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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Shakespeare

I’ve read Shakespeare. All of Shakespeare. (And, yes, I can sing along with Cole Porter’s “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”) My M.A. and Ph.D. major was English Renaissance literature with an emphasis on the drama. That means Shakespeare and that bunch—his friends and rivals. I’ve also read a lot of Elizabethan and Jacobean history and Shakespeare criticism. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed by living actors, and that’s why I prefer productions with actors on stage, either live in front of me or on DVD. I have, in fact, a whole shelf of DVDs of Shakespeare’s plays, plus the big box of all 37 plays as produced by the BBC in the early 1980s. I once spent a month watching them all and wrote a blog about it.

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Stepping Into The 21st Century…

“Mother, it’s time for you to join the 21st century.” This is what my son has been saying for twelve or thirteen years. He said it again a day or two ago. I’ve heard him every time. Gee whizzly—I know it’s a new century. Didn’t I work on a Y2K project?

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Fun With Words

As I wrote all those term papers in college and graduate school, I made sure to insert at least one pun in every one of them. (A psychologist I’ve known for forty years attributes this punnishness to a busted synapse in my brain.) I titled one term paper, which compares the Oedipus plays of Sophocles and Hugo von Hofmannsthal,“Complex Oedipus.”

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