The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Friday, November 22, 2002  

Organizing a Stream of Consciousness

DUELING MUSCLES: My copies of Men’s Health and Men’s Journal invariably arrive in the mailbox on the same day. This is a fortunate coincidence of events since were it not for the typically far more aesthetically pleasing covers of Men’s Health, I wouldn’t be able to tell the two books apart.

And by the way, while we’re on the subject of men’s magazines: Exactly how many articles about getting a really close shave am I supposed to read?


WEIRDO WATCH: I was thinking today that my use of the phrase “international Zionist conspiracy” on Thursday is likely to bring a whole new batch of nuts to the site.


“SPREEK JE NEDERLANDS?”: You know, a person who can read both English and German is apt to find learning Dutch to be sort of a breeze. And then from there it’s a quick jaunt over to Afrikaans, which, as a wise man once said, is really just Dutch dumbed-down so the Boers would be able to write complete sentences.

[Noted: Edited, or corrected, rather, post-publication, and twice no less, under the guidance of Martin Wisse of Progressive Gold Beta, where he made note of my mistake, and a helpful reader. Hey, I said it was fairly easy to learn to read Dutch. Writing it, obviously, is another story. At least for me, apparently. Oh, and Professor Wisse, I actually like the way Dutch sounds, though it might seem less harsh to some ears if the Netherlanders hadn’t put so many g’s in their words.]


THE BONE CRUSHER’S RED PEN: One of these days I’m going to go through my files to see whether I can find the memo I wrote, maybe six or seven years ago, explaining the proper use of the words “that” and “which.” And when I find it I’m going to send it to every American who ever has had a byline or appeared on a masthead.

The memo was one of a series I periodically distributed around the newsroom in an effort, fairly successful I’m pleased to say, to improve the editors’ and reporters’ writing. I think the infamous “That and Which” memo went out about every six weeks, as I have a real “thing” about this one.

If any of my former colleagues are reading this and still have a copy of “That and Which,” please let me know. You will have made a cranky old man very happy.


SEARCHING FOR BED LINENS: Does anyone know where I can buy Marimekko sheets on line? (Hey, I said they were very random thoughts and observations.)

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