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Confessions of an Inadvertent Prescriptionist

So my daughter is home for the summer, bringing joy and great conversations and taking over my kitchen. I really enjoy both my daughters, but Younger Girl is such an emphatic presence in the house that you really know she’s here. And we talk. Oh my God do we talk.  And there are some tics in her language that drive me a little crazy. Such as? “I’m really excited for this vegan dinner.” The way I understand my language, the sentence above suggests that my kid is excited on behalf of the vegan dinner, which… Read more Confessions of an Inadvertent Prescriptionist

In Praise of Fanny Price

I have been doing one of my semi-regular Jane Austen re-reads. Every time I find new things: This time I was chagrinned to realize the extent to which certain film versions had overwritten Miss Austen’s original text in my mind–not necessarily to their detriment, but I was looking for a scene in Sense and Sensibility that turned out to be a clever Emma Thompson way of compacting a good deal of information. But the original Austen is still there on the page, and still smart and incisive and funny. So far I have… Read more In Praise of Fanny Price

My Mother Went Out for Lemons

What is your earliest memory? Mine is from when I was somewhere between two and three years old. I’ve heard that it’s unusual to remember anything that early. So I’m unusual: when my mother was still alive I asked her if the following thing ever happened and (subject to the Rashomon effect of her recollection being different from mine) I can say that it did. As a small child my family lived in the top two floors (or more properly, the top floor and an attic) of a brownstone on… Read more My Mother Went Out for Lemons