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401, 401V, 501V: English-Language Reading Diary

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sir Richard Branson -- school, business, family, philanthropy

Today we had a video visit with Richard Branson, interviewed by Chris Anderson. In case you can't wait until next year to see the second half, here's the full video:



We'll talk about these questions and themes:
  1. Richard Branson is known for starting several companies. Name two of them.
  2. Why did people think buying a secondhand plane and starting a new airline was crazy?
  3. To help his fledgling airline financially survive combat with British Airways, what was Branson forced to do?
  4. Total employees in Branson's group of companies: choose... (a) 10-25,000; (b) 25,001 to 50,000; (c) 50,001 to 75,000; (d) 75,001 to 100,000.
  5. Philippe Starcke designed several aspects of Branson's space program, but why would he not have been the ideal person to design the engine? What was the basis of his design of the launching and landing facility?
  6. When Anderson asks, «What was the closest you got to--when did you think this is it, I might be on my way out?»--what kind of situation is he referring to?
  7. According to the interviewer, Branson's companies benefited from his balloon adventures in what way?
  8. What were some of Branson's characteristics as a pupil in school?
  9. What image or metaphor finally helped Branson understand the difference between gross and net?
  10. Anderson raises the question of whether the current generation of children is being coddled (spoiled). Does Branson agree that children are in danger of being spoiled? What is his recommendation? Do you agree?
  11. Anderson says that Branson has been accused of being a ruthless businessman. How does Branson respond?
  12. What is the problem with capitalism that «capitalist philanthropy» is intended to address?
  13. What are two major problems that Branson's capitalist philanthropy is trying to help solve?
  14. What Russian-born software engineer did Branson mention as a personal friend?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Group 401: Linguistics and "The Mind's Big Bang"

For this week's class, we hope to use two segments from the U.S. Public Broadcasting documentary program Nova and its series Evolution. From episode 6, "The Mind's Big Bang," we'll look at the birth of a new language among deaf children in Nicaragua. Then we'll look at how memes operate in intellectual evolution in ways that are similar to (and competing with??) genes operating in biological evolution.

If we don't finish everything this week, we'll return to this program after our midyear exam next week.

The whole program:



Our first segment, "Birth of a Language," begins at 35 minutes 43 seconds. The second part, "The Evolutionary Role of Memes," begins at 44 minutes.

Our discussion questions:
  1. Who are Maria Noname and Judy Kegel?
  2. What information about herself was Maria unable to give?
  3. The “window” for acquiring language stays open until about what age?
  4. Why did the Nicaraguan deaf children in this documentary never encounter the window for language?
  5. Instead of learning the standard sign language, what did the Nicaraguan children do?
  6. What does every language depend upon? A set of strict ... what?
  7. Richard Dawkins believes that language provided an advantage in what grand process?
  8. What does Robin Dunbar do when he is out in the field--for example in a restaurant or on a train?
  9. Dunbar and his colleagues thought that the exchange of technical information made up the major part of communication. To their surprise, 2/3 of normal human communication is actually made up of what?
  10. What will monkeys and apes never know?
  11. What does Stephen Pinker suggest might be the advantage of being the first to get a nice bit of gossip?
  12. The narrator says, "Language: the force that created modern human culture, and that today tells us...." What three things does language tell us? “Who …, how …, and where ....”
  13. Memes include, among other things, such intellectual and behavioral patterns as: (name as many as possible)
  14. As an example of “memes fighting against genes,” Blackmore mentions that, in general, the more education you have, the fewer children you have.” What might the implications be?
The Public Broadcasting Service Web site maintains a subsite dedicated to the Evolution series.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Beatles, "Drive My Car"

Here's a wonderful video of co-author Paul McCartney performing "Drive My Car." (Audio and lyrics follow.)

Is this song fast enough for you?





Amazon.com download link (not available)

"Drive My Car," Paul McCartney and John Lennon
(performed by the Beatles)

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can’t you see
I wanna be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

I told that girl that my prospects were good
she said baby, it’s understood
Working for peanuts is all very fine
But I can show you a better time

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

Beep beep’m beep beep yeah

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you

I told that girl I can start right away
When she said listen babe I got something to say
I got no car and it’s breaking my heart
But I’ve found a driver and that’s a start

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
Beep beep’m beep beep yeah
(to fade)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennessee"

Aside from the geographical references, this song has lots of American English words and phrases relating to using the telephone.

"Long distance" = BRIT. "trunk call" (междугородной)
"party" (сторона, участник)
"to get in touch with" (связаться с)
"to leave a number" (оставить номер телефона, как сообщение)
"to place a call" (позвонить)
"to take a (the) message" (принять/записать сообщение)
"to put smb through to" (соединить с)

Here's a video of the Mississippi River flooding Memphis at the foot of Beale Street.

