The sweet young thing.

The other day I was debating whether to remove a comma from between two adjectives in this phrase…

its former, legendary zoo director, Jack Hanna

…when I remembered there’s a weird rule for adjectives, not only whether you need commas, but the order in which they should be used, if you need a few of them to describe something. I took out the comma between “former” and “legendary,” although I’ve since learned I should have left it in:

You should use a comma between two adjectives when they are coordinate adjectives. Coordinate adjectives are two or more adjectives that describe the same noun equally.

With coordinate adjectives you can put “and” between them and the meaning is the same. Similarly, you can swap their order.

The example given is the shiny silver pole. The source argues for a comma here, although I don’t think they’re strictly coordinate. To my ear, “shiny” describes the sort of silver, not necessarily the pole itself. Anyway, screw online grammar guides, because when it comes to adjectives, my favorite is the rule about order of adjectives:

Observation (articles like this or that, plus numbers)
Size and Shape

I found that list on a website for non-native English speakers, and you really have to appreciate how hard it is to learn English when you look at it. Natives would never say the “gray old mare,” because we know, even without learning the song in grade school, that it’s the old gray mare. Nor would we say “old little lady” – she’s a little old lady. We also don’t generally put commas between them, although I’ve probably edited a dozen writers who turn in copy about a little, old lady.

You can amuse yourself stringing adjectives together in the correct order, trying to make the phrase longer: nine fat yellow kittens or Bob’s old blue cotton shirt, etc., although you can get a little dizzy with the length, wondering if you really need to cram them all in there in one phrase.

But these are the things writers consider. Benjamin Dreyer, the copy editor who gave the world a Strunk & White for the modern age, noted today was the 75th anniversary of the publication of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and musing on how he might have edited its first sentence:

(It’s a thread. Click replies for his considerations.) I remember reading “The Lottery” in, what, seventh grade, maybe? Eighth? Surely no later than that. I wonder whether it’s still taught today, or whether it’s been replaced by something more Relevant. I know it scared the shit out of me, the same way Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” did the same, just in the first paragraph:

No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met nearly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

Stephen King published a book on his favorite horror fiction, and devotes a fair amount of time to ol’ Shirley, who really knew how to set a mood from the jump. I think, in this one, the phrases “not sane,” “sensibly shut” and “walked alone” are little chills down the spine, and I wonder how many times she wrote and rewrote that passage to get it perfect. (Which it is.)

OK, then, on to the bloggage:

Hey, Buckeyes: A short but essential playlist of songs about Ohio.

You may have heard about the story about the penis-enlargement industry published yesterday, and upon clicking The New Yorker link, may have been shut out by the paywall. Never fear! ProPublica co-published the story, and it’s free and totally worth the time it’ll take to read it. It’s both funny and squirm-inducing and empathetic and all the other good things a story like this should be. I nearly shrieked at this passage:

When a defense­-and-­ intelligence contractor’s girlfriend, a registered nurse, aspirated his seroma with a sterile needle, a cup of amber fluid oozed out. The one time they tried to have sex, she told me, the corners of his implant felt like “someone sticking a butter knife inside you.”

Ee-yikes. And with that, sayonara until later in the week. Or maybe next week. Depends on what happens.

Posted at 4:03 pm in Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

81 responses to “The sweet young thing.”

  1. Dave said on June 27, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Do you remember when CSN&Y released “Ohio”, it was never played on WCOL in Columbus, I thought at the time it had everything to do with it being the capital city, James Rhodes, and whatever else. I do remember it could be heard on other stations around the state like what was then still a AM rocker powerhouse, WKYC in Cleveland. If it was played in Columbus, I don’t recall hearing it.

    LA Mary in the last thread, I knew one indigenous Alaskan in Cincinnati some thirty years ago, I think she’d gotten there via a military marriage. I imagine there’s more than one in Southern California.

    There are songs about different parts of Ohio, like Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders song, “My City was Gone”, which that radio person who finally assumed room temperature ruined for me by using the beginning as theme music.

    823 chars

  2. Heather said on June 27, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    OK, that penis enlargement article spawned some gruesome mental images. I would be too afraid of complications from plastic surgery for anything. A penis seems an especially vulnerable area for that.

    The smoke in Chicago today from the Canadian wildfires is insane. I was in Montana a couple of years ago when there were active fires in the state and the air wasn’t this bad. I have asthma, so I wore a mask riding my bike home from my boyfriend’s, which helped, but I still had the beginnings of a headache. Was going to go to a show in Millennium Park tonight, but my friend didn’t want to be outside for hours. Most of my windows are shut and the air purifier is running in the bedroom.

    690 chars

  3. David C said on June 27, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Wasn’t there some rich guy who popped his clogs getting a penis enlargement? I hope they chiseled it on his tombstone.

