Friday, May 9, 2008

A Final WORD (for now)

Back to St. Mumbles

This marks the end of yet another season (the 12th? 13th?) of TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM. It’s been another good run, mostly: As Papa Hemingway would have said (did, in fact): “I have tried simply to write the best I can; sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

That’s not been so hard in my case, since the WORDmeister’s job is simply to crib and collect the words of others—all better than I. One of those better writers—I forget who just at the moment—said an essential element of good writing is knowing when to quit. So I’m taking that advice.

Longtime WORD subscribers know what happens next: Every May, more or less at this time, classes end at Utah State, the students and faculty flee, and those nice but firm young men from St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose come and take the WORD away to the sanitarium for the summer. No one minds, really. It gets a bit quieter in cyberspace, and the WORD himself needs the time and space for a little reflective conjugation and electroshock.

For myself, this epitaph (or epithet), which I’ve used before. But I am pooped and I need the rest, if only until August . . . when the WORD will escape St. Mumbles and I will rise again.

Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Edward Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.
—From an 1880s gravestone on Nantucket Island, Mass. (lightly edited)

Have a wonderful, restful summer.


  1. "Never miss a good chance to shut up." —Will Rogers

    Brad Knickerbocker
    The Christian Science Monitor

  2. We’ll miss you,
    T’will not be the same,
    Come fall, we’ll rejoice...
    (Oh, this is so lame.)

  3. Thank you very much for Today's Words throughout the season. I really enjoy it. I was so addicted to it, and I am not exaggerating to say I'll dearly miss it. I even told my friends about it. It's a pity that one told me to send you his email address to be included on the mailing list and, because of my jealousy, I didn't. I was afraid that I won't be able to brag to him. But please include this email on the mailing list for next season or you can write to him, inform him that he is on the list.

    Norman Masungwini
    Sunday World Reporter
    South Africa

  4. St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose, my eye. St. Walton's Babbling Brook for the Piscatorially Plagued is probably more like it. Enjoy your respite.

  5. BUSTED!

    OK, so with luck, I'll be launching the intrepid SS Toad by this time next week. We all conjugate in our own ways.

    Cap'n Ted