Stuff from February, 2017

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on February, 2017.

Hammy the Tank

If you ask Ess to say “snake” she’ll say “tank”. She usually drops the sibilant “S” sound at the beginning of words; if we really try to get her to say it, she’ll go with the “sh” phoneme.

If you ask her to say “Sammy the Snake” you get “Hammy the Tank”.


Writing for Children

From the Paris Review’s famous interview of E. B. White, 1969:

Some writers for children deliberately avoid using words they think a child doesn’t know. This emasculates the prose and, I suspect, bores the reader. Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words, and they backhand them over the net. They love words that give them a hard time, provided they are in a context that absorbs their attention. I’m lucky again: my own vocabulary is small, compared to most writers, and I tend to use the short words. So it’s no problem for me to write for children. We have a lot in common.

Cross of Iron

Eisenhower’s “Chance for Peace” speech:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.