looks like we will be needing more snowdens

Snowden cartoon header

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (July 19, 2013) and a piece ti­tled “U.S. Of­fi­cials says NSA tak­ing steps to stop leaks” (page A2): an AP ar­ti­cle ac­knowl­edges that “The in­for­ma­tion re­vealed [by Ed­ward Snow­den] that the agency was gath­er­ing mil­lions of US phone records and in­ter­cept­ing some US In­ter­net traf­fic.” Which, if you care about CONTINUE READING

for want of a hyphen (“I want hyphen”)

CeaseFire header2 copy

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (July 19, 2013) and a piece ti­tled “Gun-rights group sues city over emails al­legedly with­held” (page B1): an or­ga­ni­za­tion called Wash­ing­ton Cease­Fire is de­scribed as “an anti-gun vi­o­lence group.” Tech­ni­cally, this is cor­rect: the hy­phen is nec­es­sary to link “anti” with “gun.” But the word “vi­o­lence “ CONTINUE READING

a neal defines rant post

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A SUGGESTION MADE TO ME by one of the few early read­ers of this blog (a friend, natch) that I ex­plain ex­actly what a “rant” is. That was brought on by my hav­ing two cat­e­gories on this web­site with that word in their ti­tle: “Neal’s Rants (Re­ally Po­lit­i­cal” and “Neal’s Rants (Not-So-Political).” In nei­ther do I rant CONTINUE READING

what’s a “buck lunch”? (or, whats a buck lunch)

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I TOOK BERNI to her morn­ing cof­fee at a nearby Star­bucks she wakes up five days a week with that place’s caf­feine and a book be­fore go­ing to work. On the way back home, I drove past a lo­cal chain restau­rant. Their sign ad­ver­tised the fol­low­ing:



Now, if Eng­lish is your na­tive lan­guage, your brain reg­is­ters ex­actly what CONTINUE READING

a stickler for rules (at least for grammar)


I STARTED WRITING when I was in grade school. Re­cently, a class­mate of my brother’s found a copy of a “news­pa­per” that Chester Street El­e­men­tary School pub­lished in 1964. In it was a one para­graph ar­ti­cle by my brother fol­lowed by a three para­graph “ar­ti­cle” by me. It summed up oh so briefly the Philadel­phia Phillies’ phe­nom­e­nal rookie, Richie Allen.CONTINUE READING

the origin of neals rants

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NIGH ON TEN YEARS AGO, I had a job in Seat­tle: I was a tele­mar­keter for the 5th Av­enue The­atre. The 5th was one of two main venues for Broadway-style mu­si­cals, a genre that had left me less than moved my en­tire life. My job en­tailed call­ing ba­si­cally any­one who had pur­chased a ticket to at least CONTINUE READING