Tag Archives: parents

#WordUse Series:
What’s In a Name? That Which We Call a Pudding …

I grew up the child of two Midwesterners of modest means, so I knew from an early age about pudding—it was that powder Mom mixed with milk on her old Kenmore mixer until it thickened, then put in the fridge to cool and thicken a little more. You know—like a soft custard.* But … not […]

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#WordUse Series:
The Soda / Pop Conundrum

My siblings and I talk like Midwesterners, although none of us live there (or have ever lived there). Our mother was a Midwesterner: born and raised in Chicago. Daddy was also a Midwesterner, born/raised in St. Louis, although he had Southern roots: his mother was born/raised in Tennessee, as were her people, while his father’s […]

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Communication Is the Thing

Back in the early ’90s, I learned a new way of communicating. Communicate: to make known; to inform; to convey knowledge or information; to impart or transmit; to send information or messages sometimes back and forth; speak, gesticulate, or write to another to convey information; interchange thoughts; to be connected. I’ve been writing as a […]

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Overwriting: Relax, You’re Trying Too Hard

Many years ago—long before my editing days—I was reading my hot-off-the-press copy of Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides. (Before lights out, in bed, where I still do my pleasure reading.) There was one paragraph (among many) that was so exquisite, so perfect, that I threw the book across the room in despair. (I’m not […]

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Proper English: Us Versus Them

A writer friend of mine posted a little meme* on Facebook the other day: Never make fun of someone if they mispronounce a word. It means they learned it by reading. I doubt there’s any data to support this but I feel the truth of it in my bones, having been a child who read […]

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What’s In a Name? That Which We Call a Pudding …

I grew up the child of two Midwesterners of modest means, so I knew from an early age about pudding—it was that powder Mom mixed with milk on her old Kenmore mixer until it thickened, then put in the fridge to cool and thicken a little more. You know—like a soft custard.* But … not […]

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Short Saturday: Your Children’s Intellectual Life at Stake

You’ve heard me say this before: I grew up in a home filled with books and magazines, music and musical instruments. I have known from my youth that exposure to this made a huge difference in my intellectual life. (That I cared about having an intellectual life at all I owe to my parents too.) […]

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The Book As Gift

My parents always had a huge built-in bookcase wherever they lived (my father built them). They were primarily filled with the novels my mother had accumulated in her youth and all sorts of books my folks acquired as a young married couple, including museum exhibition catalogues, college texts, art books (my mother’s major), history books […]

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Teach Your Children Well

My parents, as I’ve noted before, were verbal people who liked to talk, liked to (ahem) exercise the language. As a career pilot in the air force, my father exercised a very different language—often acronymical (I made that up) in nature, much of it profane, all of it evocative and sometimes humorous. Thus we had […]

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Recycling Is Nothing New (An Update*)

Mine has been an actively recycling household for at least twenty years, and I don’t just mean turning in soda bottles for cash. (I know that reference dates me; it can’t be helped.) I’ve understood the concept a lot longer than that, of course. I listened to stories of what my parents’ parents saved and […]

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