Thursday, June 13, 2024

No master builder

The narrator’s father is an architect.

Anton Chekhov, “My Life: The Story of a Provincial,” in “Peasants” and Other Stories, trans. Constance Garnett (New York: New York Review Books, 1999).

Related reading
Chekhov and Larry David : Chekhov and Joyce

Domestic comedy

“I realize that’s a shallow thing to say, but I think it’s a valid shallow thing to say.”

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Another LassieMTM connection

[Florence Lake as Martha Dudley. Click for a larger view.]

I somehow discovered that Florence Lake played Martha Dudley in the Mary Tyler Moore Show episode “Lou’s First Date” (November 3, 1973). A mix-up pairs her with Mr. Grant for a broadcasters’ dinner.

“Who is Florence Lake?” you may ask. None other than the actor who played Jenny, the Calverton telephone operator on the television series Lassie. Lake appeared in eighteen Lassie episodes between 1954 and 1962 and was the only cast member to serve for the duration of the show’s Calverton years. Her off-screen character was spoken to in many, many more episodes: “Hello, Jenny? This is Ruth. Would you ring Doc Weaver?” Jenny’s most prominent Lassie appearances: “Party Line” (December 23, 1956) and “The Phone Hog” (April 3, 1960).

[Florence Lake and, of course, Lassie, in “Party Line.” Click for a larger view.]

Florence Lake started in pictures in 1929. Her last appearance was in television’s Most Wanted in 1977. Here’s her IMDb page. Two fun facts via IMDb: Lake appeared with Ed Asner (who played Lou Grant) in The Girl Most Likely to ..., a 1973 made-for-TV movie, and

In a mid-70s interview, Mary Tyler Moore remembered the cast becoming exasperated with Florence Lake. It seems she didn’t see the character as elderly and feeble as written. Moore said Valerie Harper took special time with Ms. Lake to get the performance needed from her.
“Why another Lassie-MTM connection?” you may ask. Because Ted Knight (Ted Baxter) appeared as a traveling entertainer and World’s Greatest Ventriloquist in an episode of Lassie. And the dog-puppet from that episode showed up in a Mary Tyler Moore episode.

Related reading
All OCA Lassie posts (Pinboard)

[I loved Lassie in boyhood and love Lassie now. Straight outta Calverton.]

The Alitos and revenge

Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny) writes about “Modern revenge culture, explained by Mrs. and Mr. Alito.”

Here are the Alitos as caught on recordings: Mr. and Mrs.

An aside: the Sacred Heart flag that Mrs. Alito would like to fly is widely understood as a counter to the pride flag. A cursory search will confirm that. See, for instance, a comment left on a webpage selling a Sacred Heart flag.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

One more kwoi

[From New Universal Self-Pronouncing Dictionary (Chicago: John C. Winston, 1943).]

Click on the image for a larger kwoi sound. As in macOS Sequoia. Thanks, Kevin, for entrusting me with this beautiful little dictionary.

A related post
macOS Something (How to pronounce sequoia )

Eugene Robinson asks a question

In The Washington Post (gift link): “Is Trump okay?” The answer, which Robinson doesn’t quite voice: No.

New directions in footwear

[Click for a larger size.]

Kids say the darndest things: my Merrell Moab Adventure 3 shoes have been renamed “jungle shoes.”

See also New directions in apparel for “Papa’s gentleman shirts.”

[Image from Zappos, from whom I’ve bought two (three?) pairs of jungle shoes.]

“AI and the Death of Student Writing”

In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Lisa Lieberman, a community-college instructor, writes about “AI and the Death of Student Writing”:

I called the student in and asked him to write a sentence with the word “depiction.” He admitted he didn’t know what “depiction” meant, much less how to spell it, much less how to use it in a sentence. He confessed he hadn’t written a single word of the essay.

Another student complained when I gave her a zero for using AI. She said, “I don’t know why you’re picking on me. I turned in all my assignments on time. And I never used AI.”

It was true she hadn’t used AI, but when I pressed her, she admitted to using Grammarly.
And it turns out for a small monthly fee, Grammarly can do much more than identify errors in grammar and spelling.

Recently updated

Harvard, Meta, and veritas The story of a misinformation expert and misinformation.

Monday, June 10, 2024

macOS Something

The new version of the Mac operating system is called macOS Sequoia.

Apple says /sə 'koiə/. You can hear it in the WWDC24 presentation.

The American Heritage Dictionary (online) gives the pronunciation as /sĭ-kwoi′ə/.

Merriam-Webster (online) gives /si-'kwoi-ə/.

Both British English pronunciations in the Oxford English Dictionary have the kw sound: /sɪˈkwəʊɪə/ and /sɪˈkwɔɪə/. (I’m reproducing each dictionary’s phonetic spellings as given.)

The New Oxford American Dictionary (on the Mac) has /sə'koiə/ for the tree and /sə'kwoiə/ for the Cherokee scholar.

I’ve rarely said sequoia, but when I have, I’ve said it with the kw.

Apple can choose whatever pronunciation it likes, just as Toyota can choose Prii (lol) as the plural of Prius. For anyone who balks at /sə 'koiə/, the simple choice would be to say macOS 15.

[I found myself willing to watch only a few scattered minutes of the WWDC24 event. When I saw an image of an iPhone with the prominent message CONNECT YOUR HAIR DRYER, I drew a line in the mental sand.]