I was on the Metro tonight on my way to see Henry IV (Part 1) at the Folger. I was reading a copy of Hamlet required for one of my classes when a teenage girl plops down in the seat next to me. She sees my book and asks "Oh, are you reading Romeo & Juliet?" First of all, I still have to remind myself to get over the shock of people actually talking to you on the train here, but that's another story. After I managed to collect myself, I answered, "No, I'm reading Hamlet."
"Oh, cool. So how is it?"
I wanted to reply "It's only one of the greatest plays of the English language." But instead I said. "It's pretty good. Ya know..."
"Oh. Well then, yes. That's right. Hamlet is totally Emo," I confirmed.
Then she wanted to know what had happened in the story so far. I really wanted to get back to my reading but was so taken with her interest I led her through some of the plot points: the ghost, Hamlet revenging his father's death, Gertrude marrying Claudius, the players, Hamlet killing Polonius, Ophelia going nuts over it, etc. "Wow," my new friend replied. "I should read it."
Much to my relief, my absentee ballot finally arrived in the mail the other day. I had been a bit concerned because I sent an application in for my absentee ballot over a month ago but must have checked the "primary election" box instead of the "general election" one because I was sent a primary ballot a few weeks ago. I panicked thinking I may have lost my chance to vote in the general election. So, I sent in another application with a nice note explaining that I thought I made an error on my original application, that I was not trying obtain two absentee ballots (that would be voter fraud!) and that I did not want to miss the opportunity to vote in this, the most important election in years. Luckily the workers at the New York City board of elections are probably used to eccentrics like me and sent me the general election ballot without question. Whew! I can't wait to drop it in the mailbox!
Scott sent me this. Apparently it reminded him of me. Just because I needed a little help hooking up my DVD/VCR to a new television set which, incidentally, he was not able to do either. So that project waits for a visit from my father next week. In the meantime enjoy this PSA. It's adorable.
Apparently it's an epidemic among Republicans. They cannot pronounce the word "Nuclear". I'm sitting here watching the VP debates listening to Sarah Palin say "nucular" a la George W. Bush over and over again. What is it with these people? Not that I think Sarah Palin is the brightest bulb on the tree, but she is trained as a television journalist. Surely her training would have included how to pronounce a simple word like "nuclear". It's pronounced exactly like it's spelled: Nu-cle-ar. Why is this difficult?
If the Bush legacy leaving us at war with our national reputation dragged through the mud, an economy on the verge of collapse and a major American city still in ruins weren't enough of an embarrassment, he has left his "dumbing down" on the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Look it up!They have actually started including this "alternate" pronunciation of the word "nuclear": \ˈnü-klē-ər, ˈnyü-, ÷-kyə-lər\. Ugghhhhhhh!
For what it's worth, I used to use the Merriam-Webster online dictionary for spelling and occasional definitions. But I have recently learned from my speech and ear-training professor, a self described "word nerd," that in terms of pronunciation Webster's dictionary is "a DEscriptive guide NOT a PREscriptive one." Meaning, much to his chagrin, that it reflects the way people actually talk rather than the way they should talk. (Apparently it all goes back to The Great Grim-iss/Grim-ace Debacle of 1963 which made Webster's the laughing stock of lexicographers everywhere. For real.)
Suffice it to say that if John McCain is elected president, Webster's will surely start including the alternate pronunciation "Warsh-ing-ton" for Washington, if they haven't already!