Monthly Archives: April 2015


Do I have a Philadelphian accent? I have always pronounced caramel as CAR-mul, two syllables, but on TV they pronounce it CARE-a-mel with three syllables.  Philadelphians typically drop syllables when the meaning is clear.  It comes from our frugal Quaker … Continue reading

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The Tough Life of a Feral Cat

As I walked up the path to Longwood Garden’s Peirce–du Pont House, I noticed a group of visitors looking into a wooded area as six large crows screamed violently overhead. They were attacking an owl tucked safely among the tree … Continue reading

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The Death of a Friend

Not a best friend but the wife of a friend from high school. I had known her for over 50 years. So had my wife. They both graduated the same year from the University of Penn’s nursing school. The four … Continue reading

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More Shoelace Tying

What luck!  One of life’s mysteries solved with a chance Internet discovery.  (See posting “Shoelace Tying” 9/13/2013) Why do sports shoes—tennis and running—have an extra eyelet at the top only about a quarter of an inch behind the top eyelet?  … Continue reading

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Longwood Gardens Potpourri

The Pierre S. du Pont who built Longwood Gardens described his religion to be “a nonpracticing Episcopalian.” “Just like me!” I told my wife. “You were never an Episcopalian.” “But if I am nonpracticing, it doesn’t matter. I nonpractice lots … Continue reading

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I look up more words in a dictionary now than ever before because it is so easy on my tablet. No more interrupting my fragile chain of thought by walking to another room, pulling a heavy print dictionary from a … Continue reading

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The Laffer Curve

Mention of the Laffer curve frequently pops up in discussions of government budgets. Local politicians announce something like, “We collect $50 million in wage taxes, so we propose to raise the tax rate by 10%, thereby getting an additional $5 … Continue reading

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The Awkward “He or She”

“Can We Take “They” as a Singular Pronoun?” by Ben Zimmer. The Wall Street Journal, 4/11/2015. Anyone who writes even a little has struggled with the politically correct phrase, “he or she.”  For example, the sentence When a person becomes … Continue reading

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A word to the wise:  When you raise the flag each morning, as I do, take a moment to look up.  It is very easy to reverse the clips so the flag flies upside-down, and the neighbors think you are … Continue reading

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The Blogging Grandma Buick Commercial

Buick is trying to get more mileage from their original oh-my grandma commercial whose popularity surprised them. Can’t blame them for that, but it’s not working. The latest, aired during the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, briefly shows a different … Continue reading

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