    118 chars

  4. Dorothy said on June 27, 2023 at 6:49 pm

    I read “Wrong Place Wrong Time” by Gillian McAllister recently. (And yes, I typed that title correctly WITHOUT a comma in it.) My daughter LOVED it. I was ‘eh’ about it. I told her I thought she used too many commas, a fact that escaped my daughter because she listened to the book, did not read it. She is a copy editor so I have a feeling if she had read the book, too, she would have felt the same way. It also irritated the crap out of me when she’d use a word three times in a row in the narrative, which to me was an unneeded affectation. I wonder if she does that in all of her books? Someone else will have to tell me because I’m not going to read another book written by Ms. McAllister.

    708 chars

  5. LAMary said on June 27, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Slate has an article today about RFK Jr. He’s got doctor Tenpenny campaigning with him. She’s the doctor who claimed she was magnetized by the covid vaccine.

    264 chars

  6. Jim said on June 27, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Recently rewatched The Haunting of Hill House in b&w; still creeped me out. Highly recommend the Netflix reimagining, as well as the other miniseries efforts of that group.

    176 chars

  7. Jeff Gill said on June 27, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    We had a round of Canadian wildfire smoke a couple weeks ago, but tonight, it is dense and incredible smellable even inside a closed up house. Beyond a block, the haze gets to a solid grey mist, and the setting sun has that lovely end-of-the-world look to it.

    About ten miles NE of me, “Dead & Company” are performing at the Ruoff Music Center, and from social media it’s a big debate as to what is putting more smoke in the air — the weed or Canadian forests.

    468 chars

  8. LAMary said on June 27, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    The last time we had the end of the world sky and red sun and even redder moon here we also had temperatures between 94 and 108 for three days and no power. It was also peak pandemic time. We loaded ourselves and everyone’s cell phone into the car and drove fifty miles north on the 5 freeway, basking in car air conditioning as the phones charged. We saw the end of trump boat parade on one of the man made lakes just to top off the shitiness of the whole situation. Once home we emptied all the rotting food from the fridge and freezer. A day to remember.

    557 chars

  9. Joe Kobiela said on June 27, 2023 at 10:00 pm

    No getting out of the smoke today, flew to Gatlinburg then up to Sturgis Mich and back to fwa, instruments the whole way visibility was around a mile on the approaches.
    Pilot Joe

    179 chars

  10. alex said on June 27, 2023 at 10:56 pm

    I’d have said “legendary former zoo director” and said fuck it to fucking around with commas. How did that writer get fixated on “former legendary” fer Chrissake? It sounds catty.

    Haven’t had a chance to read about the seroma yet. I’ll hit it before I turn in.

    264 chars

  11. Dexter Friend said on June 28, 2023 at 4:33 am

    LaGuardia passengers were told to hunker down in the airport or get lodging because many scheduled flights from Tuesday were now looking at departure dates of Saturday. Imagine a traveling family stuck in LaGuardia for 4 days.
    The smoke of turpentine essence and throat and eye irritation really set my mood yesterday. I drove south thirty miles to see if it was any better and if anything it was worse.
    I am a fan of the semi-colon and commas but never remember the rules. My older brother was a grammar nazi who used to criticize every missive I wrote or posted, as he was the big-time j-grad from Ball State while my college age years were spent fucking off at baseball and being a non-willing soldier. I just go with what “sounds right” when I am typing away. When I write my novels and my autobio, I’ll hire some uni-ed-ju-kated wit as my editor.

    856 chars

  12. Icarus said on June 28, 2023 at 10:02 am

    I don’t think I ever formally learned the order of adjectives. I first heard about it as a meme during the Third Age of Social Media. I think some sentences still work even if you change the order a little bit.

    Of course, I have an unpopular opinion that Sentence Diagramming is just an excuse to give Neurodivergent students lower grades and that cursive writing should go the way of the Dodo.

    That penis enlargement article was wild.

    447 chars

  13. Mark P said on June 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

    I might have mentioned that the 23-year-old daughter of a friend was saying how she wishes she had learned cursive in school. Personally, I print because my cursive went to hell once I started typing.

    200 chars

  14. Andrea said on June 28, 2023 at 11:20 am

    Funny we are talking about adjectives and commas today, and Patrick O’Brian a few days ago. One of the things I love about his books is the way he strings adjectives together — five or six in a row — without commas. It comes across as funny and emphatic. Hard to grasp in an audio version.

    291 chars

  15. Suzanne said on June 28, 2023 at 11:58 am

    My sister-in-law is a physical therapist at a school system. She says schools should teach cursive writing because it’s so good for kids’ fine mother skills.

    161 chars

  16. David C said on June 28, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Never been a fan of cursive. Mine always looked terrible and as soon as nobody was grading me on it, I went back to printing. Cursive was a fine way to write when taking your quill pen off the sheet left a blob. The ballpoint put an end to that. I do enjoy when I read someone saying grandparents can write cursive like a secret code because since kids aren’t taught it, they can’t read it. I think they started cursive in forth grade for us. My great-aunt Bet wrote me and all my cousins letters about once a month in her very lovely cursive. I know I read them myself before I was taught cursive. Cursive is just a fancy font.

