You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.

Same to you

The Baltimore Sun

Tomorrow is Festivus, and, embarrassingly, I have no grievances to air. The feats of strength will be no problem—I will be at the paragraph factory, Englishing as much copy as I can by deadline—but the grievance cupboard is bare.

I could try to work up something from politics, but really … Every few years the nation elects a Republican president, Hoover, Reagan, Bush fils, who damages the country and subsequently elects a Democratic president, Roosevelt, Clinton, Obama, to clean up the mess. It’s hard to get worked up about a pattern as monotonous as seasonal weather.

I had thought as well to offer you a Christmas greeting by Hilaire Belloc:

May all my enemies go to Hell.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

But my enemies (they know who they are, and I have a fair idea myself, bless their hearts) appear to exert little influence on my circumstances, so they can stay right where they are.

This unaccustomedly irenic mood is bound to be transitory, so I will make the most of it before the dying year or the impending one can soil us all.

To you, my faithful readers, some of you for the full eleven years of this blog, I raise a cheerful glass and wish you the joy of the season and a peaceful, prosperous, and literate new year.

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