Friday, December 17, 2004

Blogs, etc.

It’s peculiar to be called by your first name by a near two-year-old, but that’s what Ann does. She puts an ‘s’ sound at the end of the name instead of ‘z,’ but I can tell what it is. I say to her, “Daddy,” or “Call me Daddy,” but so far she’s sticking to “Deece.” Lilly never did call me that, but as parents of siblings are known to say, each child is different.

Except when they’re similar. Ann’s fondness for drawing, for instance, is almost exactly like Lilly’s at that age, and her attitude toward candy is just the same, too: want! Now! Lilly is a little more sophisticated in asking for candy, but the attitude is the same. Underneath an adult veneer, so is mine.

Come to think of it, I’ve known adults who never have gotten my name straight. “Dee” is a normal variation, usually used by people I’ve just met, but occasionally lasting a while, if I don’t think it’s important enough to correct. Mr. Allen, my 8th-grade English teacher, persistently called me “Deece.” One is reluctant to correct an English teacher, at least as a student, though I can think of a few ideas conveyed by English teachers that now—as a profession editor or even as an educated adult—I disagree with. Or even disdain.

I forgot who it was, but one of my teachers was livid about not using “etc.,” in any context. Something about it being a lazy writer’s tool, a substitute for thought, etc. Well, I grew up and discovered that, in his essays, no less a writer than George Orwell used that useful Latinate occasionally. I’m with George on that one.


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