Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Synecdoche

Two Heads are Better than One

Today, Readin’, wRitin’ and ‘Rithemtic Wednesdays pays a visit to Grammarland.

A question burning its way across America is:
‘How can I make sure I’m using a synecdoche correctly?’

We need to clear this up quickly so we can move forward with World Peace.
Take notes.

According to my extensive research you will want to use synecdoche when a part of something is meant to stand for the whole kit and kaboodle.
‘My son wants a new set of wheels.’
When you read that do you think all he wants are several wheels? Or does your brain leap to the image of a new car, complete with a set of wheels?

Speaking of brains, when I tell you she is the ‘brains of the company’ do you conjure up a fascinating sci-fi image of a huge walnut-like cerebellum, frontal lobe etc. perched on top of a skyscraper?
Or do you  immediately wonder ‘Who is this extremely intelligent woman and can we make her head of the National Reserve?’

Body parts make excellent synecdoches.
Many hands make light work.
I don’t want to see your face around here.
He has the guts for the job.
How lovely on the mountain are the feet of him who brings good news.
Two heads are better than one.

Did you know you knew so many synecdoches?

Folks in the south have it mastered when they refer to any carbonated beverage as ‘Coke’,
but don’t point a finger if you refer to any brand of that 1950’s salads staple as ‘Jello
or the flimsy piece of tissue you hope will restrain the contents of your nasal passages as a ‘Kleenex’.

Today after you hit the streets or pound the pavement to earn your daily bread because you have mouths to feed and threads to provide, go  sit in your castle, tickle the ivories, put the kettle on and try to wrap your brain around a synecdoche or two.
And come back next Wednesday as we delve into the wonderful world of Metonymy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Prude Relinquishes her Camera

Today we have photos brought to you by The Prude's 8 year old twin nieces, Jasmine and Jessica.

At their cousin's recent high school football game they relieved The Prude of her photography duties. In less than a minute and a half they had the workings of the camera mastered and breezily snapped left and right.
They got their aunt
The ups and downs of the sidelines
A nice soft-focus of The Prude
Some cool curves
Some rabid female fans
A nifty shot of lights on helmets
Thanks girls! I'll be calling on you again!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Somewhere, Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion is Smiling

One day last week Jupiter aligned with Mars, the moon was in the 7th house and peace guided the planets…

Oh, I’m just kidding.
But a strange twist of coincidental events/someone with an unusual sense of humor presides at the MeTV station.
Cheryl Miller was on an episode of ‘Perry Mason’, and an hour later Marshall Thompson was on ‘The Streets of San Francisco.’

If you were born sometime after The Prude (and most people were)
this means nothing to you.
Even if you are one of those discerning young’uns who likes long defunct TV shows, you no doubt are still in the dark.

Because by some diabolical oversight on the part of those who choose to play endless reruns of ‘Roseanne’,
The Prude’s favorite show when she was 10 is never aired.

Why doesn’t anyone show reruns of ‘Daktari’?

starring the above mentioned Marshall Thompson and Cheryl Miller.

which appealed to 10-year-old Prude’s desire to Save Animals.

a ‘60’s show about a veterinarian at an African game preserve who saved native animals from evil poachers while raising his daughter and providing Young Prude’s first crush on the handsome young assistant (don’t tell David Cassidy)

Who wouldn’t want to air reruns about an early animal rights activist/single parent whose best friends were a cross-eyed lion and a mischievous chimp named Judy?
Apparently, everyone.

Something needs to be done.
The Prude plans to petition.
Truthfully, don’t we have enough ‘Law and Order’ repeats?
Do you really need another round of ‘Family Guy’?
Don’t you already know every episode of ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘NCIS’ by heart?

I’ll let you know when my ‘Daktari’ petition is ready to be signed.
Let me know if there are any other obscure shows we should add to the list.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mug Shots: Couples, a Dog, and Cute Kids

If there is anything I like more than photographing folks in motion, it is taking pictures of faces.
Sometimes the subjects behave, sometimes, well, they behave like my husband.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It Could Happen Tomorrow. Batten down your cow.

It was bound to happen.
The east coast couldn’t stand letting the west hog all the attention. Rumor has it they used stimulus money to hire an earthquake. Unfortunately they could only scrape together enough to eek out a 5.8.

