‘Let Them Come Home’

For my regular readers (all two of you), who by now have become quite irregular through no fault of your own, I apologize… I’ve been spending most of my blogging time over on ConnorWatch.org (if you haven’t been there, please visit – and pray for Connor!)

I came across Abraham Piper’s testimony yesterday, and had to put up a pointer to it. Actually, only a small part of it is officially his testimony – the rest of it consists of his suggestions for parents who are struggling with a wayward child (though I suspect that he is also largely telling his own story, from the perspective of his parents, when he outlines his suggestions).  His suggestions are wise and loving counsel to any who might be going through similarly wrenching times with their own children.

Since I’m posting about Piper progeny, I should also point to this powerful poem by another of the Pipers’ sons, Karsten: Sometimes He Kills Us to Save Us.

Baited [sic] breath

I’m always annoyed by references to “baited breath” (*), so when I that saw Michael Quinion wrote about it, I took a look. He quotes this amusing and intentional use of “baited breath” by Geoffrey Taylor:

Sally, having swallowed cheese,
Directs down holes the scented breeze,
Enticing thus with baited breath
Nice mice to an untimely death.

Cruel Clever Cat

(*) Do you think it’s wrong for me to be annoyed?

11/29/07 update: I just found out that the term eggcorn has been used to describe substitutions like “baited breath” since 2003. The term was “coined” (in quotes because “eggcorn” is actually an example of the phenomenon) by one of the guys at Language Log, a blog which I recently added to my list of Language/words sites on my sidebar.  Here’s The Eggcorn Database!

This post is brought to you by the letter ‘S’

This is from The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I’ll get around to nominating something by Lem for the NOBC one of these days. Note that this was originally written in Polish and translated by Michael Kandel into English – I have yet to find out anything about the original Polish version of this poem and how much work Kandel put into translating it so exquisitely.

“Have it compose a poem–a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism and in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!”
“And why not throw in a full exposition of the general theory of nonlinear automata while you’re at it?” growled Trurl. “You can’t give it such idiotic–”
But he didn’t finish. A melodious voice filled the hall with the following:

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed.
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.