and the way Parker did that time - it's a gift.
Check this out! Too fun!
It's a little quiz. Go do it! I missed one! D'oh. :}
It does for a fact burn your ears forever to get humiliated as a kid. Crazy but true. All my life i've tried to never humiliate a kid. Even one acting jerky ought not be delegitimized. Well, as a last resort before beating him with a shovel maybe.
Kids might forget what you do to them, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
The 'get over it' response to sad stuff is inappropriate. If we could just 'get over it' there would be no mental health professionals and we'd never get depressed.
Shameing a child is abuse. It is the worst emotion a person can feel. Betrayal comes in at a close second.
I didn't communicate well.
I meant that the teacher did wrong, but he still proves he can write well.
The teacher is (probably dead and) gone and can not be gotten even with.
What ever harm he does in retaliation will hurt him, not her.
There is a time to "get over" unfair treatment and salvage what you can an move on.
That wasn't a pity post Larry, and I take no offense from your comment. And yeah, I've seen a lot of 'shit happens'. I was reading before 1st grade. Then 'they' :-) made me learn all the rules. I think my comprehension was considerably lessened after that. But when something has extraordinary meaning, as writing and literature meant to me, even at that young age of high school, it has an impact. Your "get over it" is one of those quick aphorisms that though ancient, is not always doable. I've gotten over a lot in my life, some of it easy, a lot of it hard. Don't ask.
Har - main reason - pertty soon I'll be receiving some of that good Maggie money then...
That's a great story about your son. Personal experience is all that I am qualified to write about and was something that your son obviously felt proud of in that race. For me, all else is conjecture and opinion. The world is full of that last. I agree completely with your sentence on 'shaming'.
Buddy, I'm with you on the 'kid's'. I treat'em all as adults, least til they need a little 'shovel' love :-)
I'm still not sure I've repaired the harm.
Let me come at it from a different angle.
I can even at 3 score and 8 remember accurately details of my childhood.
I can not remember much about the interior of the grammar school I attended for most of the 7 seven years. I can remember Mrs. Gowdy's kindergarten classroom (I started to list some details, it anybody cares I can go into it. The building is gone so you can't chesk me. Mrs. Hatten's First grade I have no recollection of--she (or some idiot) decided to "skip me to second and my parents made to nly serious error I can recall.
I can remember Mrs. Lang's second grade room and the zillions of spirit dupicator things she made. And her gouging her thumbnail into my chin for more things that I can count (and none of which I can remember).
I don't remember who taught third or fourth or fifth although Mrs Brookins must have taught one of those. And
Mrs Footman who was also the principle.
Oh. One of those missing years my parents had me go to another school where Mrs Footman was the principle one year. No clue as to who the teacher was, and no idea of what the interior of the building looked like (vague images of somebody's classroom, not sure whose, and of a stairwells.
Clear images of the school garden, the boiler room, other places where I was banished.
Now days I would have been pumped full of Ritalin.
But now in my last days I wonder if my name might have been among the physics-related books that occupy a large book case, or among any of the rest of the books in this house (ten large book cases in this room, a bedroom-sized Library on the next floor, and I don't know how many books in my wife's office on the top floor. I have read most of those books, I think I could have written some of them.
I understand Mr. McLeod. I think I do any way.
And I made a decision some time back to stop letting those people hurt me any more. The injuries are done, there is no going back.
But I do try to find things to learn (Reading about the dead Sea Scrolls currently, severl more books on that list to try to get to.
I have written for small audiences and try to do more. Some of it gets read, some doesn't.
I don't care.
I think it is a good plan, or at least as good as I can do it this late date.
Mr. McLeod, if there is anything in there of use, it is yours.
Mr. Sheldon, the only thing in my life that warrants Mr. is my paying taxes. Otherwise, as the saying goes, we all put our pants on one leg at a time.
Yes, Ritalin would have been my daily dose as well. Instead I got the paddle on the ass. Great big huge blood blisters afterward. A source of pride among some. Myself included really. Authority was to be disdained. That's always been my problem. IOW's, how dare you tell me what to do (not you personally) . But I learned to live with that peculiarity. There are times when the group overcomes the ego. Actually, thanks, through some odd confluence of thought, you have helped me decide my epitaph. I will put "Marine", nothing else, on my tombstone. Those values will encrypt me as well or better than any other. At least so long as this country lives.
Your words put me at a loss. Speechless really. My responses have been inarticulate, trite and not respectful of your thought. My apologies and thank you.
Luther, you've GOT to read "Goodbye Darkness" by William Manchester. I've just finished a third reading. I think I'm done now. Your "Marine" on the tombstone is what made me say this.
It's a different war, but the book is universal, it's about how the mind copes afterwards.
Thanks Buddy. I had been meaning to ask you about the books we discussed some time ago. I ordered it just now, along with "Old Breed", which if memory serves you recommended as well. Also, to qualify for free shipping :-) I ordered "Utmost Savagery"
I will be 'marined' out after those three :-)
"It's About How the Mind Copes Afterwards"
Thanks for my book title, Buddy. :} I'll give you a shout out at the end and some of my royalties.
Are you my manly twin? My favorite things in life from early on were reading...... cancel the plural. I didn't enjoy writing until I was about 30 when I felt confident. I so love beautiful writing that I expect everyone to love it. I'm always shocked when people say, "I hate to read." I, too, have always been rebellious. I lost/quit my job because of an injustice that I would not abide and I lost, of course. But I wouldn't give in because I was right.
I think my tombstone will say: Teacher. Kiss my Nounly Ass.
(Actually the loss of my job kicked my ass and I'm still not right. I wish I could just get over it, but I can't.)
I went to the library today. Buddy, would that book by Manchester be in the library?
Phoenix. Perhaps. Though I think there are many of our ilk. This country is full of rebel's. I would guess 300 million or so. Some act, most don't. We all strain to be individuals, somehow unique among sameness. And glory to it. But then, we also unite when need be. The thing is, today, fewer feel that stir of 'united'.
Not that it will help in your 'getting over it' but, I once had a safe and stable job in Federal Civil Service. Had I stayed with it I would be lucratively retiring in 5 months. But I resigned, after 12 years, frustrated in my efforts to effect change, even at a local level. The system is/was too entrenched.
But rivers flow, rock etches, time marches. We all make our little marks on the stream of life. Marching us forward to the stars. Which is where we must go. Our destiny as I see it. Yeah, I've had a titch of the grape. Though higher refined.
And really, as I told BL once, I'm just FOS.
Har --the only folks not FOS are those on starvation diets. Yep, I too toiled awhile in the corporate world. I could never cope with managing others' compensation packages. When I left (to start my own little two-person shop) my ex-employer became a client, and it all worked out well. Firing folks with children has to be done sometimes, but I chose not to stay in that system. The pyramid is too god-like for me, tho I do understand its value. But I stayed self-employed after that (tho, when one sells services to clients, one is hardly 'self' employed).
The book. I didn't mean to ignore your question, Patina--Sunday nite storm knocked over my wifi antenna and I'm having to use dial-up--which is turtle-slow plus I have to keep reconnecting the phone in case someone needs me thru that pipe. So I'll be net-crippled (or net-out) off & on until the ISP crew gets out here to re-aim my radio beam. I can't re-aim it--need their gadgets.
Anyhoo, this will answer your question (and thanks for asking it):
Glad y'all will take a look at the book--you'll be richly rewarded, I think I can promise.
Oops, Phoenix & Patina--I transposed yore two handles. Me dummy.
Why, thanks--but this old connection is so slow I'll be raving soon--