You know of course that stimulus money had nothing to do with the earthquake. That is just a bit of whimsy in which The Prude indulges from time to time.
But she admits her anxiety level is increasing.
Because apparently earthquakes, bored and restless with wreaking havoc on the west coast, have decided to take their rampage elsewhere.
They swaggered east and started a rumble.
They tossed cars upside down, trashed grocery stores and drove fearful citizens scrambling for the dubious safety of their homes.
Police were powerless to stop this particular brand of hooliganism.

The fracas took some time to die out, and whole sections of country were in upheaval.
But all bullies have a yellow streak.
The earthquakes heard that Hurricane Irene was heading their way and Irene was tougher than any police force with riot gear.

So the earthquakes are lying low, waiting for another opportune moment to gather strength and victimize another innocent and helpless portion of our nation.
And though they were blessedly oblivious to the Midwest this time, who knows?
Ruffian types may think cow tipping and cornfield destruction a new way to get their kicks.
What earthquake wouldn’t want to rattle the complacency of Chicago and Milwaukee?
All those windows to break…

Yes, The Prude is concerned. She used to sit in her house, watching on TV the destruction wrought by rogue earthquakes and think ‘It could never happen here.’
Oh, those famous last words!

Maybe we could scrounge up enough stimulus money to hire a minor Lake Michigan  hurricane.
Possible fallout if earthquakes tyrannize the Midwest

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jungle Fever (repeat episode)

Before the arrival of cable TV, summer was the series of reruns for the Big Three networks. No doubt they wanted children cavorting outdoors instead of sitting in front of the television.
The Prude figures if it is good enough for NBC it is good enough for her.
Below is a reprint of a post from Sept. 2010. If you’ve read it already, feel free to go outside and cavort.
The Prude's non-meningitis afflicted son bought her this book after reading this post

Jungle Fever

The Prude’s son called to inform her that he was ill. With a fever. And a headache. And a sore neck.  And of course (at this point) The Prude realized he must have Meningitis and she spent the rest of the day calling him and waking him from a sound sleep to have him check if he could bend his head to his chest.

The Prude is a hypochondriac. A RAGING HYPOCHONDRIAC.  She can trace it back to watching ‘Marcus Welby MD’ when she was an extremely innocent 11-year-old Prudling, convinced she had syphilis. She couldn’t understand her mother’s reaction to the disclosure (unmitigated hilarity). The Prude learned quickly that hypochondriacs do not watch medical dramas.  She has never seen 'St. Elsewhere', 'Doogie Howser MD', 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman', 'Scrubs', 'Grey’s Anatomy' or 'House'. 

The condition grew exponentially worse during childbearing and rearing.  During pregnancy, 2 simultaneous kicks in opposite directions meant the baby must have 4 legs. As the children grew (with only 2 legs apiece) she spent many hours diagnosing their symptoms.
Not thirsty? Rabies.  Too thirsty? Type 2 diabetes.
Too long a nap? Sleeping sickness.  Not tired? Insomniac.
Pale and tired? Jungle fever.  Cheeks too rosy? Tuberculosis.
A rash could mean scabies, a sore was leprosy, and swollen lymph nodes must be elephantiasis.

Hypochondria, left unchecked, develops a related condition as yet un-named. We can call it Worst-Case-Scenariosis.  If my child walked near the edge of the Grand Canyon I was convinced a landslide would occur at that very moment at the very place the child stood. I would debate the propriety of checking the batteries in the smoke and carbon detectors at homes where my children participated in sleepovers, and sweeping the area for radioactive materials. Swimming in a pool could expose them to chlorine-resistant bacteria, swimming in lakes meant unknown creatures could nibble their toes, rivers had currents, the ocean had riptides and Jaws.

A whole new world of anxiety opened when they learned to drive.  Instructions included:
‘Watch out for deer and drunk drivers and wild turkeys that fly into your windshield’
‘It is windy today. Don’t drive alongside semis- they will tip over on you.’
‘It is raining today. Don’t hydroplane, and watch for hippo-sized potholes to open in the road under you.’
‘It is snowing today. Stay home till May.’

