I woke this morning and the first thing I did was enter my studio, crack my Webster’s Eleventh and gloss the word “dang”.
I had thought of an edit to the previous essay, about football.
Yes, I am going to trim the list of teams.
Sometimes I compare the bits of ink in Webster’s Eleventh with those for the same word in Webster’s Ninth.
Oddly, I cannot recall the name of my professor who recommended this book. Not David Kasten. Not Jim Shapiro, Not Chauney Loomis, although maybe it was Chauncey Loomis. Not James Melville Cox. Not David Pease. Not Blanche Gelfant. Not Howard Porter (who I sometimes call Not Horace Porter — ok, Horace Porter). Not the guy who liked Dylan. Italian name. Not Nancy Friedenberg? Who said semantics sit too close, lexicons in the back.Not Judith a visiting philosophy professor who taught the one journalism class I took. Lichtenberg,I think. Daughter of Holocaust survivors. Saccio. Peter Saccio.
Or as Noel Perrin might have said: giving up the gummed.
It’s actually 12:30 already so the title fits not. All I’ve done is dictate to my smart, a private essay for my class secretary May Drake — not sure she will publish it but I will hold off for a bit to give her what Herb Caen would term “an excloo”.
edit to add: I don’t have a “studio”. I have a “study”. My wife has a studio, to do art. Her previous studio was in the Nevada Building, corner of Bryant and University, next to that of the writer Al Young, the poet laureate. I am wearing a City Lights t-shirt that Michael Young sold me recently, using his discount. I went to the City to buy an autographed copy of Rachel Kushner’s “The Hard Crowd”. I actually texted, a bit quixotically, to mayor Tom Dubois, the full quote: in a white room, the hard crowd, she is kindness. No: at the party, she was kindness, in the hard crowd. Actually, my smart phone suggested a stare for a few minutes at a singer named Alinah singing a capella to various cues. Also: Lizzo did one. I want to count the number of times Doja Cat used the N-word. Better: short tape of parts of Ledisi doing Nina Simone, especially “Four Women”. Also: about to take flight or coming attractions from Aleta Hayes, a source for Lions With Wings. And: scissors or cleavers for mRNA or CRISPR.
andand: I augmented the categories feature from “words” to “words” plus “sex” plus “ethniceities” which means “jewish”
andand but not Anand: I also was thinking, before rising, about the time a group of St. Francis boys within earshot said “don’t be a jew” — is this better or worse than a group of teens taunting or harassing Greg Tanaka about the Covid virus?