Showing posts from August 1, 2010

The Write Stuff?

©2010 by LeeZard

Is digital communication destroying the art of good writing or, is it merely continuing the evolution of our language? It’s a question that’s been on my mind for a while. I’ve thought for a long time that it’s the former. All this abbreviating to save time (minutes!) and space for emailing, texting and chatting, I thought, eliminates the use of proper punctuation and spelling, not to mention creative word usage. That would be tragic to LeeZard, who cherishes good writing.

I’m rethinking it, though. After all, how did we get from Old English, the written and spoken Anglo-Saxon language circa 1000 AD, to our modern version?

One of the best examples of beautiful writing in Old English is the classic poem “Beowulf,” a portion of which appears here with a modern translation:
Hwæt. We Gardena in geardagum, LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon, of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. we have heard, and what honor the …

Car Tales

Car Tales
©2010 by LeeZard
Fans of LeeZard (Both of you) know well his love affair with The Blue Streak (sigh). Cars play a big part in our lives. We remember our first car, our first family car (infant seat won’t fit in a roadster, dammit) or our mid-life crisis car. I remember them all, from the lemons to the lemonade.
I’m not quite a motorhead. Oh, I could change the oil but I choose not to. I remember my first best friend, Arnold Feldman. His dad owned a gas station (and bought Arnie a cream-colored 1960 Volvo for his 17th birthday) and we used to help out on weekends. I tried working on the engines but hated the weird angles at which you had to twist your hands and wrists; hated the resultant scraped and bleeding knuckles. Nonetheless, I love anything on wheels or tracks and want to drive ‘em all. I read Motor Trend, Car & Driver, etc. to stay current on trends, styles, road tests and the like. As you all know, I dreamed of owning a Porsche since teenhood.
Each car in LeeZard’s l…

Name that Name

©2010 by LeeZard

I’ve always been fascinated by names – people’s names, locales, bands, dogs, cats; you name it (hahaha). Funny names, stupid names, cute names. A name tells you something more than well, the name.

It’s generally believed the Chinese were the first to use surnames, some 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. Unlike most others, however, the Chinese surname goes first, not last. The early Romans used multiple names for a while then dropped the custom.

During the early Middle Ages people were generally known by their given names. But, as more and more Johns and Williams roamed the countryside it probably got confusing so adding a second name became the popular means of sorting it all out. By the 12th Century it was unfashionable to not have a last name.

Different things became last names:
• Your profession – Mason, Miller, etc.
• Your home town
• Your father’s name – Leif Ericsson, for example. The early Israelites began naming their children Shmoil ben (son of) Joshua.
You ca…