Friday, December 14, 2007

Today's Word—Holiday Special

This marks the end of the 2007 half of the WORD's 2007-08 season.

The WORD itself is nibbling holly and contemplating even more sloth than usual as the padded van arrives to take him off to St. Mumbles for the holidays.

The fall semester is more or less in the books, and as Emile de la Bedollierre reminds us, all that's left to do is let our charges go and hope for the best....

On Optimism:

“We have launched our Student in the world; we have seen him shake off the dust of the schools; and now nothing remains but to wish him a successful career, and a throng of clients, so that he may not be obliged, after long and bootless efforts, to scribble for a newspaper....”
Emile de la Bedollierre (1812-1883), French author, in his essay, “The Law Student,” 1840 (Thanks to alert WORDster Bruce Adomeit)


We also are left with a hopeful thought (?) from our Glorious Leader, who observes,

“And so during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessings....”President George W. Bush, 2004
( (Thanks to alert holiday WORDster Trina Patterson)

(For a German perspective on why President Bush says what he says, see with thanks to our alert foreign correspondent Matthias Petry)

With these modest gifts, that's a wrap for us. The warmest holiday wishes to the extended WORD family, from Iraq to Japan to Oxford to Downeast Maine. May your days be merry and bright, and here's to a safe, saner and happy new year. See you again then.

"God bless us, every one!"—Tiny Tim


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today's Word—Do-Gooders of the Press


"I really believe with all my heart and soul that there is not one problem that can't be resolved by good people. That is the drive for me as a journalist."

Jim Lehrer, journalist and host of PBS’s “NewsHour,” 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Today's Word—Commonality

NOTE: In yesterday's WORD, Christopher Morley urged us to read or think "something no one else is." Today, a different take on technology...


“Thanks to the printing press, the mail coach and the steam packet—gifts beyond the gifts of fairies—we can all see and hear what each other are doing, and do and read the same things nearly at the same time.”

Maria Edgeworth, (1767-1849) Irish author (Thanks to alert WORDster Louise Montgomery)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today's Word—Different Drummer

Outside the Box:

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”

Christopher Morley (1890-1957), author and founding editor of Saturday Review of Literature

Monday, December 10, 2007

Today's Word—Writers Strike

2.5% Residuals Required:

“We write, they wrong.”

Slogan of the Writers Strike, Week 6, by Law & Order writer Matthew McGough, 2007 (See

Friday, December 7, 2007

Today's Word—The Role of the Press

The Role of the Press:
“America has contributed the concept of news, accurately, completely and realistically presented to millions of minds. It is one of the great contributions America has made to civilization—greater than machines or speed or science.”
Reuel R. Barlow, journalism professor, University of Illinois, 1936

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's Word—Question Assumptions

The Inquiring Mind:
“It’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), writer and philosopher, originally quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune, re-reported in The Week, November 23, 2007. (Thanks to alert WORDster Bud Brewer)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Today's Word—Career Advice

Career advice:
“Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was stabbed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire, then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer—and if so, why?”
Bennett Cerf (1898-1971), co-founder of Random House (Thanks to alert WORDster Tom McGuire)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Today's Word--On Books

Book Nutrition:
“When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910), writer, journalist and reader, from The Prince and the Pauper (1881).

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's Word--Radio Days

The Power of the Press:

“The power in the freedom of the press is a flaming sword! That it may be a faithful servant of all the people ... use it justly ... hold it high ... guard it well.”
—Opening lines to the radio series Big Town, 1937-1952.

(Thanks to alert WORDster Philip Meyer)
(See "The Thrilling Days of Yesteryear" ( "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be." --Peter DeVries) )