How long does it take to influence a life?

When I was age 7, Marilyn Witt, a high school senior who lived nearby, babysat my little sister and me one evening. I don’t recall her coming any other time, but she arrived carrying an intriguing heavy black box with a handle. Marilyn said it held a typewriter to fill out her college applications after…

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March 8th is National Proofreading Day

 Another comment for the preceding is, “Use a comma, fight cannibalism.” This event hasn’t been around long, but here’s how it is described in our nation’s calendar: “National Proofreading Day is observed each year on March 8th. This day was created to bring awareness to the importance of proofreading. National Proofreading Day promotes mistake-free writing. Carefully…

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Jingles – Words and/or tunes that stick in the brain

A jingle is the lively, cheery sound of a bell when rung or jostled. Today, it also defines a tune and words used in advertising, podcasts, or other commercial purposes that are used for sound branding. They contain hooks specifically promoting a product or service, usually by including advertising slogans in radio and/or t.v. commercials. Many jingles are based on changing the…

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Where were you the severe winter of 2019?

Hopefully, you’ve survived what recent terms describe as Snowmageddon, Snownado, Polar Vortex 2019, and more. This winter I dodged the brunt of it by enjoying time in NE Mississippi, but I feel for friends and loved ones experiencing this winter’s brutal cold. It meant 2-3 day school suspensions and even U.S. mail not being delivered…

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The Stories Nature Writes

Treasured Rocks For Christmas 2018, my older son and his two youngest added an item to my bucket list AND helped me accomplish it. I’ve traveled to several continents, not all, but had not seen America’s Grand Canyon. My family wasn’t having it. Instead of coming to NE Mississippi where I now winter as they…

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Goals for a New Year

As quoted in Forever, Erma, a collection of American humorist, Erma Bombeck’s best-known writings, she closed her March 10, 1987, column with these words that to me are a perfect guideline for anyone’s coming year: “I always had a dream that when I am asked to give accounting of my life to a higher court, it…

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New and Old Christmas Carols

When we think of traditional Christmas carols such as “Away in a Manger” or “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” we assume they have been with us through the ages. As with many assumptions about history, we’re wrong. There is no way to prove what the first Christmas song was, but Christmas music has been…

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Principles for Critiquing? Or Bone-crushing Reviews?

On June 14, 1922, Warren G. Harding became the first U.S. President to have his voice transmitted by radio. This did not impress journalist H. L. Mencken, who said of Harding, “He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing…

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Thanksgiving or Turkey Day?

I was sad years back to find that numerous students even in Christian high schools and colleges do not know the origins behind American Thanksgiving and join many others in simply calling it Turkey Day. The busiest air traffic day of the year, the fourth Thursday in November is a heartwarming time to join family…

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More Interesting Word Origins

I love tracking word origins because so there is so often are interesting stories behind them. Apparently knucklehead refers to someone with a brain the size of a knuckle. Samuel Johnson, the compiler of England’s first dictionary, claims the word nincompoop comes from the Latin phrase non compos mentis (“not of right mind”), initially a…

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