Monthly Archives: April 2012

Hopefully this is correct

The issue still isn’t settled. It might never be. Hopefully, this column will enlighten some people and bring a few to my way of thinking. Notice I said “hopefully.”

For years, language purists recoiled in horror over the misuse of words and phrases that the Miss Grundys of our youth would implore us to avoid.

Let me explain:

William Safire, a former columnist for the New York Times, shook up the language generation a few years back when he sided with the use of “hopefully” in places where, to the rest of us, it doesn’t belong.

For example, most language mavens cringe at the insertion of “hopefully” when the writer or speaker means “I hope.” Continue reading

Please don’t tell me yet

“I don’t wanna hear it!”

Usually we hear that refusal when the utterer of the admonition says, “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.”

We also hear it in the context of refusing to hear the bad news: a firing, a loss of a game or an announcement that follows, “Hey Dad, you remember that can of paint on the shelf by the car in the garage?”

I’ve used and heard that expression on different occasions. Remember back in the ‘60s, when the UNM Lobos would play a game that was televised not live, but on a delayed basis? The game would start at the regular time, and fans either in the Pit or those with a powerful radio could keep up with the game. Continue reading

Eggs-actly right

“Cáscara or piñon?” That was the choice my oldest sister Dolores offered us in our youth, as the aroma of our mother’s homemade bread wafted through the kitchen.

Bread was a Saturday staple in Mom’s kitchen, and those first in line got the choice pickings. Let’s define a few terms first:

A cáscara is a shell. The piñon is what’s inside. So when Dolores gave us a choice, naturally we were thinking piñon. Besides, who wants to fill up on piñon shells? We’d naturally ask for the piñon.

Then Dolores would grant our wish; she’d give us the still-moist, warm inside of the newly baked bread (the piñon). Good, but not quite as pleasing as the crusty part. I would have died happily if the crust (cáscara) of Mom’s bread had been my last meal. Continue reading

Got a Magic Marker?

Several months back, around the time Highlands University developed its own license plate, I jumped in line for one of the lower numbers.

Sharon Caballero, in charge of selling the new tags, called me when someone cancelled an order, and I was able to draw HU00011. A second plate, HU00211, which fits my second car, I got directly from the local motor vehicle department, unaware that Highlands had a stash of the lower-numbered plates.

Not bad! The lower number makes me feel oh so important; the higher number, 211, reminds me I ought to weigh a lot less than that. Continue reading