A renewed commitment to writing well

I have always thought of myself as a writer, one who would get serious about writing at some moment in the future. If reading is part of the training for becoming an effective writer , then I have been in training all my life. One cannot learn to write effectively without noting how and why … Continue reading A renewed commitment to writing well

The power of little things

My mother was 10 when her family moved from south-east Manitoba to south-west Saskatchewan. Whenever she talked about that move she would say "The thing I missed was seeing the tees and the Indians." It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I asked the obvious question: "Mon, I get the part about the trees, but what's … Continue reading The power of little things

In the mood for a little subjunctive?

I made it through high school without ever encountering the subjunctive mood. Then I decided to learn French. I fought my way through the bewildering thicket of conjugations of regular and irregular verbs, then I was introduced to the subjunctive mood. My head hurt for weeks. I didn't seem to have any reference point in … Continue reading In the mood for a little subjunctive?

Mr. Average Canadian 

This was first published four years ago. In 1926 Stephen Leacock tried to describe the average Canadian man of his day. Eighty-nine years have passed and Mister Average Canadian of that day is long dead and buried. Therefore, I will take it upon myself to describe his modern counterpart, according to census statistics. In 2015 … Continue reading Mr. Average Canadian 

An abandoned child

In 1797 a child, estimated to be 9 or 10 years old, was seen living in the wild in the region of Aveyron. He evaded capture until 1800. All attempts to discover who he was or where he came from were fruitless. He was taken to Paris to be examined. The leading minds were excited … Continue reading An abandoned child

Who am I?

It was in a little church near St Marys, Ontario, that my wife and I were baptized and became members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. After the service, the minister who had baptized us advised us to “Just be yourselves.” That was a very kind and generous welcome, but I didn’t know … Continue reading Who am I?

The genius of French

Yesterday's word from Mot du Jour, a French word of the day app, was adulescent. It is one letter short of adult, one vowel different from adolescent and describes a young adult who behaves like a teenager. Another word used in the description was quincados, which means people in their fifties who try to appear … Continue reading The genius of French

Migrations

The Dene (pronounced Denay) people speak a language which has 39 consonants and 116 vowel sounds. That is a total of 155 phonemes. For the sake of comparison, English and French run from 40-45 phonemes (total consonant and vowel sounds).  These people are indigenous to the northern regions of the four western provinces of Canada, … Continue reading Migrations

Is the trumpet giving an uncertain sound?

For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. (1 Corinthians 14:8-9) The issue in question when Paul wrote those … Continue reading Is the trumpet giving an uncertain sound?

The curse of knowledge

“Once you know something, it’s hard to imagine not knowing it.” The title for this post, and the quotation above, are taken from the book Made to Stick, © 2007, 2008 by Chip and Dan Heath, published by Random House. The curse of knowledge is a stumbling block for every Christian who attempts to speak … Continue reading The curse of knowledge