Well the assorted things we have recently learned might.
By: Kent & Marilyn Granat
a – We learned that the New York Times can not only be informative (‘all the news that’s fit to print’), but very shrewd Recently, in the Sunday Times Magazine, there was a full page add for a ‘special holiday digital subscription’ to the Times that read, “What If You Could Give a Gift That Made Someone Smarter? Chicer? Happier? (And you didn’t have to wrap or mail it?). Now the key word to the ad, that sets it apart, is the word ‘chicer’. Since a huge majority of people would not know what the word means, it would often lead one to look up the word, and at the same time, subtly communicate that Times readers are obviously ‘smarter,’ and, thus clearly ‘happier’. The definition of ‘Chicer’ is the icing on the cake. It means stylish, sophisticated, elegant, fashionable, the most chic.
b – We learned the six volume Dictionary of American Regional English is getting updated, and there are indeed some uncommon regional words. For example: a) usually when people each bring a dish to share it is called a potluck dinner; except in Indiana it is called a ‘pitch-in’, and in northern Illinois it is called a ‘scramble’; b) children play hopscotch in most places, except in Manhattan it is called ‘potsy’, and in Chicago it is called ‘sky blue’; and, c) in southeast Wisconsin, a drinking fountain is called a ‘bubbler’.
c – We learned, this year, a handful of elite universities (e.g. University of Chicago, Brandeis, etc.), have continued their quirky and unorthodox freshmen college entrance essay questions: Examples: 1) tell us your favorite joke and try to explain the joke without ruining it; 2) what does Play-Doh have to do with Plato; 3) write an essay somehow inspired by super-huge (industrial-sized) mustard; 4 if you were reduced to living on a flat plane, what would be your greatest problems? Opportunities?
d – We learned there are clearly great differences in girls and boys, being evident at a young age. Boston (grandson, age 4), when asked by Skipper (Kent) what was the best thing about the soccer game that day, answered, without hesitation, “we won”. On that same day, Skipper asked Tate (granddaughter, age 7), the same soccer question. And, with an ever so slight pause she answered, “the other team had pink uniforms.”
e – With Tate on a roll, we learned that kids can often be way more amusing than adults. Recently Lauren told Tate she was smart while working on her homework. Tate responded: “And?” Lauren: “nice?” Tate: “And?” Lauren: ‘cute?:” Unsure of what Tate wanted to hear, Lauren asked, “what do you want me to say?” Tate: “mom, I am really funny.”