Monday, August 4, 2008

Back to the drawing board

Many nursing homes embrace Xtreme Aging, a course designed to teach younger health care providers what it is like to be 85, the nation’s fastest growing age group. It’s not a program for sissies. The young folks’ prep included putting on distorting glasses to mimic blurred vision, cotton balls in ears and noses to reduce hearing and dampen sense of smell, latex gloves with adhesives around the knuckles to impede manual dexterity and kernels of corn in shoes. Intelligent design?

Has the semicolon reached the end of the line? Well, the French are worried about its decline – and they blame, who else, the English language. The Guardian has published a delightful insight into the row which pits intellectual against smart ass.

In the red corner … The point-virgule, says legendary writer, cartoonist and satirist Francois Cavanna, is merely "a parasite, a timid, fainthearted, insipid thing, denoting merely uncertainty, a lack of audacity, a fuzziness of thought".

In the blue corner … the left wing weekly Le Nouvel Observateur waxed - "the beauty of the semicolon, and its glory, lies in the support lent by this particular punctuation mark to the expression of a complex thought".

For more, click here.

"A confidential survey of MPs and peers suggests that one in five parliamentarians suffers from mental illness caused by the stress of their public lives." OMG. If they undertake a similar study in Washington, can Democracy withstand such truth in packaging? And the Texas Legislature would have to be scored on a Bell Curve. There’s a ding-dong pun in here somewhere.


Pamela Wagner said...

Back in 1996, when my ex-husband Tom died, I gave his eulogy at the memorial service in Kansas City. One of the things I said is that we were very different, but neither of us were wrong. He simply loved semicolons and I didn't. I was a
comma person. The one time we tried writing together, it was a disaster. The National Enquirer paid us an enormous amount of money at the time--$10,000--to write ten consumer columns on how to save money. But what could you expect from two writers? Of course, we argued over punctuation.

Anonymous said...

Add: Needing to tinkle the second you get home. Or, as Mama said, "there's something about putting the key in the door..."

The South Plainsman said...

Don't even bother to test the Texas Legislature for mental illness. Everybody knows they are all crazy. There is no sense to spend the effort confirming it. Our whole political class is either crazy or corrupt or both.

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