    628 chars

  17. Deborah said on June 28, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    My handwriting has degenerated considerably, partly from disuse and partly from the shakiness of old age. I used to be proud of my handwriting, a combo of cursive and print. My husband still has fantastic handwriting, it’s very architectural. I have him write anything that needs to be handwritten now.

    Today it will be in the high 80s again but it’s starting to taper off a bit. Still nice and cool in the early morning now though.

    439 chars

  18. Suzanne said on June 28, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Correction to my comment above: that’s “fine motor skills” not fine mother skills, although one would hope that one’s skill as a mother would be fine!

    158 chars

  19. LAMary said on June 28, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    A classmate of mine whom I’ve known since the second grade has found me on facebook. She hustles travel deals. I don’t think she’s a travel agent. I don’t know what she actually does and I don’t care but what annoys me are her postings for the deals she’s got going. No punctuation, just a stream of superlative adjectives, prices and length of stay. “Luxurious best golf resort in Hawaii beach finest cuisine best price of the year massage four star flights best deal of year six days seven nights” That’s one I made up. Hers are worse. She’s not stupid. She was an honor student. I ignore her but the temptation to let her know her posts are stupid is strong.

    661 chars

  20. ROGirl said on June 28, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Do they no longer teach kids to write cursive in school? Am I that out of touch? My handwriting has changed over the years, but it’s still legible. I do remember some idiot trying to keep me from resting my hand on the paper when I write because I’m left handed.

    262 chars

  21. Dorothy said on June 28, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Just last week Olivia (granddaughter) wanted to try to write her name in cursive. Her mom wrote it on a piece of paper, and O tried to replicate it. She got very mad when she could not come very close to what her mom wrote. I heard Meg say that they teach cursive in second grade so she won’t be doing that for a little over a year. I’m guessing Meg would know because she herself is a school teacher – but she teaches high school, not elementary students.

    Olivia does not ask for help when making art work or signs, or greeting cards she makes herself. She sounds out the word and most of the time she’s not correct with what she writes. She will be correct eventually. In the meantime, today she made one and decorated it, and asked if she could tape it to my front door. Of course I said yes. It says I LOVE YOU ERTH! She meant earth, and I need to start a file folder for all the great signs she makes. For Mike’s birthday she made one that is on our dining room buffet: Than you for bing my Zah Zah (what she calls him instead of grandpa).

    1059 chars

  22. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    Our school used the D’Nealian handwriting system. The printing slopes and has places to join the letters together. Once you master it, cursive is a breeze:

    That said, I’ve noticed our son gives up when presented with a letter to read in cursive.

    290 chars

  23. Brandon said on June 28, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    I’ve noticed our son gives up when presented with a letter to read in cursive.

    Try deciphering Sütterlin.

    196 chars

  24. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    That almost looks like shorthand to me. Our Fort Wayne church had records written in old Gothic German, and no one could decipher those!

    136 chars

  25. nancy said on June 28, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    Cursive is increasingly rare in schools, although Kate learned it. There’s a legislator in Indiana who introduces a bill every year — that fails to pass, every year — mandating cursive writing in the state’s public schools. Teachers say they have enough shit to do, thanks very much.

    285 chars

  26. Jeff Borden said on June 28, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    There’s solid research that students who take handwritten notes learn and retain more than those who type notes on a tablet or laptop, which 99.9% of my students did over the last six to eight years I taught. Perhaps in addition to the motor skills Suzanne referenced, there’s a connection to the learning center of the brain, too?

    My penmanship was always horrible. As a reporter, I took notes in non-cursive style and frequently had a time trying to discern what I’d written. I can type far faster than I can write, so I often favored telephone interviews over face-to-face for the ease of note taking.

    607 chars

  27. Sherri said on June 28, 2023 at 8:00 pm

    My daughter was taught cursive, but it wasn’t emphasized or practiced like it was back in the day. I don’t remember her being graded on the quality of her penmanship, or having homework related just to cursive once the letters had been taught. I remember having to copy poems just to practice cursive for years, and my handwriting always looked terrible.

    So, technically, my daughter was taught cursive, but I can’t say she learned it. She doesn’t use it, and can’t read it easily.

    494 chars

  28. Deborah said on June 28, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    I always took handwritten notes at work, until the end of my working career. I started using a Mac for work in 1986, but never used it for notes. I had always taken copious notes but didn’t use them that often after meetings unless I had to type them up for others. But just taking them made me remember things much better. My husband is always admonishing me now to make lists on my iPhone but I mostly still hand write them on scraps of paper.

    448 chars

  29. Jim said on June 28, 2023 at 8:43 pm

    Jeff Borden at #26 is correct about the research re handwritten notes, but those notes need not (and vast majority in that research) were not in cursive. As a school board member in the 1990’s I argued quite hard to drop cursive as unnecessary, other than a signature. It is pretty easy to teach someone to read cursive without having to practice writing it. Well, as easy as it is to teach reading anyway.

    406 chars

  30. alex said on June 28, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    I’m surprised to see that the D’Nealian method is said to have been introduced in 1978. That one looks like the one I was taught in Fort Wayne schools circa 1972. The Zaner-Bloser and Palmer methods are distinctly different and look like what I remember as the handwriting of older generations.

