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My TIDBIT of the day Options
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 12:22:08 PM
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No. 1

A 70-year-old woman wrote a newspaper that she is VERY upset when male servers (waiters) refer to her as "young lady."

She is thinking of replying, "Thank you, Little Boy."

The newspaper told her that the servers are trying to be nice.

The newspaper advised her NOT to be sarcastic.

It suggested that she say, "It's been a while since I've been a young lady. You can call me ma'am."


*****

If your job brings you into contact with senior citizens (the gentle American term for us old people), you may wish NOT to call us "young lady" or "young man."

I have noticed that some women are also offended by the word ma'am, which implies that they are old.


Source: The "Dear Amy" column for June 8, 2017.
taurine
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 1:04:14 PM

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I think that calling a 70-year old woman as "young lady" by a stranger might be understood as silly. I don't see in it at all any nicety. This kind of women require careful, precise treatment.
NKM
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 3:51:10 PM

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taurine wrote:
I think that calling a 70-year old woman as "young lady" by a stranger might be understood as silly. I don't see in it at all any nicety. This kind of women require careful, precise treatment.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

Some women (of any age and kind) may "require careful, precise treatment." In general, they deserve to be treated with some courtesy and consideration.



I might, under some (informal and friendly) circumstances, address a 70-year-old woman as "Young Lady".

My justification would be that she is considerably younger than I am. Thus, of course, I could hardly object if she decided to call me "Old Man".

Ash_Lingua
Posted: Thursday, June 08, 2017 5:24:16 PM

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In Ireland the general vernacular for women of 'a certain age' seems to be Missus, whether there is any particular indication of your marital status.

I have never felt nor seen any offense taken or meant.
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 12:28:42 AM

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I expected this to be a "tidbit" versus "titbit" debate. Whistle



In the situation described, I'd have gone with ma'am. If a woman is offended by being address as ma'am, I'd say: "Sorry sir! (But I'm clearly a smart-arse.) Honestly, what's the objection to ma'am?

To little girls up to the age where it's difficult to be sure whether she's a girl or woman (age 18 in Australia, varies in other countries), I'd address her as miss. For other women, I'd go with ms (pronounced mizz) or ma'am.

On legal documents, I go by Ms. In interactions with strangers, I'm referred to as miss, missus, ms, ma'am or even "hey lady". (Also the gender neutral "mate", but that's only acceptable in Australia.)


When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
taurine
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 1:38:52 AM

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NKM wrote:
taurine wrote:
I think that calling a 70-year old woman as "young lady" by a stranger might be understood as silly. I don't see in it at all any nicety. This kind of women require careful, precise treatment.

══════════════════════════════════════════════

Some women (of any age and kind) may "require careful, precise treatment." In general, they deserve to be treated with some courtesy and consideration.



I might, under some (informal and friendly) circumstances, address a 70-year-old woman as "Young Lady".

My justification would be that she is considerably younger than I am. Thus, of course, I could hardly object if she decided to call me "Old Man".




I agree with your expanding comment on my opinion. And I like the replacement of "require" with more suitable "deserve".
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017 9:35:17 AM
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UPDATE to No. 1.

After I had posted, I just happened to turn on an episode of "Friends," that hilarious American TV comedy (that ran for ten years).

One of the characters was at a hospital because she was about to give birth.

When she saw that the hospital had assigned a young, inexperienced physician to her, she yelled at him to leave the room and called him "Little Boy."

He did leave -- crying!
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2017 11:05:03 AM
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No. 2


"News is to the mind what sugar is to the body."

-- Rolf Dobelli




In his book, Mr. Dobelli says that we should NOT read newspapers and NOT watch the news.

He maintains that News is toxic to your body.


"Panicky stories spur release of cascades of [cortisol]. This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. Your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High [cortisol] levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation."


Source: An article on the British newspaper Guardian website for Friday, April 12, 2013.
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, June 11, 2017 11:17:55 AM
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No. 3

In Hong Kong, there is a Chinese-language newspaper whose title (name) is translated into English as "Apple Daily."

When the publisher was asked why he had chosen such a unique name, he replied that if Adam and Eve had not eaten that apple, there would be no evil in this world. And without evil, the concept of "news" would never have been thought of.
TheParser
Posted: Monday, June 12, 2017 8:28:03 AM
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No. 4


According to the "Sun" newspaper in London:


Some hosts in China hire attractive-looking British or American people to mingle with the Chinese guests at parties.