Now, to the song. First, author Chuck Berry's version, then Johnny River's version. (Audio and text follows the videos.)










Прослушать или бесплатно скачать Chuck Berry Memphis, Tennessee на Простоплеере


Прослушать или бесплатно скачать Johnny Rivers Memphis на Простоплеере

Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call
'Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall

Help me, information, get in touch with my Marie
She's the only one who'd phone me here from Memphis Tennessee
Her home is on the south side, high up on a ridge
Just a half a mile from the Mississippi Bridge

Help me, information, more than that I cannot add
Only that I miss her and all the fun we had
But we were pulled apart because her mom did not agree
And tore apart our happy home in Memphis Tennessee

Last time I saw Marie she's waving me good-bye
With hurry home drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
Marie is only six years old, information please
Try to put me through to her in Memphis Tennessee

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"The carnies barking to a rock and roll beat ... Tilt-a-Whirl"

Source.

Delta Moon said farewell to their wonderful female singer Gina Leigh a few years ago, so the version of "Tilt-a-Whirl" in the video below is quite different from what I played in class. But the excellent musicianship is still there.

First, the version I played in class:



The words:

Tilt-A-Whirl, Tom Gray, Gina Leigh

Well, when I was young I had a mind to roam,
[The] little old town that I used to call home
Didn't have a whole lot of charm for a girl,
So I took up with a carny on the Tilt-A-Whirl

(chorus) Tilt-A-Whirl Tilt-A-Whirl
It'll wind you up, it'll wear you down,
Turn your world around and round, Tilt-A-Whirl

Well, I fell hard for the carnival life,
Smell of Diesel and the neon lights,
The feel of the sawdust under my feet,
And the carnies barking to a rock and roll beat, Tilt-A-Whirl
(chorus)

Well, he spun me around and he flung me aside,
Turns out I'd gotten taken for a ride,
Then he took up with the vampire girl,
And now she's riding on the Tilt-A-Whirl

(chorus)
(chorus)

(performed by Delta Moon; Gina Leigh, vocal)

The newer version (video):

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Roger Miller, "King of the Road"

Roger Miller performs "King of the Road" about a quarter century after it was a hit.



Original recording:

Link to buy track from Amazon.com

Writer: Roger Miller

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Third boxcar, midnight train
Destination Bangor, Maine.
Old worn out suits and shoes,
I don't pay no union dues,
I smoke old stogies I have found
Short, but not too big around
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

I know every engineer on every train
All of their children, and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain't locked
When no one's around.

I sing,
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but, two hours of pushin' broom
Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

Trailers for sale or rent... [to fade]

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Guy Noir at the Minnesota State Fair (with transcript and questions)

Garrison Keillor's radio "private eye," Guy Noir, from the radio program A Prairie Home Companion, visits the Minnesota State Fair.



Delights of the Subjunctive Booth

Here's a transcript of the piece -- From A Prairie Home Companion, Saturday, September 5, 2009

