Escondido, CA

Words, words, words!


Are you amid something? Let me tell you that you definitely are amid something. I don’t know when this began but the word ‘amid’ has become the word du jour with journalists both on TV, newspaper articles and on the internet. 

Oftentimes when a person does something or an event occurs it is reported as being done amid, occasionally amidst, something more currently amid the pandemic. If you went shopping the report would be that you went grocery shopping amid the pandemic.

Now that I have informed you of this latest phenomenon I know you will be looking for it in the future and it will drive you crazy. And when I speak about word usage my mind drifts to some articulate speakers and writers who I admire. William F. Buckley is one who, although he made me look up some words he used, spoke clearly and succinctly taking a circuitous route to get to his point. Kinda like I do. I mean, taking the long way around not much in vocabulary that would drive you to Wikipedia. The retired T-A and U-T columnist Logan Jenkins made me look up words every week.

Now I get to a guy who makes me chuckle every time he discreetly corrects people on certain pronunciations. The next time you watch Jeopardy, one of my favorite TV shows, pay attention to how after a contestant answers a question and a word is not pronounced exactly how it should be, listen how Alex Trebek repeats the word in the manner it should be spoken. Isn’t that a sort of backhanded way to tell someone “Nice try but this is how you pronounce that word”? I do not say this in any way to be demeaning because Trebek is absolutely correct but geez give him or her a break.

I believe that if you look up articulate in a dictionary, that’s Wikipedia in hard copy, a photo of Alex Trebek should be there. And, I have also noted that in pronouncing the word “genre” which seems to pop up on a weekly basis, according to Trebek there is no n in the word and the g sounds like a combination of j and g. Then I say to myself, why then is the word spelled with an n? Ah, French.

My last word on words. It is common knowledge that we are in an era where certain words are not to be spoken. Not like George Carlin’s 7 words you cannot say on television which is so 1970ish. There are gender specific words like he and she and other words which cause a violent emotional reaction to some people and causes them to seek comfort and solace in a quiet room. He may have missed the mark by 36 years but George Orwell has proved to be quite prophetic.

Something else of which you may not be aware. Sidebar: That sentence is not how we normally speak however to keep the grammar police at bay I have to think how not to end a sentence with a preposition something my high school junior class English teacher tried to pound into our heads. Now, did you know that 2 plus 2 does not equal 4? or so it seems with college level academics. After all the math I have studied Geometry, Algebra I and II, Trigonometry, Physics and Chemistry which include math and then Finite Math in college I am now told that 2 plus 2 does not equal 4. Huh? That premise is purportedly the result of white colonialism. I’m sure that when I put 2 apples on the counter then add 2 more apples I have 4 apples but then it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks—or in this case new math.

About two weeks ago I spoke with a mom who has an elementary aged student and we talked about how the current pandemic caused restrictions for children to return to school. Enjoying the camaraderie with their friends is so meaningful and necessary for a child’s mental state. 

She mentioned that her son has become a bit lethargic yearning to be with his friends who haven’t socialized in six months. I asked about the neighborhood kids and she said they do play but it is just not the same as being in school learning together and playing together. Please, please let’s get the children back in school. My kids are all adults now but I remember how they looked forward every September to going back to school.

How about EV KONA, from Hawaii? TYE DAD my guess dad is from Thailand.   

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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