| Aug 22, 2013
| 5:25 PM
Sometimes recognition for a job well done is a long time coming.
Seventy years ago, Pasadena resident William Tiernan was an 18-year-old sailor in the British Merchant Navy, participating in one of World War II's most dangerous assignments, the...
| Aug 17, 2013
| 5:39 PM
I was recently inducted into the Society to Preserve Classical English, a good-humored Facebook group that was having a bit of innocent fun with badinage and quotations from favored authors. Genial, you know.
Then the peeververein* spotted it.
| Aug 14, 2013
| 2:32 PM
This column begins with Jane Austen, the English author of corseted drawing room romances who wrote anonymously and in secret out of a sense of propriety. A woman in Regency England simply did not bring public attention to herself.
Thanks, at least in...
| Aug 14, 2013
| 7:43 AM
A while back, I coined the word peeververein to identify the noisy tribe of grammar cranks: peever, for a querulous and quarrelsome person; verein, the German word for "association."* It has found some favor amid the little circle of readers here.
| Aug 12, 2013
| 8:00 AM
Last week I received an endorsement from Barrie England, who writes the excellent British language blog Caxton, and who described You Don't Say as offering "well-informed comment about language in the popular press." He quoted at some length from the post...
| Jul 17, 2013
| 12:31 PM
I don't know if you remember, but we have been panicking lately about predictions that an epidemic of dementia is waiting to sweep through an aging U.S. population, bankrupting families as well as the health care system.
About 5.4 million Americans...
| Jun 20, 2013
| 12:58 PM
Many Baltimoreans declare that their morning commute only becomes bearable when tuned into the crazy antics of WWMX-FM morning radio host Reagan Warfield. He regularly interviews world-famous celebrities and rock stars and banters with a widespread...
| Mar 19, 2013
| 6:50 AM
Called to action by the blast of a horn, more than 30 yapping spotted hounds spill down a hill, bound across a country road, leap a fence and rush a faded winter field. On the hound's heels are about two dozen hunters on horseback, men and women in...
| Mar 14, 2013
| 5:09 PM
Bruce Reynolds nearly got away with it — and for a time he did. As the brains behind England's 1963 "Great Train Robbery," Reynolds netted some $7 million in small bills for himself and his confederates.
Robbing stagecoaches and, later, trains...
| Mar 3, 2013
| 7:58 AM
Here's a cool example of what-goes-around-comes-around:
In 1965, a British-made thriller called "Die! Die! My Darling!" hit the movie houses. This study in strangeness and sadism starred the indelibly foggy-voiced, deliciously irreverent Tallulah...
| Feb 18, 2013
| 4:00 AM
Steven Muller, the president of Johns Hopkins University from 1972-1990, died on Jan. 19. He was one of the giants of his era. I knew him well. I write to share three remarkable stories which reveal the character of this great man.
1. Steve was...
| Jan 27, 2013
| 2:35 PM
Last year at the American Copy Editors Society's conference in New Orleans, David Minthorn and Darrell Christian of the Associated Press Stylebook announced some revisions of the stylebook, among them a relaxation of the prohibition on hopefully as a...