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the twelfth floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions — Guy Noir, Private Eye ---
GK: It was September, and there was a chill in the air, the chill of mortality, which makes a guy think maybe he ought to bleach his hair and buy a Jaguar and head west and just let the repo man catch up with him. Gather the rosebuds. Carpe diem. Carpe nocturno too, while you're at it; why not? It was State Fair time in Minnesota, I was a little short on cash so I was working the fair, working undercover out of the Security division —
TK: Okay, Noir. Got a job for you here.
GK: Good. About time, here.
TK: Home Activities building. Call came in at eleven-hundred hours.
GK: You mean eleven ... eleven this morning?
TK: Right. Eleven-hundred hours. That's what I said.
GK: Why not just say eleven o'clock in the morning?
TK: Look, Noir, I'd rather say eleven-hundred hours. I'm in law enforcement, OK? That's the way it works around here, alright?
GK: Okay, okay—What is it, what's going on?
Bundt cake. Source.
TK: It's a Bundt Cake competition....
GK: Uh huh...
TK: We suspect that the second-place winner might be fraudulent. We did a search on her ID. Two different street addresses. So, ah, look into it, will ya?
GK: What's the second-place prize?
TK: It's a red ribbon, $75.
GK: Oh, come on. Who's gonna cheat for that kind of chump change?
TK: Look, we got the call; we've gotta look into it, alright?
GK: OK, what am I looking for, here?
TK: Uh, female, blonde. Medium height, weight. In her late thirties or forties. Shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops. Carrying a shopping bag full of free brochures and giveaways. Should be easy for you.
GK: You want me to find her, huh?
TK: Yeah, just take a look around, OK? See what you can see.
GK: Okay. (STING) So I headed out through the crowds of the fair (CAROUSEL ORGAN, VOICES PASSING, RATCHET OF RIDE), looking for a woman who looked like half the women who were at the fair that day. But it was OK to walk around, get the fresh air, smell the butter from the popcorn stand. And then suddenly a woman was right there, she was right up next to me—
SS (SEDUCTIVE): Hey mister, how about some deep-fried Reese's Pieces? Huh? What do you say? They're good. You want to try some?
GK: Back off! Come on, I'm working, here.
SS (SEDUCTIVE): So am I. So let's work together. C'mon, you only live once, come on....
GK: Temptation, temptation on every hand.
TR (BARKER): Hey step right up, play Monopoly—America's favorite board game—here it is—only Monopoly game at the Fair—put hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place......only takes an hour—win the game and you win a teddy bear—come on, step right up—who wants to play Monopoly—
GK: He wasn't getting any takers at his Monopoly stand but you know he still had a big smile on his face. Optimism. A beautiful thing to see in other people, there's a lot of it going around at the fair.
SS: Oh, step right up here and have a glass of wine. Got a nice Minnesota wine. It's a Sauvignon Honk. Nice dry wine with a complex bouquet of soybeans, plywood, a long finish of shellac. Here you go, how about you?— (FADES)
TK (BARKER): Hey, hey, here it is, here it is, here it is, folks—your lucky day—a dollar a chance, the more you buy the better your chances—come on, how about you, sir? Step right up!
GK: What's the drawing for?
TK: Twins Playoff Tickets.
GK: Playoff tickets, come on.
TK: They're just five games out of first.
GK: Five, my point exactly.
TK: A guy can hope.
GK: Oh, come on, five games out of first [on] Labor Day? You call that hope?
TK (FADING): HEY, hey, here it is, folks—your lucky day—a dollar a chance, the more you buy the better your chances—come on—
GK: I walked around the fair, walked past the high striker there (WHACK, DING BELL) walked past the lady who was selling the juicers —
SS: Here it is, here it is, secret of good health, the Juice-o-rama—(SERIES OF SPLATS) I put in oranges, potatoes, onions, blueberries, herring, Swiss chard (MOTOR WHIRR)—see how easy it is? Ah, but come on....
GK: And the Tilt-A-Whirl going around there (MOTOR REV, CRIES OF PASSENGERS), a new ride called the Salad Spinner, and there was the sheep barn (SHEEP), the poultry barn (SFX), the llama barn (SFX), the loon exhibit (SFX). There was the Live Birth barn where a woman was in labor—
SS: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? JUST BEAT IT.
GK: I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to interrupt you there, you just go ahead and do whatever you need to do there.
SS: GET OUT OF HERE!
GK: Went up to Machinery Hill. There wasn't much machinery left up there, no tractors or harvesters, just a guy with a lot of hardware--
TR: Here it is. Got your pump handles, poles, pillars, pilasters, parapets, pipes, pegs, pins, pans, plates, panels, pommels, planks, pivots—got a pendulum here— how about you, sir? (SFX)—
GK: Excuse me. You wouldn't happen to have any plinths, would you?
TR: Iron plinths?
GK: Iron plinths.
TR: Nope.
GK: Okay. (FOOTSTEPS) I walked into the Technology exhibit and a man was selling p-Pods.
TK: Hey, how about it, huh?
GK: P-pods.
TK: It's the latest thing here.
GK: Don't need a p-Pod.
TK: A hundred bucks, but for you, just for you, eighty-nine ninety- five. Going, going, going, gone.
GK: What does it do?
TK: It's the successor to the iPod. The p-Pod. The p stands for programming.
GK: Yeah, but it's so small, it's....
TK: The size of a postage stamp, indeed. But it's got 100,000 songs on it, 25,000 feature-length films.