    I developed good handwriting and won my school’s penmanship award several years in a row. Even learned how to use a fountain pen, which was really a cartridge pen with a fountain tip. But these days I detest writing longhand when typing is so much easier and I have a bazillion devices to facilitate it.

    601 chars

  31. Jeff Borden said on June 29, 2023 at 11:05 am

    Old Clarence Thomas is gonna treat himself to an extra big bowl of vanilla ice cream tonight! SCOTUS has gutted affirmative action. It’s been his dream from Day One, the fucking bastard.

    186 chars

  32. Heather said on June 29, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    I was doing a project a few years ago where I wrote a letter every month to a different friend. I got so many comments on how hard my writing is to read. I actually have a manual typewriter but I can’t figure out how to change the ribbon cartridge.

    248 chars

  33. Jeff Gill said on June 29, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    The Roberts footnote on military academy admissions exception is the slow leak that’s going to deflate this decision. Biden’s solicitor general left a mark with her pressing that point in oral argument, and the Chief Justice undermined his whole majority opinion by adding that out.

    286 chars

  34. JodiP said on June 29, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    I love the discussion of writing. That Sutterlein script was wild.

    I write in a journal sporacically and keep a separate garden journal. I love taking time to write in the Palmer style. I had a cheap Parker fountain pen for nearly 30 years but have misplaced it. I bought a new garden journal online and the paper is shiny and won’t take the ink of the fountain pen. I am still hopeing it shows up somewhere. It hasn’t left the house in a couple years because it kept leaking when I took it on flights.

    I recently wrote in a card to a 14 year old and he couldn’t read it. I’d forgetten that many kids can’t read cursive.

    626 chars

  35. alex said on June 29, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Clarence Thomas’ personal beef with affirmative action is that it made him doubt his own intellectual abilities. You’d think he’d feel it even more keenly serving for several decades in a job where he’s hopelessly out of his depth, for which he should blame Congress. And now that his moral deficiencies have been laid bare, who’s he gonna blame for that?

    355 chars

  36. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Just got back from my volunteer job so haven’t had time to read the latest SCOTUS horror, but I wanted to wish our very own Jodi a Happy Birthday! Hope you’re having a great day.

    I keep a notebook with to-do lists and notes from phone calls, etc. I like the ink to paper thought process. I always have a pretty notebook and a special pen for this. As a family we use shared Keep Notes on our phones for grocery lists, family outing ideas, chore lists, meal plans, whatever. I also keep books to read and an annual books read list. But recently it lost 17 books and apparently there’s no way to find them, so I may go back to jotting them in my notebook.

    656 chars

  37. JodiP said on June 29, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks, Julie! My wife and I had a great meal on Saturday and a friend and I dined last night at a superb restaurant called Mara. Our birthdays are within days, so we attended our first annual birthday dinner. Yes, “first annual”was intentional 🙂

    Today is the actual day, so my honey has been plotting. No idea what will happen!

    334 chars

  38. Deborah said on June 29, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    Happy birthday Jodi P!

    22 chars

  39. Sherri said on June 29, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    What poor old Clarence has never figured out is that even without Affirmative Action, the people he wants approval and respect from will still think less of him, because he will never be a white man. There always will be some reason, because they can never say it’s because he’s black, but no matter how much he achieves, no matter how smart he is, he will never be a white man. Not even marrying a white woman will make him a white man.

    The only solution is to stop measuring your success by how good a white man you are.

    529 chars

  40. David C said on June 29, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    I hope somebody goes after affirmative action for failsons. Mr. Ivanka tRump probably couldn’t have been accepted at Pigsknuckle, Arkansas Junior College, but his crook of a father bought Hahvahd a building.

    207 chars

  41. Dorothy said on June 29, 2023 at 9:15 pm

    Happy birthday Jodi! And happy heavenly birthday to my dearly departed father-in-law. He would have been 97 today.

    114 chars

  42. LAMary said on June 29, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    Happy Birthday, Jodi. Sorry I’m sort of late to the party but my internet has been out for the past 15 hours. Spectrum. The company that advertises its great business internet and phone service has been dead in the water since about 3 am this morning.

    251 chars

  43. Deborah said on June 29, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    Affirmative action legacy students Jared Kushner and Robert Kennedy Jr are happy with SCOTUS’s decision . Kushner’s dad bought Harvard a building and Bob Jr has his dad and uncle to thank. My husband went to Harvard on a scholarship that probably only existed because a wealthy alum wanted his failson to be accepted, so some folks are conflicted.

    351 chars

  44. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2023 at 11:21 pm

    My condolences, Mary. Are you still WFH? Spectrum is lousy here, too, and when AT&T fiber came through the neighborhood it was an upgrade. However, tonight when we got home we had no wifi, and that’s when I learned that our house has TWO systems. What the what?

