Ken Ken's Comments (member since Feb 01, 2008)


Ken's comments from the Language & Grammar group.

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3 hours, 47 min ago

2740 'n' Match
15 hours, 53 min ago

2740 Trail
16 hours, 20 min ago

2740 eugenics
19 hours, 46 min ago

2740 oxymorons
Jul 22, 2016 03:28AM

2740 What's so civil about Civil Wars?
Jul 21, 2016 12:54PM

2740 We're not scrimping on our discussion of scrim, that's for sure. Are there any more overused words we can defend (or condemn)?
Jul 21, 2016 07:51AM

2740 And I was criticized for writing a poem about my dog. Dog poems, too, are apparently overused.

These critics need to read Ecclesiastes. There is nothing new under the sun. And anything old can be written about in a novel way.

Neo-scrimism, call it.
Jul 19, 2016 09:52AM

2740 Teachers only have a handful of hours a day to teach some fundamentals and introduce an enormous range of subjects. The bulk of education happens (or not) at home.

Amen to the entire post, but especially the line above. My experience is that parents are increasingly ceding the entire task of education (including ethics, in some cases) to teachers because, frankly, they're too "busy" (often with work, computers, and their phones).

That said, many other parents remain active and engaged in their child's "big picture" education as Longhare describes it just north of here.
Jul 19, 2016 06:43AM

2740 Not true of all teachers. I am blessed in that way. Though I have to teach common books in our 8th-grade curriculum, I have a free hand when it comes to selecting and teaching poems, short stories, essays, and plays.

Yes, we have a set vocabulary book, but I throw words on the board that I use in class, too.
Jul 18, 2016 06:52AM

2740 Thanks for the update. And the reminder about winter. How quickly we forget when we're sweltering over here. And I suppose the cats are OK with colder weather. Fur coats, don't ya know...
Jul 17, 2016 06:18PM

2740 And you, long-time-no-see Gabi (it rhymes, though I seldom do)...
Jul 17, 2016 05:23PM

2740 Longhare -- You're correct. I didn't mean to imply that anti-elitism is new or special to the U.S. I only meant to say that it is in one of its resurgences of late, as personified by a certain populist candidate not named Bernie.

LOVE the line "the Marie Kondos of reading," though I didn't much care for her book (which is odd, me being a "simplify" guy of the old Thoreau order).

Stephen -- Kvas is an alcoholic drink favored by Russian peasants and often seen in Turgenev and Tolstoy novels, for instance.

As for scrim, I used it with poetic license as the "fabric" of dawn in the first stanza of the poem "Another Country":


Under the frozen dome of December
mornings, the scrim of dawn
not even an orange thread
caught in the eastern branches,
I often marvel at the dog's earthly
preoccupations when my nose,
called to greater heights, sniffs
at the cold and dry scent of the heavens.
Jul 17, 2016 02:27PM

2740 West Nile is at home in New England, usually not until Aug. through the first hard frost, though this year, despite the drought, it's getting press for presence in July. Oh, those adaptable skeeters! (And no, you don't have to think deeply on Sunday or any other day of the week. I don't.)
Jul 17, 2016 02:26PM

2740 "Some more please, sir."
Jul 17, 2016 02:25PM

2740 Love those pigeons stitched on the telephone wire...
Jul 17, 2016 10:21AM

2740 Whoo am I to say?
Jul 17, 2016 10:20AM

2740 Mosquitoes are the authors of MANY diseases, though I didn't know they spread Lyme. Thought that was strictly the purview of deer tick.
Jul 17, 2016 10:18AM

2740 It's a bit disconcerting because so much depends on context and accuracy, YET there is a growing strain of anti-elitism (and the "anti-" forces get to define "elitism," thank you) in this country which might include dismissing authors as pretentious because of their word choice.

So if I don't know x number of words as I read a book, do I get to dismiss both it and its author, to claim no one can enjoy the book because no one can understand it? In truth, we read many books and articles every day, skipping over words we flat-out don't know or know in a general sense but couldn't quite define if called on the carpet. Yet we still comprehend the text perfectly well.

I took a quick flip through my book and came up with the words that follow. Are they "inaccessible"? Too difficult? "Excessive" vocabulary? Who's to say, and isn't it all subjective, reader by reader, anyway?

diaphanous
hubris
glyphs
scrim
muntins
mullions
carapace
kvas
particulate
striated
schist
peristalsis
connubial
Jul 17, 2016 10:03AM

2740 "And in this wall, a crannied chink...." -- A Midsummer Night's Dream
Jul 17, 2016 10:01AM

2740 And watch too many Papillon reruns.
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