The Prude has mercifully restrained from steering you into the entire iceberg of symptoms and what-ifs. She has only jabbed you with the tip.  If you are feeling a little sore and tender right now, be warned.  You may have rickets.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A winner and a rerun

We have a winner in The Prude's birthday drawing!
Thank you to everyone who left a comment.
Anonymous, I couldn't quite make out what you were saying, but thank you anyway.
Congratulations Joanie! You will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Below is the post I believe she was referring to:

Hey You! Drop That Adverb!

We all know what adverbs are, correct? They take a plain old verb, dress it up with an ‘ly’ word here or there and give it all kinds of nuanced meaning.

Recently, The Prude’s writing buddies told her reluctantly that adverbs unfortunately are currently Not in Style.  Sadly, Your Prude carefully reread her work and grudgingly admitted that she suffers rather severely from B.O.A.T. (Broad Overuse of Adverbs Tendency). She realized she should immediately rectify this tendency by stringently limiting her use of adverbs.

Take, for example, the above paragraph. Stripped of adverbs, it reads:
The Prude’s writing buddies told her that adverbs are Not in Style. Your Prude reread her work and admitted she suffers from B.O.A.T. She realized she should rectify this situation by limiting her use of adverbs.

There you go. Nice, terse, spare sentences. Sentences that get right down to brass tacks with no shilly-shallying. Verbs that stand alone, stripped of their adverbs. The Prude is thinking those verbs look downright chilly.

There is a parallel writing style, all the rage, that encourages one to show, through action and description, what is occurring. This style also uses Strong Verbs. Verbs that need no help from any floofy adverbs.

So The Prude’s paragraph in this manifestation would read:
In the short time preceding this post, The Prude’s writing buddies, their brows furrowed and their voices hushed, apprised her that adverbs, whose fortunes have been declining, are at this present time Not in Style. With overflowing eyes and lurching stomach Your Prude scrutinized her work and was aggrieved and nauseated to discover herself rocking in the B.O.A.T. She clapped her hand to her forehead and lost no time bailing this flood of adverbs.

See? Strong, muscular verbs. Metaphors. Visual images. The above paragraph is virtually dog-paddling in them, with nary an adverb in sight.

The Prude will work hard in upcoming posts to stay away from the B.O.A.T. She expects things will go swimmingly…

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Prude is One(ish)! Let’s Party!

You are Invited
to the
First Birthday of
‘The Prude Disapproves’

Actual Birth Date:
August 16, 2010
Date when she finally realized it’s been a year:
August 22, 2011

Comment section

Comment section

The Prude is registered at 
‘Which Post From the Past Year and 6 Days Was Your Favorite’, 
‘Most Befuddling Post’, and 
‘Happy Birthday Prude’, 
but original gifts are welcome.

Yes! The Prude will hold a drawing and send a $25 Amazon gift card to one of her treasured guests. The only requirement is to leave a comment.


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Street Where You Live

My mother's favorite color was purple. County executives had no knowledge of this, but in a serendipitous turn of events named her road

My sister lives here. Can you see her house in the background?
Can you see the name on the street sign? Coincidence?

What question do preschoolers never tire of asking?

When something is tasty it is mm-mm good, but when it is fabulous you say

Just because a cartoon character's eyes are closed doesn't mean you know
he's asleep. Not until the cartoonist adds this above is head:

Who was that intrepid girl reporter who worked with Clark Kent and had a crush on Superman?
Oh, that's right.

Fill in the blanks:
Perry Mason's faithful secretary ________ Street was at his side in the _______room
(hint below)

Can you imagine the fun you could have designing return address labels if you lived here?

Let's see that funny face you make.
That's it! That's the one!

May everything on the street where you live suit you to a

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's Green. Beware.

If The Prude's dog Bonny could use a keyboard, the following would be her post:
Something big and green is on my picnic table. It doesn't belong there.
It's looking at me
I'll just hide behind this chair
It's looking at me again
I'll give my warning bark
And... it's still looking at me.
Green is coming closer.
I'll sniff the end that can't see. It smells like no hind side I have ever met.
That end can't see me, silly. I'm 100% sure that end can't see me.
Well. Maybe 99%.
But no worries. I see it has gone where all things evil and green go to die. Burn, evil Green. Burn.