GK: What am I, what am I going to do with all that? I've got a life to lead, OK?
TK: Well, just look at this. Look at this. Come here, step up a little closer.
GK: I can barely see it.
TK: Come in a little closer. See— you can get any movie you want— just punch it in here—
TR (BOGART): Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
SS (MAE WEST): Well, it's not the men in your life that counts, it's the life in your men.
TK: See? All the classics. You just text in the title and there it is.
SS (GARBO): Gimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the side. And don't be stingy, baby.
TR (OLLIE): Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into.
SS (WITCH): Oh! You cursed brat. Look what you've done. I'm melting! Melting!
TR (JIMMY STEWART): You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary....
SS (SCARLETT): I can't think about that now, I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.
GK: I don't think so. Thanks.
TR (PEGGY): Now listen, Sawyer, you listen to me and you listen hard. You've got to go on, and you have to give and give and give. They've got to like you, they've got to. Do you understand? You can't fall down. You can't. But you keep your feet on the ground and your head on those shoulders of yours and go out—and Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star.
GK: Listen, listen—I got a job to do, Mister. Now just let—let go of my arm.
TK: Twenty-five thousand movies for eighty-nine bucks.
GK: Life isn't long enough. Okay?
TR (CLINT): So tell me, punk. You feel lucky today?
TK: Hey— come on back, come on back— 75 bucks— (FADE)
GK: I headed into the Education Building, peace and quiet in there, and there was a booth for Arabic school and there was a Twitter exhibit—a guy was doing Twitter updates—
TK: (TYPING); I am online and I am updating my updates. Now I'm done with that update, ready to write a new one. Except I can't think of a new one. So I'll leave that one up for now. Until I think of something new. Which I might. Stay tuned.
GK: And then I saw a big sign that said English Department and I walked over that way, there was a handsome woman under a sign, I walked over—
SS: Step right up, it's the Subjunctive Booth—anybody can be a winner—just use the English language properly—Sir, step up, and win a big big prize.
GK: She was tall, she had broad shoulders and dark hair and she wore a Professional Organization of English Majors T-shirt.
SS: Come on up and use the subjunctive mood and be a winner. You, sir, you sir—
GK: Yes, ma'am.
SS: Did you hear what I said?
GK: Yes, you asked that I speak in the subjunctive.
SS: So you know the subjunctive.
GK: If I didn't, I would not be talking like this.
SS: Oh, two out of two, very good. Do you have time to go for three?
GK: If I should, who would care?
SS: Three. (DING)
GK: It is time I should go home, but I can stay.
SS: Oh, excellent. Four.
GK: Had I known you liked the subjunctive, I would have spoken nothing but.
SS: Five. (DING)
GK: If I were an English major, I'd know more of them.
SS: Six. (DING) Would you like to know what the prize for ten in a row is?
GK: I would not be here if I didn't.
SS: Seven. (DING)
GK: If I'd known you were here, I would've studied up.
SS: Oh, eight! (DING)
GK: If I were to get to ten, I hope the prize involves you.
SS: Nine. (DING)
GK: Would that I could.
SS: Ten. (DING)
GK: Well, God bless America.
SS: Oh, it's a bonus. (DING) That was quite respectable, sir.
GK: If need be, I could do more.
SS: Heaven forbid. What do you say we get out of the subjunctive and into the future perfect?
GK: Oh, well! Ooh. Boy, I am going to think the future is pretty darn perfect if it includes you.
SS: Oh my. You know how to make an English major perspire, don't you?
GK: Just let me … mop your brow there, darling. So what do I, what do I win here?
SS: Well, the prize is $75. Cash. Here it is.
GK: Why, thank you.
SS: I could help you spend it.
GK: I'm sure you could. Should we go? Now?
SS: No time like the present.
GK: So we're going out on a date, huh?
SS: Well, you only live once, right?
GK: Wow. Once should be enough.
SS: Yes. So tell me about yourself, Mr. Noir.
GK: Well, I'm a private eye, kid. Proud profession, died a long time ago. Back in the Age of Privacy, you know, you had to work to find out stuff about people, follow them around, sneak up behind trees, and put microphones in their drinks. Now you just get all this stuff on Facebook. So I'm what you might call semi-unemployed.
SS: So what do you do for fun?
GK: Well, you know, the usual. Long walks, conversation, you know, sharing, you know, emotional intimacy, that kind of thing.
SS: What do you say we have a wild time instead, huh? We've got 75 bucks. (BRIDGE)
GK: You and me, sister! Let's spend it like there's no tomorrow. So we did that. We rode the double ferris wheel (SFX), the Big Loop, going way down, yes! We did the Swiss Sky Ride (SFX). We did the Magic Carpet (WILD RIDE) and then we went over to the old mill, the Tunnel of Love, 97 years old, we rode it around and around and around in five feet of water, until the money ran out.
SS: Thanks, babes. It was beautiful.
GK: Oh, it was. If only it could've been longer.
SS: Yeah, me too, I wish we could do it longer.
GK: Good meeting you, kid.
SS: Same here. Keep using that subjunctive.
GK: Oh, I don't know. I feel like I'm slipping in the past tense now.
SS: Naw. If you only knew— if you only knew— (BRIDGE)
GK: I watched her walk away. My English major. You never know what you're gonna find at the state fair. No, you don't.

