Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The teachers said what?

It's my first year in what Americans would call High School (in truth it was more like a Junior High and Senior High School combined)

I am eleven years old. It's my first English Language Class.  The teacher gives us an assignment -  to write an essay.

Together with many other children in the class I dutifully wrote the following on in my note book. S.A.  Oh dear, most of us had written compositions in earlier grades.  We had never heard or read the word "essay".


As many of you know I grew up in the one and only true church in the world (the Plymouth Brethren), where we read from the one and only totally accurate Bible translation (The Authorised Version - in the U.S.A. called the King James Version). 

Thus I was familiar with an older form of written English, for example this from Hebrews 11:26  "By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned."



Sixty four years on from that English Literature class  I learned that the two words have a common root in Middle French and before that in Latin.

My new learning came from a wonderful book which my good friend Ann Albritton gave me as a birthday gift The Book of Delights by Ross Gay (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2019).

Ross Gay teaches at Indiana University.  His book is a series of yes, you have it, essays!


So now I must assay the possibility of writing an essay about the work of assayers!   (jmp)

The following is from Webster's Web Page.  I know that it could spark a huge argument.  Please argue with Webster, not with me!

Usage experts warn against confusing the verbs "assay" and "essay." Some confusion shouldn't be surprising, since the two words look alike and derive from the same root, the Middle French word essai, meaning "test" or "effort" (a root that in turn comes from Late Latin exagium, meaning "act of weighing"). At one time, the two terms were synonyms, sharing the meaning "try" or "attempt," but many modern usage commentators recommend that you differentiate the two words, using "essay" when you mean "to try or attempt" (as in "he will essay a dramatic role for the first time") and "assay" to mean "to test or evaluate" (as in "the blood was assayed to detect the presence of the antibody").

Monday, 24 June 2019

What Price A Lobster Roll?

Lobster Rolls,  the height of summer delight for lunch in New England.

We can get 'em here in Sarasota, pretty decent ones, at Captain Brian's Sea Food restaurant on Route 41, at the back side of the airport.

Captain Brian's tells us that their Lobsters are flown in daily from New England.  That's an edgy "carbon imprint" for a Crustacean , save to say that the New England - Sarasota flight would happen with or without Lobstas (New England pronunciation). 

The price of a 1/Roll at Captain Brian's in Sarasota is $16.95.

We should be so lucky. 

But n New England itself, a Lobster Roll could set you back $68.

YES $68.

That of course is if you choose to "dine" ( a fancy word) at the blood sucking new Casino in Everett MA.

That's expensive! Silly me.  I'd forgotten that the Lobster Roll at this new and terrible Everett place includes:

One and a half  pounds of Lobster Meat,  plus black truffle aioli, shaved black truffle, and gold leaf.  

Lah de dah.


Lah de crap.

A "food services"  worker  at this new Everett MA casino might be lucky enough to earn $12 per hour, before a mandatory Social Security deduction, and  without a penny towards the costs of health insurance.

So, given the very best estimate of remuneration and deductions, our sisters and brothers in Massachusetts would have to work for at least six hours a day in order to  simply live, so that some filthy rich oligarchs could suck down $68  burgers.

C'est la vie for the rich.

C'est la vie for the poor.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Everett MA. The giant sucking sound as an urban casino opened today,

The Everett (MA) Casino (Abomination) opened today. 

My friend Dana Robert Daneel (who lives nearby) took a "Joshua and Caleb hike" to spy out the land. Here is what she wrote:


"I took an urban hike with my friend Ann Braude so we could see the inside of the casino on opening day. It was packed out with thousands of people. Gambling as far as the eye could see. The Popeye sculpture cost $28 million. The buffet was $39 plus 18% gratuity. Nothing is cheap there. You could hear the giant sucking sound draining our local economy. They passed out free bottles of water, but do you know they have NO recycling bins? They are expecting over 50,000 people today--all those bottles go straight into the trash".

Thanks Dana for the text and photo's above.



Massachusetts, where I lived for thirty years, is often reckoned to be a liberal state.

Fie on this kind of liberality which robs the poor to enrich the already rich. 

Shame on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (its official name)  which now has no pretense that it is organised for the 

Common Weal - Common Wealth - Common Good.