Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Winning Words 3/15/11
“Nostalgia is like grammar. You find the present tense and the past perfect.” (Robert Orben – Sent by Katie) One of the few college texts that I’ve saved is one used in Freshman English. I’ve enjoyed learning about grammar, punctuation, sentence structure. And, I like the way today’s quote takes the “mechanics” of English and applies them to the present and to the past. ;-) Jack
FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA: You would probably enjoy a book called "Woe is I". The author does a brilliant job of making the rules of grammar clear, and (however improbable it may seem) entertaining! FROM JACK: I need to go back and refresh myself on the rules of me and I. The book you mentioned does sound interesting.
FROM SH IN MICHIGAN: You know, this is really true. I am always nostalgic for the good ole days when people spoke more civilly--not cursing or swearing all the time. Love the old movies especially for this reason. The present is tense but it's probably not true that the past was less tense just because in the public discourse people didn't "let it all hang out" without some restraint in the use of foul language. I like today's quote too. FROM JACK: In reality, the past wasn't always perfect, but selective memory often makes it so. One thing I notice about the old movies is how much smoking is being done in them.
FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: Since I'm in the middle of a large proofing/editing project, this was especially pertinent. FROM JACK: Proof-reading is about more than catching errors in spelling. It takes persnickety people (in the good sense of the word). I try to guard against being overly fussy. But, it is interesting work.
FROM JC IN HONG KONG: So you like wordplay, huh? By the way, how many languages do you know? Here's something that might be interesting to ewe:
FROM JACK: Like most Americans, I'm fluent in one language. I read recently that the three most used languages in the USA are 1) English, 2) Spanish, 3) Sign Language. I found the uTube program on English useage to be very interesting. How's your Mandarin coming along?
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I think nostalgia also involves not engaging or remembering the full "past tense". Perfect past tense in Nostalgia 101 would involve selective memory. We only remember the good parts. Few would want to go back and remove the progress of modern medicine (I would not be here) and I for one would not want to give up instant communication with my family (even when they are 8,000 miles away).
I am out for a walk in Colorado Springs this morning. My son got back from Iraq two nights ago. While sometimes I miss my simple life as a kid in the 60's and 70's I love what has happened as a whole with the world. I wouldn't trade my Blackberry for a whole street full of 57 Chevys. FROM JACK: A Blackberry for a street-full of '57 Chevys....I'll have to think about that one. I seem to remember that the old Ford Edsel had a "SelectShift" by the steering wheel where you could push a button to choose the driving gear you wanted. I think that we have a "SelectShift" like that in our mind when it comes to remembering the past.
FROM MOLINER CF: As Sitting Bull said while looking at the herd of buffalo. "There are our future tents."
FROM JACK: Ugh!
FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a wry wit in this quote. Probably pretty true, as we find the present a challenge, and the past is remembered through rose-colored glasses...However I think we are all thankful for every day we're given, with reasonably good health! I know I am, and still enjoying what the day has to offer, in most cases. I taught English grammar for a number of years, so do notice proper usage: One of the "perks" or "debits" of the trade! Ha! Good quote! Here's to the Present Perfect case! FROM JACK: A song that many of know is related to word usage: "You got to accent the positive, eliminate the negative."
FROM CJL IN OHIO: Like someone said: The best thing about the past is a faulty memory... FROM JACK: i guess it all depends on what you have to (or choose to) remember.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We do have a selective memory don't we? Its a good thing. It's so much easier to remember the past as the one of childhood happiness. And for most of us, it was a wonderful or at least a good childhood. I wouldn't trade my memories! When I sit down with my siblings and we talk about an incidence in our lives, we each remember it just a little different. It's so refreshing to hear "the rest of the story" so to speak. I love the quote today! FROM JACK: When my sister and I get together and remember, it's interesting that we're able to recall the same events, but as seen with a different pair of eyes. In today's world, people might get along better if they realized that two persons can look at the same situation and see it differently. There's nothing wrong with that.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is pretty good. By the way, yesterday while going to chaffeur two grandchildren to their activities, I stopped at the Dairy Queen in New Tampa on Bruce B. Downs where there is a large picture on one wall of the original DQ on 4th Avenue in Moline. That DQ hasn't been there for a long time; it's the one where you just lined up at the window. FROM JACK: I suppose you know that Bob Medd's dad was one of the owners of that Moline DQ. Whenever and wherever I get a Dairy Queen, I think back to days when I patronized that one in "our town."
Posted by Jack at 5:13 AM