    Our darling patient daughter explained that because our house has two separate wings (doesn’t that sound fancy? it’s not) we have a mesh network in addition to our wifi router. Apparently that’s the one that has gone down, not AT&T. So we were able to log in to the alternate wifi, which to me begs the question of why we have the mesh thingy anyway.

    Modern life, I tell you. Remember putting your phone on the modem and listening to the hisses and squeaks and making sure you didn’t go over 10 hours/month?

    783 chars

  45. Dexter Friend said on June 30, 2023 at 2:57 am

    Spectrum here is wonderful lately. I am on a family phone plan so I go with what the son-in-law decides is the best plan. In March I was switched from Verizon to T-Mobile. It must be where a person is located. Many times people say my voice becomes instantly distorted and calls just drop like boom, bye-bye. Maybe it’s the new iPhone 14, helifino.
    Neal Katyal says industrial hiring practices will retain affirmative action indicators as they are on a different plan upon a different template…for now. But you just goddam well know it’s in the works: affirmative action in hiring practices is soon to be gone like this new order, the Harvard-UNC plan. The new template.

    677 chars

  46. alex said on June 30, 2023 at 8:02 am

    Well, my brother just disclosed that he has been divorced for the last two years. He and his spouse decided they were just not in love anymore and felt that they were holding each other back from pursuing their ambitions. It’s all totally amicable. They kept up a good front, mostly for the benefit of my parents, whom they feared might keel over dead from the news.

    Their marriage counselor couldn’t understand why they would jettison an otherwise healthy partnership. Most of her clients, she told them, had marriages full of strife over addictions and adultery and financial irresponsibility and differences that are in all likelihood insurmountable. She told them they’d regret their decision one day.

    I’m just kind of floored by it all.

    748 chars

  47. Dave said on June 30, 2023 at 8:31 am

    We started learning to write cursive in the second grade, the Zaner-Bloser method. I remember that they gave us all mechanical pencils that had a lump on them where you hold it, easier to manipulate, I guess. (I always thought it was Zane-Bloser but looking it up, I see Zaner).

    I used to like my handwriting, more or less, but now if I write down much of anything, I think it looks rather bad. Other than a couple of checks a month and checkbook registry entries, neither of us do much handwriting.

    About the checks. Both of them are paid to companies that charge a fee if you use a credit card or if you have it electronically deducted from your checking account. I think it’s a $1.65. That makes no sense to me, so we use a stamp and envelope and send them off.

    We’ve got Spectrum here and we had Spectrum in Florida, with little problems. We’ve also got our cell service through Spectrum, which uses Verizon towers. Dexter, we had T-Mobile for several years, it worked well until we moved back to Indiana and then we could barely get a decent signal throughout our entire neighborhood, not to mention how it got worse if we went very far. After about a year of that, we switched. Have you ever tried to see one of the tower maps for Northwest Ohio? You do know you can use your Internet signal in your home for the phone, too.

    Our power was off for eleven hours yesterday, a storm passed through here that didn’t seem to be all that bad but something happened somewhere. Much of our neighborhood had power but we are on a different grid and our side of the street and four houses on the other side had no power.

    1631 chars

  48. Mark P said on June 30, 2023 at 10:18 am

    We use Elon’s Starlink for our internet. Before that we used our cell service. It started out pretty good, but lately I have noticed occasionally it’s faster to use cellular data on my phone. And it’s $120, up from $100 originally. I hate giving him money.

    We are getting smoke here in NW Georgia. The air quality yesterday was unhealthy for sensitive groups. It’s still really hazy today. We had some kind of front come through yesterday evening. It blew one of my firewood racks over, but we got no rain, and it’s no cooler today.

    546 chars

  49. Icarus said on June 30, 2023 at 10:24 am

    Both my cursive and my printing are illegible. I suspect my hatred of handwriting came about because I was one of those people who should write with their Left hand but was prematurely converted to a Righty.

    That, and in school, I’m sure it often dinged me a few points on any written assignment.

    But therein lies the problem with handwriting:    No two people do it the same way.  Some people have lovely penmanship, their todo lists belong in the Smithsonian.  Others have crappy writing as if they are on an Optometrist’s payroll.  Then there are people whose writing cannot be discerned at all, see doctors.


    Cursive Writing had its function once upon a time.  And it doesn't have to disappear from the face of the earth, But other options have supplanted it and in a few more generations, it will go the way of the slide rule or abacus.  

    1065 chars

  50. basset said on June 30, 2023 at 10:47 am

    82 in Nashville already this morning, and as of 9:48 am I have sweated clear through a t shirt and bib overalls. Forecast for today is 102, heat index 113.

    156 chars

  51. Dave said on June 30, 2023 at 10:59 am

    I just remembered that I worked with a man who had the loveliest handwriting that I ever recall seeing. He, however, was a despicable, anti-social, hateful solitary soul. I don’t think he liked anyone. Beautiful handwriting.

    227 chars

  52. David C said on June 30, 2023 at 11:55 am

    We have the first blue sky and clean (relatively) air today. I’m going to have to get out on my bike. I know it’s not going to last. I saw a map this morning showing all the fires in Canada. It looks like there’s a band of fire from east to west. The wind will shift and we’ll be right back in it.

