You can play it again, Pops
Dear Smiley: We recently rented an animated movie for four grandchildren to watch.
After it was over, I removed the DVD from the player and put it in the plastic case.
However, the Redbox machine would not accept it when I tried to return it.
I called the company and the associate asked me to verify all the info on the DVD and case.
When I opened the case, it was empty.
Returning home for the DVD, I told my wife what had happened and she told me she had seen the 2½- year-old examining the case that morning.
The younger generation is just too smart.
KIM “POPS” SEAGO
Dear Smiley: In the June 29 column, Dr. Walter H. Daniels said “you know” was “an unwelcome phrase rarely seen in print.”
Well, the good doctor should have read my depositions from the past 45 years. Ninety percent of the responses start and end with “you know.”
Try listening to and proofreading that for 200 pages.
In realizing that it tends to be an involuntary thought expressed in rote, I decided it must be a tic.
Noah Webster gave me insight on this as a parenthetical explanation (“ ‘You know’ is a verbal tic of many inexperienced speakers.”) .
Dear Smiley: I would like to put in a word for the word “irregardless.”
Irregardless is a fine, strong word sometimes maligned in favor of its weaker cousin, “regardless.”
Irregardless is obviously stronger because it has one more syllable and would be at least ¼ more effective in a poem; regardless is like a worm with its head cut off.
Irregardless of how your readers may have felt about this issue in the past, please enlighten them about it now.
Dear Malcolm: Since Webster defines irregardless as
“a nonstandard or humorous usage” of regardless, it fits this nonstandard (and sometimes humorous) column perfectly.
Dear Smiley: It is bad enough that we must change our clocks twice a year to accommodate Daylight Savings Time, but now there is another change.
This year one second was added to the official time clocks to adjust for the slowing of the earth’s traverse around the sun, and it is probable that another second will be added in a few more years.
Will it never end? I’m getting tired of having to reset my clocks so often.
What, CSI’s not real?
Dear Smiley: Several years ago, my daughter found a spent pistol bullet on my back patio.
Earlier I had observed some young boys on the other side of my fence and had heard some loud noises like pistol shots coming from their direction.
Fearing they were firing a pistol, I called the police.
After I explained the situation to the officer, he left to check it out and returned to tell me he had located the boys and was certain they were just popping firecrackers.
I thought I would have a little fun with him, so in my most serious tone I asked if he could resolve this mystery like they do on television — taking the bullet back with him and having his lab check it out to find the owner of the gun.
The look on his face was hard to describe as he patiently explained to me that what one sees on “CSI” is not necessarily what can be done in reality.
Exit via egg
Dear Smiley: About mention of darning eggs:
When I was 5 or 6 years old, I was with my father when we discovered a dead snake near an old chicken coop.
It seems the egg-eating snake (“mangeuse d’ouef” in Cajun French) had swallowed a porcelain egg, put in chicken nests to encourage hens to lay more.
Unfortunately for the snake, it was unable to crack the egg behind its unhinged jaw and apparently choked to death.
I can imagine that snake’s final thought: “That darn egg.”
Dear Smiley: Patsy Borie and other alumnae (more than one woman alumna) deserve an apology for my omitting women when I wrote recently about alumnus and alumni.
Another omission in the story on Latin was discovered by my good friend Jim Benoit.
Jim says that when Caesar ordered a martinus and blew up because the bartender asked if he meant a martini, the bartender was correct.
The reason being that two-fers (two drinks for the price of one) had just been developed by the ancient Romans.
So the bartender was right when he suggested Caesar might like martini instead of just one martinus.
So Smiley, Latin is very much alive. Don’t we all like two-fers?
Dear Larry: Or, as they were called in ancient Rome, II-fers.
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.