Monday, September 29, 2003

Making a lacy sock is one thing, but I never thought I'd want to make a huge, lacy shawl -- until I saw Rachael's, that is! How pretty is that? Maybe I'll make something like that someday. Not now, though. There are too many other things on my to-knit list.

I've mentioned before that I'm the slowest knitter on the planet. Well, I'm pleased to tell you that I've jumped up a few places to become maybe the tenth-slowest knitter. Thanks to the Internet, I taught myself to knit about ten months ago; thanks to my Aunt Nance, I've now been holding my yarn correctly for about four weeks! I can't even describe what I was doing before, but it involved letting go of the right needle at every stitch to wrap the working yarn around the loop. Compared to my previous stitching speed, I'm now on the knitting Autobahn. Thanks, Aunt Nance! Now if only I had more time, I could get some serious knitting done. Curse this forty-eight-hour-a-week job that I have! I can't wait to be a student again.

Do any of you Grammar Avengers have a copy of the new Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary? Many people don't realize that it's not good enough to keep using the same edition of a dictionary for life. Two words: living language. For a sample of words that were added to the eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster's, click here. Oy! What do you think? I was surprised that some of the words are appearing for the first time (Goth, comb-over); others are unworthy, in my opinion (dead-cat bounce? please). Unfortunately, the Web site doesn't provide a list of the words that were removed to make way for "barista," "tankini," and "buckytube," but here's an interesting column about those "evicted words": "Sure, the dictionary got 'phat,' but it also trimmed the fat...". The columnist makes a good point about geography-based elitism in language, too.

Speaking of excellent words, Sunday's word of the day on was titivate: to smarten up; to spruce up.

"Come here, an' let me titivate you.'' He sat down beside her, and submitted to be dusted. (Arthur Quiller-Couch)

Here is something that happens when you are thirty: It seems like all the famous people are dying. It seems like you recognize every obituary -- and not only do you know the names, but their films, books, and music are part of your life. Is it just me who is noticing this? I mean, look at the last few weeks alone: Johnny Cash, John Ritter, George Plimpton, Elia Kazan, Robert Palmer. I don't know. It just seems like a lot of people to me.

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