Tag Archives: English

Craven

There is an oft-quoted line from the delightful movie, The Princess Bride. The line, by Inigo Montoya, is: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The first time I noticed it was Rachel Maddow, enough years ago that I was still watching her show (so three or four, at least). Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar, so it caught my attention — my first thought was that I must be wrong about the word. I looked it up, and… I’m maybe slightly more right than wrong? Or, honestly, maybe it’s just a wash.

The word I’m talking about is craven.

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Christmas: Day 4

shop shop shopOf twelve.  It’s hard not to notice how Christmas peeks out from under the covers earlier and earlier every year. One of my more recent seasonal traditions is noting how soon the first signs appear. The commercial opportunities of Halloween run interference in the fall; this year I found Christmas spoor on November 1st.

How Thanksgiving managed to escape heavy commercialization escapes me. Maybe people are spent out due to those two spendiest of holidays bracketing either side. Attics now store as many boxes of Halloween decorations as they do Christmas ones!

I guess the long foreplay is a good thing considering the instant exit once the deed is done.

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Words, Words, Words

The BardI was exposed to Shakespeare in high school. We read several of his plays in various English classes. I took to it about the same as most high school kids. That is, I found it opaque and dull (like “classical” music). The first glimmer of the magic and wonder of Shakespeare came only when I became involved in staging some of his plays in drama class.

When I was a sophomore, I helped stage—and acted in—our high school drama group’s presentation of Hamlet (one of his greatest works). I’ve written about my high school drama teacher; he was a professional theatre person who’d gone into teaching (while waiting for his big break in Hollywood). Our production of Hamlet received rave reviews from local papers. “Better than most college productions,” they said!

As a direct consequence of that production, Hamlet is my favorite play!

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