September 26, 2013 in Features

The Slice: Generation gap filled with extra letters

By The Spokesman-Review
 

You might have heard that certain grandparents have opinions about children’s names.

But what you might not realize is that this is not new. This has been an issue since long before the rise of “creative” baby names.

More than 50 years ago, when Ritzville’s Diane Rosentrater was a child, she received a birthday card from her grandmother. That relative had written “Dianne” on the envelope.

“I was 6 and very proud of the fact that I could write my name. I knew that it had only one n.”

So young Diane politely informed her grandmother that she had misspelled her name. Her grandmother was unmoved.

“She promptly told me that it should have been spelled with two n’s, which she continued to do till she died at age 98.”

Diane, wise even as a youth, never brought it up again.

National anthem etiquette: Readers’ advice re: the scenario described in Monday’s Slice ranged from getting tough with the offenders to minding your own business. But here’s what a reader named Charlotte suggested.

“When dealing with strangers in public who are violating good manners, it works for me every time to act as though they happen to be 18-year-olds who are with me, as though I forgot to tell them earlier – ‘Hey guys, we’re s’posed to take our hats off.’ No big fake charming smile, no frown.”

Anne Remien said it might help if audience members were encouraged to sing along. To that end, she wondered if featured performers belting out the anthem could be persuaded to skip the “warbles and flourishes.”

A little light reading: WSU plant chemistry expert John Fellman, with whom I have corresponded a number of times over the years, emailed me a scholarly paper addressing, well, see if you can guess from the title: “Excretion and Perception of a Characteristic Odor in Urine after Asparagus Ingestion.”

Filling up on the arithmetic: Mildred Scheel’s nephew teaches third grade. One of his pupils said, “I feel like I’ve already had two servings of math and I don’t want any more.”

Today’s Slice question: Did online dating services work for you?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Coming Friday: Readers’ advice on jury duty.


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