Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vocal Fry

I'm a sucker for stuff like this.  

Vocal fry -- sometimes called verbal fry -- is a term I heard on the radio a few days ago. It refers to 'a guttural fluttering of the vocal cords' and is increasingly used by young women - as in 'Motherrr' or 'Whateverrrr.'

I've been aware of this speech pattern for some time --  I love different dialects and this seems to be a distillation of Valley Girl speak. It's everywhere -- spreading into the general population. 

For other word nerds out there, there's a good article in the NY Times about vocal fry. The article also deals with up talk which is the quirk of ending every sentence with a rising inflection.  (She had this amazing outfit?  And she used to date Justin Bieber?)   Many Southern women have been doing this for years but now it's become a standard part of teenage-girl-speak. 

And the article touches on the use of like for emphasis -- It's like, amazing! -- and goes on to draw some interesting (to me, at least) conclusions about why girls and young women adapt these speech patterns.

Me, I'm still stuck in the speech patterns of my youth. I think all this stuff is neat. Or cool. But not groovy. I never got comfortable with groovy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just Another Perfect Day . . . and a Celebration

Yesterday was an amazingly beautiful day with a fittingly beautiful conclusion --  when Justin (our younger son) and Claui (his significant other for the past five or six years) came up for  dinner, they brought several bottles of prosecco for a celebration -- because they just got engaged!

No wedding date, no plans just yet . . . Claui has been a dearly-loved member of the family for some time now -- a ceremony won't change anything.

But what fun to celebrate this next step with them, here on a magical spring day!
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Monday, March 26, 2012

In Spite of Our Differences . . .

This isn't another political rant -- it's more of a reflection on said rants and the social media. As some of you know, I'm on Facebook and that's one of the places where I find and repost many links to articles that reflect my point of view. 

Facebook is a different sort of beast than blogging. Those of you who are frequent commenters here feel like real friends -- often because we read each other's blogs.  I know that some of you don't enjoy talking politics, some do. I suspect that most of us have similar views but I know there are some exceptions. But that's true with my real life friends too-- we just agree to disagree.  
It's different on Facebook. Over there I have around 500 friends -- some asked to be my friend because they like my books, some because they like my posts, some, I sispect, just because they were trying to build a big friends list. Some of them are blog friends or real life friends, but there are many I know next to nothing about --  I rarely ask anyone to be my friend unless I know them pretty well, but I accept pretty much any request for friendship (except for a few creepy guys.) 

I was surprised when I posted a link to an article about a bill that's being considered in Congress (House of Representatives) -- a bill that would, among other things, allow doctors and hospitals to "exercise their conscience" by letting pregnant women facing emergency medical conditions die rather than performing an abortion

There were over sixty comments -- some about the bill and some from folks who are passionately anti-abortion. (But none from anyone who actually agreed with letting women die, thank goodness.

There were comments from a woman who had an abortion many years ago and a link to her essay about coming to terms with this. There were comments from a man who was adopted because his birth mother couldn't keep him, but chose to continue the pregnancy.  There were long, well-reasoned statements, passionate statements, disagreements, but the tone remained surprisingly civil.   

This, I think , is where social media can shine. I like to hear other opinions -- as long no one YELLS or calls names. 

Another author who is a FB 'friend' posed the question on her page: 'Why would an author post political opinions in the public forum? Isn't that a good way to lose readers?' 

Well, maybe. But I'd rather speak my mind (mostly -- I do hold back when sometimes I'd like to yell and call names.)  

It's a fascinating time in which we live.   
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Use It or Lose It

 So, I've been feeling the need for a bit of a rant coming on, ever since a commenter on FaceBook said she'd not heard about the pre-abortion trans-vaginal probe being mandated in various states.  

Those of you in other, more rational countries may find some of this hard to believe. But not only is there a faction in the USA that is seeking to ignore science in favor of religion when it come to what should be taught in our schools, there are a truly frightening number of legislators, mainly at the state level, seeking to roll back women's rights.  Interestingly enough, these are the same folks who are vocal against big government interference. Except, it seems, when it comes to women.

 "Government so small it fits in your uterus."

Here's a link to an excellent piece that details some of the legislation affecting women being considered. It's long but well worth the read, particularly if you're an American woman concerned about your rights. 

 Forcing a woman to carry an already dead fetus to full term, refusing to allow abortion under any circumstance, including cases where the mother's life is endangered by the pregnancy, granting 'personhood' to a just-fertilized egg while systematically stripping away the rights of the woman who produced the egg are just some of the extreme measures under consideration.

Others include allowing doctors to lie about the results of an ultrasound if there's reason to believe the mother might choose to abort, requiring the permission of the father before an abortion could be performed (rape victims may be in something of a quandary here, especially if the rapist was unknown and got away,) making a woman witness an abortion being performed before having one . . . and just plain old waiting periods.

I am baffled by those who are more concerned about the survival of the 'pre-born' than the health and happiness of the 'born.' I don't think any woman should be forced to bear a child she doesn't want. Of course it would be better if she didn't get pregnant in the first place -- but, even leaving rape out of the equation, passion and human nature being what they are, accidents happen. I'm in favor of trusting a woman to make the best choice for herself and her family.

But wait, there's more. There are those in government who would ban divorce, even when the woman is being abused -- and these same legislators seek to define a single parent family as a type of child abuse.

I hope that women will pay attention to those who are treating them as if they were no more than baby incubators without the brains or conscience to make the tough decisions.

More importantly, I hope that when it comes time to vote, we'll all remember the War on Women. 

Okay, rant over. Back to spring flowers and sweetness and light tomorrow.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Garden to Kitchen

It was pure joy to be outside on a day like yesterday.
Time to clean out the box beds and get them ready to plant.

But how could I pull up these lovely Confederate violets, peeking out from the garlic chives?  
I couldn't -- even if they are weeds, even if they're all over the place.
Some Red Russian kale made it through the winter along with a bit of broccoli and spinach. So I picked a mess of greens and their flowering shoots, along with some garlic chives,  and stir-fried them in chile infused sesame oil. 
With the addition of some garbanzo beans (chick peas), they were a delicious side dish for turkey legs roasted in Ponzu sauce. I'd made this greens dish in the past, using chard, but had totally forgotten it till I saw it mentioned in my friend Louise's blog .  How nice to rediscover it! 
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