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Snowden cartoon header

looks like we will be needing more snowdens

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.” [Continue reading]

CeaseFire header2 copy

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

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (July 19, 2013) and a piece ti­tled “Gun-rights group sues city over emails al­legedly with­held”: An or­ga­ni­za­tion called Wash­ington Cease Fire 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 “ is left hanging: one could read this as saying that the group was against guns but prone to vi­o­lence in its ef­forts to achieve its goals. [Continue reading]

BuckLunch header

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

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:

BuckLunch

Now, if Eng­lish is your na­tive lan­guage, your brain reg­is­ters ex­actly what the sign-maker in­tended: that they are of­fering a lunch spe­cial for five dol­lars. [Continue reading]

StrunkWhite

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

NIGH ON TEN YEARS AGO, I had a job in Seattle: I was a tele­mar­keter for the 5th Av­enue The­atre. It 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 one show with a credit card and tried to sell them a season sub­scrip­tion (there were six shows per season). [Continue reading]