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Saturday, August 30, 2008


See what happens when editors don't think, or at least don't fact check.

First, go here.

Now see this.

My hat is off to Ishmael.

P.S. I certainly hope that by the time anyone sees this, the newspaper has realized it's error and taken the picture down. But it was there.

Friday, August 29, 2008

About death and wind

You hear the weirdest things on TV. Last night I heard an ad from a law firm that was soliciting clients for a law suit involving adverse effects of a medication. A telephone number appeared on the screen and a voice over was reciting a list of adverse effects that may qualify someone to participate in the suit. Then the voice over said:

"If you or a loved one died after taking [name of medication], then call this number."

I hear dead people.

Then this morning I was watching the local news broadcast, and the weather forecaster was talking about the effect of the two tropical storms on local weather when he said:

"Today, I don't see either of them affecting the Atlanta coast."

Talk about your global warming.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hip Hop and words

There's something interesting happening on You Tube style Web sites. Here's another one exploring the way cultural language shapes the personal world. It's on a site called ill doctrine.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tofu and spring rolls

Her name is Susan Haskins, and the Web cast is called Target Women. It's about close-reading of the rhetoric that defines the way we're "supposed to be." It's well worth a look.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another interesting word

Actually a phrase. I found it on 45 and Aspiring's blog this morning. (It's well worth the visit, by the way.)

mindful keening

It means a silent but conscious cry of lament.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How is that fair?

S broke her wrist a while back. She fell off the stool at her mother's house and spent the night at the emergency room. That was Saturday night, so we couldn't get in to see the hand doctor until Monday. When we did, he said she needed surgery in order to put a plate in, which happened late Monday evening. She was supposed to go home afterward, but due to some complications they admitted her to the hospital Monday night. They released her mid afternoon on Tuesday. All that's preliminary to the real topic.

We got the bill from the hospital about a week after she came home. It was a copy of the bill that was sent to the insurance company. The total bill for the surgery and one night in the hospital was $20,476.50.

Yesterday we got the final bill. Our "account balance" that is now due is $170. Now that's not bad. Insurance is a good thing. But as I looked at the bill, I saw that the insurance company had paid a total of $6,931.25. Because the hospital and insurance company have a contractual arrangement, the total adjustment in the bill was $13,375.25. The hospital wrote it off, or at least I'm assuming they did.

On the original bill there was a statement that said if the insurance company did not pay the claim, we would be responsible for the full 20+k. Health care reform anyone?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Order is important

Just found this in an article I'm editing.

--With a doctor’s help, you can find ways to treat vision problems at night.--

Then you can have your days free.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I just got back from a week in California and have lots of words to fix. So I'll catch up later. But I have to share this sign we saw at a fruit farm stand.

Fresh Sweet Strawberry. Picked Daily.

I'm guessing you have to get there early if you want a chance at it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well that's not very nice.

We got our water bill from the City of Smyrna Utilities Department. I've never thought of city utilities departments as being particularly friendly. In fact, my experience with them has been just the opposite. But I was reading through the whole bill, just curious about its tone. In the summary section at the top, there is an explanation of what happens if you don't pay the bill.

"Non-Payment within 30 days of the due date will result in disconnection of services."

Now that's an interesting statement in a lot of ways, but let's just focus on the language. They could have made it a little clearer if they had said "by 30 days after the due date." But I'm assuming they wanted to sound officious. That way you'll certainly believe their threat to cut off your water. But as bad as that sentence is, it's not that one that caught my attention. Immediately after that sentence is an explanation of what happens next:

"Service will be reconnected within 1 working day for non payment of bill after bill is paid in full and payment of reconnection fees is made."

Excuse me. What was that again? Sounds like verbage to me. I'm sorry. I'm just being kind. Because I think to be verbage, it actually has to be translatable. But we're still not to the part that caught my attention. The paragraph goes on to talk about the late fee and then says:

"Failure to receive a bill does not relieve obligation to pay bill by due date."

Okay. Say that one more time. No wait. Forget it. If I don't get a bill, it's my fault? That's the "failure" part. But then within 30 days of some due date on that bill I failed to receive I'd better pay the bill I don't know I have or they will cut off my water.

Whom do these people work for? Oh, yeah. It's you and I, isn't it?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Interesting word

I just learned the word wordle, and I just wordled Mommy's Nintendo's site. To see it full size, go here.