English 101 Again

courtesy of allaboutbirds.org

It doesn’t take much to make me happy.  Sometimes just a word can do the trick.  The correct word, mind you.

Those of you who follow me know I become crazed when someone butchers the English language.  This does not include differences between my Canadian or British friends – go ahead and toss in an extra vowel where you will, or change spelling.  I won’t quibble.

Today I found validation and vindication!  And of all places, I found it in a novel.  This novel has been on my bookshelf for quite some time gathering dust.  I discovered it the other day and realized I had not read this particular book.  Turns out, it’s a very good novel.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  And then I find something that simply shakes me to my core.

You see, for many years I have been trying in vain to explain to people that the breed of bird one sees frequently in North America is the Canada goose (or Branta canadensis).  If there is a single bird in your yard, it is a Canada goose.  If a few more of these majestic birds gather in your yard, you have a flock of  Canada geese, NOT Canadian geese. STOP CALLING THEM CANADIAN.  Pluralize the ‘goose’, not the ‘Canada’.  Ack.

This has finally been validated for me in the novel Amagansett by Mark Mills.  On page 262, one of the characters is questioned on what he hunts.  He replies, “Canada goose.”  Yippee Skippy!!  Finally, someone other than myself understands this point.

I’d like to meet this author and thank him!  Truly, you have no idea how many times I have struggled with this issue in a conversation.

At the very least, I will purchase his next book.  I am vindicated…sigh


The Bard is Back in Town, the Thought of it Doth Make My Faint Heart Bleed…


The Bard is back…the Bard is back…at least that’s the latest rumor going around.  A discovery of a hitherto unreleased work by Shakespeare has surfaced; a play some scholars maintain is based on an earlier work of that witty wordsmith William, something called Cardenio.  I am unfamiliar with Cardenio.  It sounds like a drink made with vodka and tinged a pretty shade of blue.  Or an island in the South Pacific.  But a play by Shakespeare?

I’m just tickled pink by this discovery.  Okay maybe not so much.  I have several  large volumes of Shakespeare’s works up in my crap room   craft room  home office  study/library.   I have read many of his plays – I get to a certain point and then blood starts dripping from my eyes and I pass out from either overuse of archaic English or just the fact I want him to speed it up a bit.  He is difficult to read;  although I admit his works are amazing, if a bit time-consuming as I find I must read and re-read many passages to get their full meaning.  There’s an awful lot of doth, thou, and didst going on in those plays. 

Like Emperor Joseph in Amadeus telling Mozart his music is fine; it just has too many notes, I would like to tell Shakespeare his writing is lovely; it just has too many words.  Well, there it is.  And with that I am sure to have all the Shakespeare fans come swooping down on my head.  Having uttered this insult Shakespeare might have replied to me, “What villain was it spake that word?…My foes I do repute you every one: So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.”  (Titus Andronicus).  Ouch – makes my ears bleed. 

I admit I enjoyed Hamlet… oh wait, I might have been thinking about the movie starring a younger and gorgeous Mel Gibson. Oops.  Okay, I read Romeo & Juliet (what high school student didn’t?) and I do love some of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.  But is the world really ready for another work by Shakespeare?  It would be more fun if instead of one of his lost plays they discovered one of his lost video games…Othello for Wii…

Besides — I have enough reading material stacked up on my table already – this work of his has been lost since the 18th century…I think it can wait a little longer to be added to my reading list…  William might sum it up this way: 

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste…
  excerpt from Sonnet XXX

As for me dear Bard, I doth desire  a good mystery written in today’s vernacular and shall visit you anon.  sigh…

Out to Lunch

Well, my friends, I find I’m up against some nasty little deadlines this coming week – I face two midterm exams, one paper, 4 lectures, and over 500 pages of reading. So, in the interest of time management I must give the blog a rest and concentrate on my studies. Ms. “I have some free time; I’ll just snag myself a graduate degree” needs to crack the books and stop with the frivolity until after next Sunday’s exams. Kind thoughts and prayers are appreciated and definitely needed.

Crone and Bear It will be back; promise.

We’ll Just Pretend Monday Didn’t Happen This Week

I just wanted to have a nice quiet evening, maybe watch a little Big Bang Theory, eat a Weight Watcher’s ice cream sandwich.  That’s not asking too much.  It’s been such a stressful day of email issues and stupid cable people.  Errands that should have taken only an hour took several hours.  The highway was closed down due to a horrid accident.  Then Lawn Guy comes to the house, actually comes into my house to announce he just got out of the hospital and is still recovering from a MRSA infection.  Gah.  MRSA!!  There wasn’t enough soap available in the entire neighborhood to scrub Devoted Spouse and me after Lawn Guy left.  Ick, ick. 

So I didn’t think it was asking too much just to play some Hearts on my laptop while waiting for the arrival of Sheldon and Leonard on tv.  Then I heard the screaming from Devoted Spouse in the family room.  Trusty canine had struck yet again.  I flung the laptop onto the nearest end table, sprung out of the recliner, ran to the family room hollering all the way, “What in Hades is going on out here?”  only to discover one of my fairly new couch pillows in pieces.  The Golden Destroyer ate my pillow – Gah – just when I think she’s over this ridiculous dog phase of eating everything in sight, she pulls another EmmaLou stunt.  I threw her golden butt out the back door thinking she just had an unusual amount of canine energy and running around the yard would help burn it up.  So what did she do?  Chased rabbits into a patch of poison ivy.  Did I mention Devoted Spouse is highly susceptible to poison ivy?  So, now the trusty canine is back inside and I’m hoping she doesn’t brush up against the happy hubby. 

It’s simply too much for my feeble brain to handle.  I need a time out.  I’m going to go hide in my crap room and read my vampire story.  The one I bought today at Borders and told the clerk it was a gift for my daughter because I was too embarrassed to admit I’m reading this teen tripe myself.  Ack-ack. 

Calgon, take me away…

Read What You Want and Enjoy the Experience

A couple of days ago while blog surfing I came across a blog about books and reading. Since reading is my favorite hobby, I took a peek at what this fellow had to say. Partway through his blog I about swallowed my tongue. His main theme on books and reading was that we should only read those books which will educate us and provide brain sustenance. Anything else to him was wasting valuable life time. Huh? I scrolled down a bit and sure enough he had some reading suggestions — poetry, nonfiction, educational stuff. Not a mystery or a steamy vampire story, or a Stephanie Plum caper to be found. Nothing spiritually uplifting. No humor at all. How boring, I thought to myself. Reading is not just about learning; it’s about immersing yourself in another world and letting your imagination get the better of your daily reality for awhile.

Now, I’m not saying poetry isn’t a good reading choice; and I like nonfiction books as much as the next guy. But to sit down away from the craziness of the day and devour a few hundred pages of who-done-it can be a lovely way to spend a few hours. Who cares if you retain all the information? I have hundreds of books on my shelves and half the fun is re-reading them! I agree one should stretch the reading limit and try something new and different occasionally. But this man actually called fiction books mindless and he had some harsh words for those who read them.

Reading for pleasure; Devoted Spouse and I love to recline on our respective couches and while away a rainy afternoon with our noses in books. I think I’ll pick up a novel right now…