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Showing posts from August, 2008

A Neologism (and a half), After Much Rambling Buildup

Surely there are people who spend their time trying to devise neologisms (new words or expressions). I suspect that there is a whole subculture of these linguistic hobbyists. I think it's fair to say that the most blatant (and for a time, the most famous (and possibly the most prolific)) of these neologists in recent memory was Rich Hall. His "sniglets" (words that don't appear in the dictionary but should) were featured for a time on Saturday Night Live and he published a few volumes of them, which I believe were bestsellers.

[Note: Hall was a cast member of Saturday Night Live during at least one of what I think of as "The Forgotten Years". In recent years, when I have sporadically caught reruns of SNL on E!, I don't believe I have ever seen one of the episodes from this era rerun. These were actually my favorite SNL years (probably more than for any other reason because they're the years when I started watching, and they therefore have a real nost…

Some Thoughts on the Olympics

First, Michael Phelps was spectacular. There's no denying that. What he did was amazing. Congratulations to him and his teammates. (Note: The most impressive moment of all of the swimming events that I saw was Lezak chasing down and passing Bernard in that 4 x 100 m freestyle relay.)

However, given the coverage and praise that has been heaped upon Phelps, Usain Bolt has not gotten nearly enough attention in the television coverage here in the U.S.

Once again (as happens every time the Olympics comes around), I am reminded that our televised Olympics coverage really is way too America-centric. I wonder what the coverage in Jamaica has been like. I hope Bolt has been getting his due there!

Unfortunately, it seems that half the commentary I have heard about Bolt has been disparaging remarks about his poor sportsmanship (exuberance) and showboating (premature celebration). I feel somewhat cheated by not seeing what he would have done in the 100 m if he had really given it his all. But I …

The Bell Ringer Joke Revisited

or:

If I'm Destined to Get a Pulitzer Prize for 02008, This is the Line of Thought That Will Earn It For Me

I'm pretty sure that it's been at least two decades since the idea of The Bell Ringer Joke started knocking around in my head. (I've mentioned the joke in a previous blog post.) There has been hope and despair, laughter and great disappointment, spread out over more than half my lifetime!

On Thursday morning, out of the blue, I had a few epiphanies regarding the joke for all of these years.

Epiphany #1: The first and second parts of the joke are spectacular, and if I had not been told at the time that I first heard them that there was a mysterious third part floating about in the ether, those two known parts would have been deeply satisfying. There would have been no disappointment associated with The Bell Ringer Joke whatsoever. The two parts stand together as a complete and brilliant story, riotously funny. Which is to say that the third part is only relevant if yo…

Welcome to the Seventies (August Hair Photos)

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As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love.

I'm officially one of the long-haired freaky people now.



I had been getting very pessimistic about managing to get to the 10 inch minimum. I was especially worried that for the hair at the front of my head to just get long enough to reach the back of my head to join the pony tail, it would have to get to at least 13 or 14 inches! That just is not going to happen.

But I recently took another look at the Locks of Love web site and discovered this little gem:

Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off.

There's my salvation! Instead of having to gather all of my hair into a single pony tail, I can separate it into multiple pony tails. This gives me new hope of actually seeing this thing through.

I figu…