Wisława Szymborska on Death

On Death, without Exaggeration It can’t take a joke, find a star, make a bridge. It knows nothing about weaving, mining, farming, building ships, or baking cakes. In our planning for tomorrow, it has the final word, which is always beside the point. It can’t even get the things done that are part of its … More Wisława Szymborska on Death

Looking Back

Nine Reasons to Celebrate 2015 Most of us were blissfully unaware of an epidemic of opioid addiction and the 19,000 deaths that resulted from it. For much of the long Canadian election campaign it seemed likely that the NDP would take government, and even though it didn’t in the end, just thinking it might was … More Looking Back

Quote of the Day

“The word ‘glamour’ comes from the word ‘grammar’, and since the Chomskyan revolution the etymology has been fitting. Who could not be dazzled by the creative power of the mental grammar, by its ability to convey an infinite number of thoughts with a finite set of rules?” ― Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the … More Quote of the Day

New Year’s Resolutions

Here are twenty grammar and language resolutions you might want to consider for 2016: I resolve to learn the difference between “lay” and “lie” or avoid using them: “The cat is not standing up on the couch.” I resolve to use “lay” and “lie” interchangeably with abandon. I resolve to start using the object pronoun “me” … More New Year’s Resolutions

Quote of the Day

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such,” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism    

Untimely Deaths

Our house in Edmonton had a sunroom with a large picture window looking onto our back yard. One day I pulled the blind up and stood for a minute gazing at the garden. Suddenly three birds flew in quick succession into the window with three loud thumps and fell to the ground. I rushed outside … More Untimely Deaths