Something about Jersey

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When we travel my husband and I like to pick out the accents and guess homelands of strangers.

We can ferret out Dutch in a snap (we’ve both spent time in Holland) and Brits and Aussies are easy to identify.

Hanging out at the Newark airport is especially fun. I scan the crowd for Parisians while my husband swears he can spot a West African. Continue reading

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Clearspeak

Carl Perkins knew the difference between suede and swayed when he wrote his famous 1957 song

Carl Perkins knew the difference between suede and swayed when he wrote his famous 1955 song

Most folks shake their heads and slowly walk away when I begin complaining about poor writing.

Folks agree, but shrug their shoulders. Not worth their time.

My Old School ways are woven through my core, thanks to feisty newsmen and tough editors.

Getting a name misspelled is a firing offense, one editor yelled at me.

Today I’m sifting through a raft of college student papers.

I find the most common mistakes confuse there with their, effect with affect, off of with on, reader’s with readers’ and data is with data are. Continue reading

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Part 2: Packing values into value

whole-foods-produce
The card on the snack bar announced our local grocery store’s campaign to link values with value.

So I tried to untangle the meanings beneath value and values.

Value means you get your dollar’s worth.

But what do values mean for the upscale market that appeals to folks who can afford organic vegetables, free-range animal products, homemade pastries and fair trade coffee?

The table-top cardboard announcement tells customers that “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” defines values in the following ways: Continue reading

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Part I: Packing values into value

Eastern Indians and settlers shared common values until greed intervened

Eastern Indians and settlers shared common values until greed intervened

Our local grocery store has launched a strategy to link values with value.

Usually when you hear a store talk about value the idea is that you get your dollar’s worth.

In this case, the grocery store is an upscale market that appeals to folks who can afford organic vegetables, free-range animal products, homemade pastries and fair trade coffee.

The store has a tea and coffee bar where you can relax, check your shopping list and have a snack.

That’s where I spied the promotional flyer on values. Continue reading

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When dinners were frozen

I grew up on canned and frozen foods, and bologna sandwiches

I grew up on canned and frozen foods, and bologna sandwiches

When did we get caught in the foodie era?

Maybe it’s the Portlandia culture but somewhere along the cooking path, I took a turn to foodiedom.

My friends and family adore Bittman and Pollan, Kasper and Katzen.

Weekends are highlighted by trips to the farmer’s market. Continue reading

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Synecdoche Moms

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Remember the Mom Jeans fauxmercial on Saturday Night Live?

In case you missed it, the clip shows a clutch of women wearing elastic-waisted blue jeans necessary for the woman who needs some give in her tummy and derriere.

The poochy jeans are “cut generously for today’s mom.”

The commercial pokes gentle fun at the “soccer mom” in her suburban milieu, flanked by kids and hubby.

From a framing and linguistic view, the word “mom” has become a synecdoche of women with children.

Mom now means “all moms.” Continue reading

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Pie Five Days

turkey

We started a new tradition in November.

I call it Pie Five Days.

My symbol for Pie Five Days is an open hand: the symbol Osages use to adorn clothing and blankets, and the same symbol school children use to silhouette a turkey—they trace their open hand with a crayon—the thumb becomes the turkey’s head while the fingers transform into feathers.

Now the symbol refers to the five days of pie. In Cindylouland, at least. Continue reading

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