Sunday, December 12, 2004


I've been buried under grading while trying to rest my elbow and hand. This means a lot of time in a splint that makes it hard to type or do anything else, but at least can be hidden under a sweater.

Though most of the time Dave Barry's writing is simply designed to make readers chuckle, every now and then he'll write something or make a point that reminds you he really does have a degree in English and a Pulitzer Prize. One of his introductions notes that as a "trained humor writer" he spends some of his time thinking about which words are funnier than other words. I'm not sure that "weasel" is as funny as he thinks it is, but concede that it is funnier than "hamster".

Today's sermon primarily examined John the Baptist and his place in Matthew's gospel. John being the kind of man he was, a certain amount of violent imagery was included. I noticed that most of the time we the congregation simply listened, but that every time the word "smite" or "smiting" came up, we all laughed, every time. I'd never thought of "smite" as funny word before.

One of my current favorite students (sssh!) is a sixty-something pastor. I'm not exactly sure why he's in my class, as he's never spoken a word, and I don't think he has an e-mail account. I'm partial to him not simply because his essays are clear and thoughtful (and have none of the extraneous prose and parenthesis that are so often found in my own work) but because his use of langauge is so different from the others in the class. Much of his vocabulary clearly comes from his time spent with the Bible (yes, he has used the word "smite") and some may also be explained by generational difference, but his homework is great reading.

Speaking of which (I hope!) the chapter is in the mail to #2, #3 and #4.

Words Written: zero
Lessons Graded: since my last post? (laughs) Quite a lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Weasel" is funny in some accents... :)