White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) think they have no ethnic characteristics of their own, but many are fascinated or repelled by ethnic behavior in other people. They are no more prejudiced than anybody else.
Category Archives: Quiky Stuff
The courtesy title “Mr.” is going out of style because we’re becoming a less formal society. “Ms” has political origins in the feminist movement.
Most rules of grammar we learn in high school are not really rules because they have nothing to do with speaking clearly. Most high school English teacher rules are to language what table manners are to nutrition: etiquette, not meat and vegetables.
New words and usages enter the English language from popular culture, advertising, dialects, technology, foreign languages, changing social values, and many other sources. They are accepted (or not) because they are useful or necessary, and more clear, vivid, and energetic than the words we already have.
I never went out on the gentile New Year, even when I could have made money from the drunks. There is no difference between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, so why celebrate by drinking too much?
So many public people today get caught screwing up, and have to apologize publicly. Some thoughts on why some are accepted, others not.
The widow of my old colleague and boss, Rabbi Alexander Schindler, invested all his money with swindler Bernie Madoff. Now his widow must sell her house and priceless ritual objects to live a downsized life with dignity.
Beauty queen Carrie Prejean flashed across the media, and disappeared, like a meteor. Bess Myerson, Miss America 1946, was practically the only beauty queen who did something worthwhile other than be beautiful.