Monday, August 24, 2015


A compound word is created when two closely-related words are joined to form a new word. The word light has given rise to several compound words, including flashlight, spotlight, and penlight. A compound word can also be formed with a hyphen, such as low-slung car, down-home cooking, fill-in position, and on-line dating.

The dictionary function on my Kindle accesses words through Wikipedia, and that source recognizes as compound words those that remain as two words, such as post office, which is two words for the rest of the world and postoffice for the Wiki dictionary. A game player is a person who plays games, and it is two words for most of the world, but one word for Wiki: gameplayer. Putting these words together comes naturally, but there are some compounds that don't look correct. A suitcase is a piece of luggage used for carrying clothing on a trip; Wiki thinks that suitjacket is also a compound word, rather than two separate words. A person can be overly-protective, but Wiki encourages the writer to use overprotective.

Yes, language evolves, but creating new words by not using established grammar rules goes beyond evolution, which is a natural process, and borders on just plain being lazy. I edit books as I read them, and I am amazed at how many words are just tossed together. Engagementring is two words; eveninggown is two words; weddingday is two words; however, some modern writers write them as one word. Yes, the reader can figure it out, but there are already rules for writing, so why break them just to save one stroke on the computer keyboard? Online dating has already morphed into one word that is natural and easier than using the hyphenated form. Down home cooking without the hyphen takes a second to process, but downhome cooking is easy to understand.

Grammar is simply a sharedunderstanding of how to manipulate commonwords in a sentence to createmeaning. If the writerchooses to put wordstogether that aren’tusually writtentogether, it makes it morechallenging for the reader to figureout what the sentencesays, and that hinders the making-meaning process that is the core skill of reading.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Here Are a Few Disgusting Things

The man leaves the public toilet and is accosted by a woman holding a roll of toilet paper. She asks him if he used the paper to wipe his bum, and when he admits that he has, she asks if it did a good job. When he somewhat hesitantly agrees that the paper did the job, she suggests he go back to a privacy stall and remove his underwear. He's now so clean in that region that he can ... GO COMMANDO!

Remarkably, the man agrees to this and pulls the waist of his pants down to show no underwear.

Not wearing underwear is one of those things in life that I would never do. I was taught that we had private areas on our body and that we kept those areas covered. Young people today are being taught to be free as, in some opinions, not being free about one's body is now called body shaming. I'm not ashamed of my body: I just think that private areas should remain private. Conversely, another TV commercial shows 3 young girls standing in front of potted bushes. Each one has a different way to shape the green bush into something cute, like a heart shape, but the one who wins uses a new Shick electric razor specifically designed for shaving the pubic region. The three green bushes are strategically placed in front of the girls' pubic area, so the message is sent: use this new tool to get creative with your pubic hair. I know women who have very hairy pubic regions, according to their own admissions, and they did groom the area when it was bathing suit weather. I am not aware of any of my female friends who groomed their pubic hair into cute shapes! And, I certainly never expected this whole trend to be part of a 60-second commercial.

We now have commercials with hundreds of actors wearing protective panties to proclaim that they are securely protected against unwanted leakage while out in public. I think it's nice that this product is available to both women and men, but I'm not sure I want to see such an "in your face" pictoral of it on my TV. Can't the point be made without having men/women parading in public with their Depends leading the way?

And women's breasts have become a status symbol in outfits designed--or just worn--to offer maximum exposure of the mammary glands. It's one thing for a woman to breast-feed her child discretely in public, but another to have females of all ages wearing tops with cutouts that draw the eye to naked breasts. Women walking the various red carpets used to be known for their excellent style; now, they are going commando and braless because the dresses they wear have sheer panels everywhere but across their nipples and the genitalia. That's not fashion: that's simply too much exposure in public.

I once laughed at the thought of a commercial showing a woman removing her tampon and shaking it to show how much menstrual blood one brand could hold versus another less absorbent product. Sad to say, what used to be a joke is now coming much closer to becoming a televised commercial. In fact, there is a new "craze," called free bleeding, for women who like nature to take its course by not using sanitary napkins and/or tampons. Yes, they just bleed wherever they go, which has to create a health hazard for the rest of the world. I can't imagine how anyone in their right mind would want to freely bleed, especially for those who have heavy periods, since that would be horribly messy for the person, as well as the leave-behind for the rest of us, especially those of us who use public restrooms when necessary.