    297 chars

  53. JodiP said on June 30, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    basset, stay safe with that intense heat–which goes for all of our friends here living in areas predicted to have dangerous heat levels the next few days. Currently, the AQI is moderate in my neighborhood, as it has been for days. As the day goes on, it’s tended to move into the unhealthy for sensitive groups range.

    318 chars

  54. Julie Robinson said on June 30, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Only 92° here today, and that’s not said in jest. We’re in the hellishly hot months of the year. Fortunately for us the smoke hasn’t come this far south, so I can go swim and then stay in the AC for the rest of the day. While I’m there I can contemplate my anger for the current Supreme Court, who have just overturned student loan forgiveness.

    345 chars

  55. ROGirl said on June 30, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    The haze has been here most of this week and my head is throbbing, my sinuses aren’t happy, my throat is dry, and I feel like crap. The temp may hit 90 today and it could rain tomorrow, but the air quality is still going to be bad.

    231 chars

  56. Sherri said on June 30, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Whaddyaknow, the man as hunter, women not thing is a myth. Women have always been hunters in hunter-gatherer societies, male scientists just ignored them.

    236 chars

  57. Scout said on June 30, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Today is going to be relatively cool here in good old Phx AZ, only 108. Ha. Ha. Tomorrow 111, Sunday 113, Monday 114 Tuesday 112. Looking forward to heading to Lake Placid NY in about a week and half so I can be outside and breathe at the same time.

    249 chars

  58. Jeff Borden said on June 30, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    The Extreme Court is really killing it, kids.

    Not content to gloat for awhile over the destruction of affirmative action, our six religious fanatics –who favor “religious freedom” over everything– have ruled it is okay to discriminate against others if it bothers your religion. You don’t have to offer goods or services to those icky gay people if your sky god forbids it. And you don’t have to work on the days your boss asks if your sky god forbids it. Perhaps it is time for me to found a religion, so I can get to do whatever the fuck I want any time I want.

    And, for good measure, the six religious fanatics also nuked Biden’s plan for student loan relief. Maybe the sky god told them that was wrong, too.

    The reputation of the Extreme Court is in the toilet, but who cares? Leonard Leo and the scores of obscenely wealthy conservative assholes who fund the Federalist Society got their money’s worth: lifetime appointments for six knobs who clearly don’t give a fly’s fart about this country if it isn’t straight, white, christian capitalism.

    1060 chars

  59. Mark P said on June 30, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t think the founders, in their infinite, rich, white man’s wisdom, ever intended for the Supreme Court to run the country. I would like for a strict constructionists to point out to me where the Constitution gives the SC the power to overturn laws on any basis. If I were president, just sworn in for my second term, I would have a trusted aide deliver a warning to the justices and point out that they actually don’t have any means to enforce their rulings other than the good will of the executive branch. Two can play at the game of undermining social and political norms.

    587 chars

  60. Sherri said on June 30, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Jeff, it wouldn’t work for you to start a religion to gain the magical court protection, because those protections only exist for the right kind of Christians. For example, when faced with a case regarding Alabama refusing a Muslim inmate facing execution access to a Muslim imam, the court said, he had access to a Christian chaplin, what’s the problem?

    This court has a hierarchy, and rich white male heterosexual Christians are at the top. Everyone else is, as in the words of Succession, NRPI (No Real Person Involved.)

    530 chars

  61. Deborah said on June 30, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    I never expected the student loan deal to pass this SCOTUS, not surprised what was revealed yesterday about affirmative action and today this. Not happy about it, but not sure what we can do about it for years to come.

    The high today in Santa Fe will only be 83° thanks to the rain we got last night. It heats up again in a few days, the highs then will be around 90° but July is normally the hottest month of the year, I just hope we get a monsoon season starting relatively soon. Our irrigation system is still in progress so lots of wasteful watering.

    560 chars

  62. MarkH said on June 30, 2023 at 5:36 pm

    I have not followed Ohio politics much since I left in ‘81. I am not familiar with Householder, but this appears huge. There is some hope after all, not just in the guilty verdict, but in the sentencing. Maybe some of you can weigh in.

    Federal judge Timothy Black was retired and called back for this assignment. The Black family is well-known in Cincinnati judicial circles and he is the cousin of two of my high school BFFs.

    592 chars

  63. Jeff Gill said on June 30, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    Judge Black excoriated Householder in his sentencing statement. It’s a pretty comprehensive condemnation of what he did. The question is if it added to the deterrent effect on other legislators, but the pics from the passage of the biennial budget aren’t reassuring.

    329 chars

  64. Sherri said on June 30, 2023 at 9:03 pm

    So a woman who has never been asked by anyone to design a website for a same sex marriage, somehow has standing to sue anyway, and This Court says, you know, you’re right, since you’re the right kind of Christian, you do have a Constitutional right to be protected preemptively from gay cooties!

