Thursday, October 28, 2010

Over the Transom Thursday

Today was a November day of the dreary sort that just happened to be in October, but barely. Colder than it's been since April, overcast all day. As if to say, More to Come.

Got a letter from Quincy Adams Wagstaff Elementary School the other day, and it only goes to show how out of touch I am with the latest in pedagogic euphemisms. It included the following phrase, which was new to me: "[The groups] consist of students from 1st through 6th grade, as well as our self contained students." Hm. I'll overlook the lack of hyphen. It's the overall phrasing that intrigued me. Aren't all the students pretty much self-contained?

It didn't take much digging around to figure out that this is a replacement for "special needs," which of course was a replacement for earlier, wholly discarded words that have the magical power to ruin political careers (for example) if spoken aloud.

The silly season of the news cycle, traditionally late summer, is long over. An election, as we're constantly reminded, is nigh. So what's the deal with this story, as the Palm Beach Post headlined today: Is that a time traveler in Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus," circa 1928? As of late Thursday, according to Google News, so 447 "news" articles had been written about this harebrained subject. Then again, I suppose people are as tired of writing about the election the their readers are of reading about it, so time for something stoner silly.

An e-mail addressed to "Mr. Dees Stribling Business" recently told me that: "Scott Ginsberg is celebrating his tenth anniversary. He’s been wearing a nametag for ten years in a row. He has never taken it off. That’s right, ten years = three thousand, six hundred and fifty days = 87,600 hours = 5 million two hundred fifty six thousand minutes = 31 million 531 thousand seconds and counting. He’s the world record holder. He has even tattooed his nametag on his chest and is the only person in the world who has made a career out of wearing a nametag."

More conventionally, his career seems to be that of motivational speaker and author. He's got a gimmick; I'll give him that.

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