I'd like to go back a few years and regain some public modesty. What goes on in one's home is one's business, but when it comes out into the public arena, those of us who are disturbed and/or offended by the lack of public modesty have no recourse.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Desert Heat

Today, it's 115 degrees out, pretty darned hot. Tomorrow, Saturday, it's set to be 116; Sunday 118; and then a huge cooling trend beginning Monday, when the temps go from 117 all the way down to 109 by the end of the week.

Yes, say the true desert rats, but it's a dry heat -- and that it is. Very dry; very hot; very uncomfortable. Once this heat spree loses its punch, we'll head into autumn and temps in the high 90s for a spell.

The winner in all this heat? The electric company! There's no way not to use air conditioning of one form or another.

And, with the water shortage, there is no more running through the hose on the front lawn because the lawn has been replaced with desert-friendly landscaping that doesn't require watering. Filling up the kiddie pool in the backyard? No way: our water usage is being monitored and if it goes above our limit, we are fined for excessive water usage, which wouldn't bother me if the pools at the hotels/motels and all the golf courses greens also had to suck it up and cut their usage, too.

I'd like to say it's the price we all are willing to pay to live in this desert paradise, but the truth is it's harder every year to find the benefits with all the regulations and higher utility costs.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Train Wreck

"The girls" and I went to lunch, then to the movie theater to see Train Wreck, which, from the previews, looked to be a bit naughty, but funny. We each paid our $7.75 and found our seats in the theater, along with other senior citizens out for an afternoon of laughs.

Ten minutes in, I was ready to leave. The language was filthy, not funny, and the emphasis on the sexual nature of the film was dominating. I stayed on, perhaps hoping that it would improve, but then a very naked John Cena had a scene in the bathroom with a towel displayed on his very erect penis, a part I'm sure was played by a stand-in, but that was my tipping point.

I told the girls I was leaving as it was getting worse and nastier, not better and funnier, and they joined me. I went to guest services and told the manager that the movie was filthy and asked for my money back. He apologized and gave each of us our ticket price back in cash, rather than a voucher for another film, which is what this theater has done in the past. He said that he'd heard from co-workers that the movie was totally funny, but I told him it was totally filthy and offensive, neither of which I find funny.

I did admit that maybe it's a generational thing as the scene of an office meeting featured street language and profanity, which I found as offensive as the nudity and commonplace use of obscenities and sexual scenes. But maybe today's younger worker is used to this sort of language used on the job.

All in all, I can say the first 15 minutes are awful and nasty, and based on that limited sampling would caution anyone who thinks about seeing this movie to check for other films that may be less offensive.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jurassic World

I expected an action-packed, scary movie, but ended up giggling my way through Jurassic World. The basic story is a hoot as it stumbles from scene to scene. The acting is over the top, which makes the actors much more intense than the material they are given to deliver.

The animation is good, with the dinosaurs stealing the movie from the humans. The clash of the titans scene that pits gargantuan dinosaur against blood-thirsty gargantuan dinosaur lost some of its intensity by having the humans next to the action. If you can believe that a human can out-run a running or flying dinosaur, then you will be totally into the fight scenes, but I was rooting for the dinos to do some damage to the main characters and was disappointed. Two young boys in fear for their lives in a "bubble" car escape when the largest dino cracks open the vehicle with its foot. The boys run to the edge of a what looks like a 100-foot waterfall, leap blindly into the abyss, and save themselves from certain death.

The absolute best part is the co-starring actress role, a role in which the actress wears her white suit and 3-inch pumps throughout the action. She finally ends up with a well-placed, provocative split up one side of her skirt, but those 3-inch heels take her from the control room to the wilderness of the dinosaurs and many near-death adventures with nary a speck of dirt or blood on them.

Rest assured: there will be another episode in the franchise. How do I know this? The bad guy absconded with the engineered dino eggs and missed all the fun of being chased by all manner of pre-historic creatures and dangers.