    On the other hand, if you were an Muslim on Alabama’s death row, and wanted to talk to an imam rather than a Christian chaplain before your execution, no, you don’t have any Constitutional right to practice your religion. You should probably convert, now.

    In fact, if you wanted Constitutional rights, why didn’t you become a rich white Christian heterosexual man, just like the Founders? They have rights, the rest of you are Not Really People, much less Real Americans.

    783 chars

  65. MarkH said on June 30, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    Time will tell on the deterrent effect, Jeff. But Black did level the appropriate punishment, pulling no punches on his description of graft and corruption.

    156 chars

  66. Deborah said on June 30, 2023 at 10:26 pm

    The Householder guy sounds like a Republican piece of work, like Trump et al.

    The jig is up for me with Twitter, I had found a way to read the accounts of people I was interested in without having an account of my own which I quit a while ago, but that option is no longer available. I have no intention of getting a new account to read those tweets of people I enjoyed reading. No way will I break down and get a new account, I just keep thinking about all the time I will now be able to devote to reading books again and doing projects instead of being sucked into day wrecking twitter. Good riddance.

    604 chars

  67. Jeff Borden said on June 30, 2023 at 10:49 pm

    SCOTUS is going to be the big rock in the stream thwarting progress for the next 30-plus years. Biden and the Dems need to get their shit together and realize they are not dealing with a logical political party, but a throbbing Id of white grievance. There are 13 federal court districts. There should be 13 SCOTUS judges…one for each district. Quit trying to play by rules the other side does not recognize. Five of those lifetime judges were appointed by QOP presidents who had LOST the popular vote. Stack the court. Appoint radical left wingers. Bring back some balance.

    576 chars

  68. Dexter Friend said on June 30, 2023 at 11:38 pm

    Dave, T-Mobile works fine in the house and in the neighborhood but 2 miles away in a rural field where I walk Pogo, it sometimes turns into a nightmare. This morning I drove to a park to watch ducklings swim through algae-covered pond water, and the phone wouldn’t do anything.
    Drudge reports 65 more charges facing Trump. Trump is still the only 2024 red candidate with any solid backing. People just don’t care about rape and showing off classified documents, they just want Trump.
    Jack Lew signature, remember him? He signed US currency like this:

    630 chars

  69. LAMary said on July 1, 2023 at 10:48 am

    I was wondering about that website designer not having standing. What the hell? Am I being paranoid by thinking this sort of bullshit opens the door for all sorts of grievances? How about if I sue my previous employer for forcing me to work with an obnoxious bitch who had a condescending, self righteous attitude towards any of her coworkers who didn’t share her entitled white, conservative Christian beliefs? Going to HR didn’t help. The smartest and probably best employee in the department who happened to be gay quit because she couldn’t stand the constant insults delivered with a tight little snarky smile.

    614 chars

  70. Sherri said on July 1, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    No, LAMary, you would not have standing under This Court’s definition of standing, even though you suffered more actual harm than the owner of 303 Creative. The owner of 303 Creative had never been asked to create a wedding website, and the person whom the Alliance Defending Freedom claimed was interested in hiring her to create a wedding website for a same sex marriage is actual married, in an heterosexual marriage.

    However, in This Court’s view of standing, potential harm to the status and standing of evangelical Christians is enough for standing, whereas actual harm committed by evangelical Christians would not give you standing. You have to be the right sort of Christian to trigger this special standing.

    724 chars

  71. David C said on July 1, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    Other than Evangelicals and Opus Dei Catholics, no Christian should be applauding this decision. When people came to the New World colonies and later the United States to escape religious persecution they weren’t fleeing Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. They were fleeing other Christians. If the more mainstream faiths think they’re going to be protected, they’ve got a hard lesson coming.

    385 chars

  72. Julie Robinson said on July 1, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    This Christian is appalled.

    Our daughter is marrying a couple who can’t legally marry because the woman is medically fragile and would lose her insurance. But they will have a church wedding and be blessed by it.

    Lead with love. Follow up with more love.

    262 chars

  73. Sherri said on July 1, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    They’ll never do it, but if Harvard really wanted to address diversity in light of This Court’s ruling, it could admit that meritocracy is bunk, there is no “best”, only good enough. Just establish a benchmark standard for admission, and hold a lottery for every applicant above that standard for admission. No legacy admits, no donor admits, no athlete admits, just lottery.

    383 chars

  74. David C said on July 1, 2023 at 5:13 pm

    I always roll my eyes when I hear someone saying a person is more qualified than another. Like Sherri says, there’s no such thing. If you’re qualified, you’re qualified. If two people are going for a position that requires an associates degree and one has a bachelors degree they both meet the requirements to do the job. The one with the bachelors degree may bring something extra, but they may not. But if the bachelors degree doesn’t get the job they can’t complain they should have because they were more qualified.

    519 chars

  75. Mark P said on July 1, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    SCOTUS ignores history again. There is still a reason for affirmative action to attempt to partiality remedy the great wrong done to black people by this country.

    On the other hand, maybe they aren’t ignoring history so much as embracing it.

