March 24, 2014

Let's literally take a stand

I heard some disturbing news the other day and I was so amazed that my teeth literally fell out of my mouth. And yes, apparently I can say that because the news was that the OED, as well as Mirriam-Webster, define 'literally' as 'virtually'. Will the madness never end?
Mirriam-Webster 2:  in effect :  virtually 
Oxford English Dictionary
c. colloq. Used to indicate that some (freq. conventional) metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be taken in the strongest admissible sense: ‘virtually, as good as’; (also) ‘completely, utterly, absolutely’. Now one of the most common uses, although often considered irregular in standard English since it reverses the original sense of literally.

Yes, yes, yes, I know that English is literally an ever-moving river of thought and change, and frequently sludge, but really, this is bit much. Let's face it, this is big.

If we accept that what is literal is actually only figurative than there goes the comic validity of Sheldon Cooper cocking his head, raising his eyebrows as he says, "literally?" when Penny enthusiastically says something like, "My head literally exploded!" This always gets a huge laugh, as it should. Sheldon is a hoot, as is Penny. (If you don't watch The Big Bang Theory, you might try it. We all need a little inane laughter in our lives.)

Not only will comedy be effected. How will we know when literally means just that. Suppose I went to a hockey game and was hit in the mouth by a puck and I was telling you that my teeth literally fell out of my mouth. How would you know whether or not they had? Well, the ice pack, tears, the inability to open my mouth and the need to write all of this down for you might give it away. But you get my drift.

So, as writers, readers, and lovers of the English language, I think we should literally take a stand - in front of the TV as we watch The Big Bang Theory and wear helmets to hockey games while standing in an upright position

March 11, 2014

Odds and ends/College Park Book Festival, March 22nd

Just a few odds and ends before I get back to the serious business of writing Book Number Three. Can you believe it? I finally got the first few pages written and am determined to continue uninterrupted. I find the patently ridiculous notion that I can go for an hour or so uninterrupted amusing. At any rate, I left Daisy explaining to Rose that the ghost she saw was real. Since Rose is taking some convincing on this (being a firm believer that there are no ghosts in this world) and since Daisy is rapidly downing Spooky Juice (a nice little Halloween cocktail that Rose is testing out) to calm her rapidly beating heart, I'd better hurry up here or Daisy will be too looped to tell her story!

So, a quick Eileen insurance update. We all need a good laugh. March 1, her new private pay Kaiser insurance kicked in, so Tom took her prescriptions to be filled at the Rite-Aid she has been using for years. Come to find out that these drugs, which are old, generic, tried and true meds that are in no way odd or experimental, and which were prescribed by Kaiser doctors and have been covered by Kaiser for the last two years, are NOT covered by this Kaiser policy. How about that!

Adding insult to injury, Rite-Aid neglected to tell Tom that there was a coupon available on-line that would reduce the cost by half. And of course didn't point out that if he had the meds filled at Target he could get them for a mere fraction of the $200 they were charging. I love our health care system. How dare anyone suggest that perhaps changing it is a good thing.

On a happier note, I had my first ever spa experience. My darling husband must have been in fear of me going bananas, so he got me a spa day for Christmas. I was just too tense to use it in January. He didn't understand the thinking here, but I feel that other tense ladies will. I mean, I was so stressed that the thought of choosing which salad I wanted for lunch was a little too much.

So I waited until February and enjoyed a stress-free day being pampered. I thought I might be able to clear my mind and do a bit of plotting for my book, but I was just too mellow. Unfortunately, to paraphrase Tolkien, good times don't really make a good story, so there you have it - lovely day and home to a lovely man who took me out to dinner that night. Other than that, the long, long winter seems to be coming to an end! Yay!!! One short announcement - March 22nd – I’ll be taking part in the Second Annual College Park Book Festival on March 22, 2014 from 2 to 4 PM at the Hollywood Methodist Church (on the corner of Rhode Island Avenue and Hollywood Road). The event is co-sponsored by the College Park Lions Club and the College Park Community Library. This is a family, fun filled activity which gives us a chance to highlight local authors and encourage reading in the community. I hope you’ll come by and say hello.