The Whole Truth about the Semicolon

My guest blogger this month is my son, Charles, to whom I gave his own page on this website. http://barbaraardinger.com/charles-ardinger/ . He’s an English teacher at Coastline Community College in Orange County, CA, where he’s taught classes on science fiction and Harry Potter. Mostly, however, he teaches pre-English 101 classes for students who aren’t quite ready for freshman comp. This is why he can speak and write so clearly and cogently about the esoterica of Gooder English.

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Happy Springtime!

We’ve just passed the vernal (spring) equinox, one of the two days of the year in which day and night are supposed to be equal in length. (Here in SoCal, there’s about a five-minute difference.) As we all know, the dark and the light are often used metaphorically. Here are two pages from Pagan Every Day in which I wrote about “endarkenment” (yes, I’ve always enjoyed inventing words) and enlightenment. Too much of either is, I think, kinda dangerous.

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Creating My Yearly Collage

At noon last Sunday I cleared everything off my table. Next I got out the plastic folder in which I keep images torn from magazines and catalogs, pictures of cats, and fancy colored paper. Then I found my elementary school-size glue stick, a couple pairs of scissors, and my collection of sparkly stickers. Four hours later, I finished my 2017 collage. I started making these yearly collages in 1994, when my friend Suzan called together a group of her friends to make goal boards. We all brought our own poster board, and Suzan had a big pile of (mostly business) magazines on her floor. She directed us to search through them for images of goals we wanted to meet and things we wanted to acquire in 1994. Here’s my first goal board. It’s the only one that has corners.

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A Wicked Witch Discovers Gratitude

This is a story appropriate to Thanksgiving that I wrote for Feminism and Religion. If you didn’t read it there, I hope you’ll read it here.

Once upon a time there lived a youngish woman and her husband on a tiny farm outside the capital city. Their life was satisfactory. But when el presidente declared war on another country, the husband was press-ganged into the army, leaving his wife alone on the farm. Well, alone with a milk cow, a sow, a rooster, a dozen hens, and, on one side of the house, seven tiny graves holding stillborn babies. The woman was devastated. “What am I going to do?” she asked herself over and over again. “The land here is poor and infertile. I’m poor and infertile.” She was so unhappy, all she could do was mope around. The animals went untended and soon began foraging for food. The seven tiny graves went unweeded. Their one good field went unplowed. The woman stopped taking care of herself.

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Blogorrhea–it’s fun to make up new words

This is a slightly rewritten version of a blog I wrote five years ago. I think it’s still (or more) germane today.

BLOGORRHEA. I just made this word up. (I haven’t seen it anywhere else.) It’s related of course to “logorrhea,” an “excessive flowing of words,” which is related to “diarrhea,” which comes from dia, “through,” and rhein, “flow” via Middle English, Latin, and Greek. I receive a lot of blogorrhea via email. I’m sure you do, too.

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“Adverbs are radioactive.”

That’s what my son says. He should know. Most of his babysitters were Ph.D. candidates in English, and now he teaches English at a community college in Orange County. One of the classes he teaches is English 99, which is pre-Freshman Comp (English 101). Nearly all of his students are still learning English, but they don’t know quite enough to cope with English 101.

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