A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Thursday, August 21, 2003 :::
A Mind That Suits spent a wonderful evening--this evening. A good friend and business associate, for no reason whatsoever except that it was a perfect night, offered to drive over to the California coast for dinner. So we did. We stopped at a lookout point, as one must, if one values life, and absorbed the endless grandeur of creation. Waves raged against immemorial rocks; sea lions stuck their noses up in the air and floated around like, well, sea lions; pelicans in perfect formation flapped their wings against the surface as they searched for prey; muirs, noisy balck birds with bright red beaks complained about whatever they complain about all the time; tiny kildeers scrambled busily to stay right at the magic point where the incoming tide stops, searching eagerly for whatever it is that kildeers eat that lives only at the point where the waves stop. And A Mind That Suits was reminded that he has acrophobia when a path that promised to issue onto the beach ended abruptly in a 20-foot cliff. (The cure, acrophobes, is to step back six inches and allow yourself to acclimate.)

The Califorinia coast is, of course, protected up and down its entire length, and this conservative Republican says, "Amen, and alleluia." Government is not merely a force that says "no." It can say "yes" to the magnificent, and it has, here. What a glorious sight.

The ugly outside world intrudes to let us know that the recent attacks are forcing everyone to think a little more clearly about Iraq. One shoudl think first of all the poor longsuffering people of Iraq, and then one should think of our boys. (And girls. But mainly boys.) The human lives snuffed out yesterday are irreplaceable, but perhaps now we can be honest about the precariousness of what is happening in Iraq. A Mind That Suits certainly hopes so.

This morning's Journal brings a very clear-sighted article (availabel at www. wsj com, alas, only to subscribers) on the nature of the Stalinist regime that we ousted by Abraham D. Sofaer, former federal judge, former legal advisor to the Reagan State Department, and one very bright guy. He is now a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, which is where A Mind That Suits is doing his research into the life and works of Allen Drury, his beloved uncle. Judge Sofaer has apparently decided to clear out his office,and so each morning in the staff lunch room there appears a pile of free books, with a sign saying that they are the gift of the Honorable Mr. Sofaer and you may take what you want. Among the books was a paperbound tome by an author with an Indian name. The book had Indian-looking cover art. Its title? "Legal garlics for layman."

Now, A Mind That Suits teaches English to foreigners, and this title has two entirely different sets of errors. One is stirictly a matter of grammar: it should be "laymen." And another is idiomatic. One assumes "garlics" in this context is an idiom for "small pungent chunks." But, barring expertise in Hindi, one does not know.

So, all writers, beware: do not write in a languarge whose grammar you have not mastered, and do not translate idioms literally.

That said, A Mind That Suits, the California sunset still hanging over his preoccupied mind, wishes you all a happy Thursday, and hopes to see you all again tomorrow.

All the best...

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 3:49 AM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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