Dear Smiley: I was sad to hear that the Times-Picayune is decreasing publication days.
And then I thought, “Ohmigosh, what if The Advocate follows suit? That will be the end of my ‘potty paper.’
My Shih Tzu “reads” The Advocate every single day, sometimes twice a day!
All kidding aside, I don’t know how I could begin my day without the hard copy of one of the best newspapers in the country.
Just travel around and read the rest and you will soon see that Baton Rouge has the best!
Dear Jeanette: Also, the death of newspapers would mean the end of crawfish boils as we know them. ...
Fun with words
Dear Smiley: I have read with interest your word games.
All my life I have been fascinated with how you can use words to tell a story or paint a picture … and with phrases that people have handed down to them.
My mother had one of the best. “God never sleeps.” Now that’s a strong thought.
Two of my favorites are “What goes around comes around,” and “You can’t make an omelet without cracking eggs.”
I’ve even made up a couple of my own. One is “You don’t need a police escort for a three-car funeral.”
Now obviously that describes a person who wasn’t well liked or had no family or, sadly, both. My other describes when a good run of luck at a blackjack table starts to fade:
“As B.B. King says, ‘The thrill is gone.’
A series of words has always puzzled me:
“Hey now, hey now, Iko Iko an nay, Jackamo feena ah na nay, Jackamo feena nay.”
Now what in the world are those Mardi Gras Indians trying to tell us?
Dear Thomas: That it’s Carnival time …
Dear Smiley: The “Oops” discussion reminds me of installing vinyl flooring with my brother-in-law, Tom Bozeman, when he told me I had enough experience “cutting in” that I could work without his supervision.
As he left the room, he suddenly turned and said, “Never say ‘Oops’ if the customer is present. I can fix most of your mistakes.”
His training enabled me to later have my own installation business.
So, “Never say ‘Oops’ when installing anything if the customer is present.”
KIM “POPS” SEAGO
High as a kite
Dear Smiley: A family of Mississippi kites (a small hawklike bird) has moved into our Capital Heights neighborhood.
Two juvenile birds love to perch in the hackberry tree in my back yard with the sole purpose, it seems, of irritating the mockingbirds, who may have a nest close by.
This morning mama kite was on top of the light post chirping for her youngsters. When they showed up, she led them to the trees.
As she flew away I saw a mouse in her claws. I guess breakfast was served.
Credenza to you too!
Dear Smiley: Thank you so much for attending to the misuse of our beloved language!
While I have other verbiage (yes, they are verbal garbage) aggravations, three are paramount:
1. Decimate. That does NOT mean destroy (as in destruction), it means reduce by 10 percent. (Clue: “dec.”) Even the ancient Romans knew that.
2. Credenza. Oh, what a wasted word: on furniture, no less. Just think: Even better than “Yaaaay!” It could be: “I made a hole in one! CREDENZA!”
3. “Smile on his/her face.” Well, thank you, where else might it be?
Please continue to educate and humor us, every one.
Not so good
Dear Smiley: The phrase “back in the day” kind of irritates me. I assume “back in the day” is short for “back in the good ol’ days.”
But I’ve yet to find anyone raised prior to air conditioning, electricity, computers and microwaves who actually considers them the “good ol’ days.”
CHRISTY C. BOURGEOIS
Dear Smiley: What has happened to the word “Yes?”
Has it been replaced by the word “Absolutely?”
Dear Lee: Positively.
Dear Smiley: You’ve been running cliché phrases for some time, but I fear it’s only been the “tip of the iceberg.”
Roast those roosters
Dear Smiley: I notice that the South Carolina Gamecocks are on the Tigers’ schedule this year, in October.
Do you suppose the Legislature will call an emergency session to temporarily suspend the ban on cockfighting?
Dear Larry: No.
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.