GK (SINGS):
My baby don't watch TV
She loves the library
She goes there every day
My baby don't text or wear a pager
My baby is an English major

She is a bibliophile
She has an ear for style
Prose or poetry
She is a high-toned critic
But my baby cares for me

She loves the subjunctive mood
That is her attitude
Come what may, so let it be
I love her, how, she fills my senses
And Lord she conjugates my verb tenses
The dictionary she has read it
She is smart and she can edit
I hope she rewrites me
My baby knows her business
And yet she cares for me

GK (SINGS):
My baby has style and glamour
And she uses perfect grammar
She's perfect as can be
She's a master of seduction
She is also good at deconstruction
She has a fine search engine
Other assets I could mention
She moves me poetically
I wonder what's wrong with baby
I was unprepared for
Don't know the whys and wherefore
But I'd swim the ocean, fly through air for
My baby cares for me

(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...Guy Noir, Private Eye.

(THEME UP AND OUT)

Questions:
  1. When a guy thinks that “maybe he ought to bleach his hair and buy a Jaguar and head west and just let the repo man catch up with him”—what is going on with him? (And what is a “repo man”?)
  2. Why was Guy Noir “working the State Fair”?
  3. What assignment did the security dispatcher give him?
  4. Did Guy Noir think the assignment was important? How do you know?
  5. Was Guy Noir hopeful that he would find the Bundt Cake competition suspect? Why or why not?
  6. When Guy says “back off” to the deep-voiced Reese's Pieces seller, what does he mean?
  7. Why did Guy think that it was ridiculous to enter the lottery to win Minnesota Twins playoff tickets?
  8. Why is he so unenthusiastic about buying a p-Pod? (At least two reasons!)
  9. When the woman at the Subjunctive Booth says, “What do you say we get out of the subjunctive and into the future perfect,” what does she mean?
  10. What caused the profession of private eye to decline?
  11. The woman asks, “What do you do for fun?” Guy answers, “Well, you know, the usual. Long walks, conversation, you know, sharing, you know, emotional intimacy, that kind of thing.” Where do his answers come from?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Weird Al" gives his cutting-edge student-centric lesson on business buzzwords

"Weird Al" Yankovic (en.wikipedia; ru.wikipedia) believes one good cliche deserves another ... or so you might believe from the number of popular buzzwords he has crammed into this one video. If you can't see the video, it might work here.)



This song, "Mission Statement," is from his album Mandatory Fun, and parodies the musical style of Crosby, Stills & Nash. You may already have seen "Word Crimes," whose style parodies Robin Thicke. Please let me know if you have questions about any of the phrases used in the song, or if you need counseling after this video!! As usual, I would love to know how many of these cliches you already know and how many are unfamiliar. Also: which of these will still be in use in five years?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tea with Johan and Judy ... Tuesdays during our current visit

We want to see you and talk with you! Judy and I will be at the Institute on Tuesday, April 28, and possibly some of the following Tuesdays as well depending on interest.

We'll be there after the end of the fourth pair, about 2:40 p.m. We'll post the location on the main bulletin board.

We want to know what you're working on, what you hope to do this coming summer and next year, and so on. You can ask us questions, too. If we have time, we can play Hangperson or Dixit.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fun with negative words and phrases: "How I Met My Wife"

English has a number of "lonely negatives"--words (usually adjectives) that have negative or uncomplimentary meanings. They usually appear to be formed by adding a negative or intensifying prefix to a positive word, but the positive word is either never used or very rarely used.

In the story below, "How I Met My Wife," how many of these "lonely negatives" are represented by their rare or nonexistent positive partners?

In addition to the negative words, the story includes several negative phrases--that is, colloquial phrases that are built around a negative word or prefix such as "no" or "un-" or "neither." Example from the story below: "make [NO] bones about it" and "[UN]heard of."

Enjoy! And if you like, write to me with as many of the lonely negatives as you can find.

(I found the term "lonely negative" here. Need some hints?--see the link at the bottom of the page.)



"How I Met My Wife"

Jack Winter, The New Yorker, July 25, 1994. (Source.)

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, [or should that be hevelled?—BES] and she moved in a gainly way.

I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones about it, since I was travelling cognito. Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be peccable. Only toward and heard-of behavior would do.

Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable.

There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero were slim. I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion.

So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make heads or tails of.

I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen. Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated—as if there were something I was great shakes at—and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times. So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings.

Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself.

She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savory character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. "What a perfect nomer," I said, advertently. The conversation became more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was committal. We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.



See the list of words supplied by Adam Merberg at this page.