    247 chars

  76. ROGirl said on July 2, 2023 at 8:50 am

    The company I work for is owned by an evangelical Christian who has interwoven his beliefs into the running of the business. The company motto, emblazoned on a wall in the lobby, and also printed on the back of our business cards, invokes Christ Jesus. He has on the payroll a chaplain who conducts daily prayer sessions and weekly bible study for those who wish to participate. He belongs to a local evangelical Baptist church, along with many top managers and others. That being said, the company handbook has a statement about compliance with EEO regulations, and benefits are all standard.

    The day I came in for my job interview, which went very well, the owner came in afterwards and talked with me (I later found out he never does that). He, of course, didn’t know anything about me at that point except my name. He started by asking me if I had looked at the company website, which I had. I had seen the Christ Jesus statement and wondered what kind of place it was. He said that it really amounts to a “do unto others” approach, and I didn’t disagree with that. Then he proceeded to tell me that his former business partner was Jewish, and he also let me know that going to bible study doesn’t give you extra protection as an employee, people who went to bible study got fired too (I’ve seen that happen). He had no idea who I was, or whether I was Jewish or not (he didn’t ask me, and I didn’t say), but he made a point of letting me know about his business partner.

    1479 chars

  77. Mark P said on July 2, 2023 at 10:03 am

    One of the two hospitals here sold out to a healthcare chain owned by a Seventh Day Adventist organization. Their corporate publications are now shot through with religious statements, which makes me uncomfortable, but otherwise they seem to be providing the same level of care. The other hospital, which was originally the county-operated hospital, also sold out to a healthcare conglomerate. And the large, independent clinic is selling out to them, too. A lot of the doctors, including my cardiologist, are leaving the clinic and associating themselves with the Adventist hospital, so the Adventists must seem like a better option to them.

    642 chars

  78. Jeff Gill said on July 2, 2023 at 11:48 am

    The key formula for higher ed especially in private four year schools is that mix of full pay and levels of financial aid. Overseas/international students help with diversity numbers, but they all are in that small but crucial cohort of sticker price customers. Even at a Denison University, around 90% of students get some financial aid, and full rates still only cover (last I asked) 46% of the total cost of keeping the campus open for the year . . . but the cash flow implications of having that 10% full fee customers is huge. This is where I’m sure many schools, even elite ones, are reluctant to give up legacy admissions or athletics. In DIII, there’s no financial aid, but players who start tend to stay all four years and graduate (retention rates). Overall, you don’t want to attract full pay international students who only attend a year or two and leave, so you also want qualified four year completion enrollment targets.

    The biggest surprise I got getting a peek under the hood of modern higher education, which in retrospect shouldn’t have been so shocking, is that — and I am MAKING THESE NUMBERS UP — if you plan to have 600 students show up in August for your new first year class, you admit 2,000 and have 1,200 accept to get a solid “drive in and pay the first tuition bill plus room & board” cohort of 600 actual new students. You can see quickly how you get a shock some years, with 750 actually taking you up on the invite and following through: not often but it does occur.

    Unlucky schools admit 2,000, have 850 accept, and only have 500 show up. That 100 difference can be $4,000,000 in income or draw capacity on your endowments for financial aid that isn’t coming in. A 4-5% negative cash flow snowballs in a big hurry. But a football player who gets time on the field, or a lacrosse team member or field hockey starter, they all show up and stick around. A non-legacy, out of state, gifted & talented student, of a non-majority family background . . . they could make a number of other choices between March 1 and move-in day August 22nd.

    Just noting some of the reasons schools aren’t and won’t be going to more equitable lottery based systems any time soon.

    2201 chars

  79. Sherri said on July 2, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    You’re right about the finances of most schools, Jeff, but Harvard is an investment fund with a school attached. Harvard’s endowment is $50 billion. Taking just one percent of that endowment would give them $500 million, which I would imagine could get them through the vicissitudes of the transition without too much pain.

    Yale and Stanford both have endowments in the $40 billion range, and Princeton is just below that.

    Absolutely, the Denisons and the Whitmans of the world can’t afford to do this, but Harvard?

    528 chars

  80. LAMary said on July 2, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    I think my alma mater, University of Denver, must be doing ok financially. The Hard Rock Cafe/Hotel/Casino guy gave them a big lump of cash and the alums include a lot of the sons and daughters of wealthy and influential people in Colorado and Wyoming. Paris Hilton’s dad went there. Neil Simon went there. It’s the private university of choice for that part of the west. One of Dick Cheney’s daughters went there. It wasn’t Liz.

    429 chars

  81. Jessica W said on July 3, 2023 at 8:26 pm

    My alma mater, St John’s College in Annapolis, decided a couple of years ago to lower its published tuition to what most people actually paid. Fewer grants and loans. It’s working. The college has larger classes, and more students stay past sophomore year. They are being very frugal – no longer subsidizing Homecoming attendance and no longer letting alums use the library for free among other nickel and dime things. But it does mean the College will survive and retain both campuses (the second is in Santa Fe).

    523 chars