The hosts feel that having a few Brits or Yanks at a party gives it an "exotic" feel.

They can earn as much as $100 an hour.

They do not even have to say anything. They are just expected to walk around.
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:31:05 AM
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No. 5

I went to the grocery store yesterday.

There was a woman shopping with her dog.

The dog was wearing a jacket.

The jacket had the words "Support Dog."

It is illegal to take animals into stores, restaurants, etc.

There are two exceptions:

1. If it is a service animal (e.g., a dog that guides a blind person).

2. If a person says that the animal is needed for "emotional support."
coag
Posted: Thursday, June 15, 2017 1:08:20 PM

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TheParser wrote:
It is illegal to take animals into stores, restaurants, etc.
There are two exceptions:
2. If a person says that the animal is needed for "emotional support."

I have problems with this. It's a slippery slope.

Several years ago I read in the news that someone, in the US, brought a snake into a restaurant. The person claimed that the snake is for "emotional support". I don't remember details of the story but I think that the snake moved to the next table.

Imagine. You are having your lunch in a restaurant and a snake appears beneath the table. But don't worry. It's a friendly snake. Besides, it helps the guy at the next table to feel better. You should understand that regardless to how much you are afraid of snakes. Regardless to how much that might be emotionally disturbing to you.

That "Don't worry, it's friendly" is what I got as an answer. I lady walked with a big dog on the plaza close to where I live. There were kids there, seniors, people of all ages. I told the lady that she should walk her dog on a leash. She said "Don't worry, it's friendly". And how many times I read in the news that a dog, who "had been friendly", attacked a child (or an adult).
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 16, 2017 8:48:35 AM
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I agree with you 100%, Coag.

I have been told several times: "Don't worry. He [the dog] won't bite you!"

I have just read that a plane passenger was bitten by a support dog.

And I have read that a few (mercifully!) plane passengers have insisted on having their support PIG with them!


*****

I am a very old man.
When I was young, the pendulum swung too far to the right (a person had very few rights).
Today, the pendulum has swung too far to the left (people can do almost anything they want no matter how it affects other people).


Have a nice weekend!

TheParser
Posted: Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:50:22 AM
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No. 6

The state of Oregon in the United States of America has decided that when a transgender person applies for a driver's license, that person no longer has to identify as either a male or a female. That person will be allowed to identify as an X.
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017 9:04:15 AM
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No. 7


"The government that I lead will not be one of the left or right because those old divisions don't comprehend the political challenges of today."


-- Leo Varadkar, Ireland's youngest and first openly gay prime minister upon taking office on June 14. (June 19, 2017, issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.)
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:46:13 AM
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No. 8

"English was not the mother tongue of Queen Victoria. Her mother, the daughter of a German duke, spoke German in the home, and Victoria -- though she ruled England for sixty-four years -- was never able to speak English perfectly."



Source: Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts
TheParser
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 6:48:44 AM
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No.9

[Are you] ready to cry?



1. "One of the most famous dogs who ever lived was" Bobby.

2. As a puppy, Bobby attached himself to an elderly Scottish man.

3. When the Scottish man died, "Bobby guarded his master's grave day and night" for the next fourteen years.

4. Bobby would leave the grave "briefly each day, only to go to the same restaurant where his master used to go."

5. "He'd be given food and would eat it near the grave."

6. "The citizens of Edinburgh erected a shelter to shield Bobby from the cold winters."

7. When Bobby died in 1872, he was buried beside his master.




Source: Same as No. 8's.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 7:45:33 AM

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Some say it's a myth, made up for PR purposes, but . . .




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
TheParser
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 9:20:57 AM
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No. 10

Thanks for the great illustrations!

Have a nice weekend!


**********************

Another tearjeaker (tears will well up)


If anyone ever visits Tokyo, be sure to check out the statue of a dog in front of the Shibuya train station.

1. The dog was named Hachiko.

2. Every day he would go to the train station to greet his owner who was returning from work. They would then go home together.

3. Then one day, his owner did not return on the train. (He had died.)

4. For the next nine years, Hachiko went to the station to await his owner. Hachiko would arrive at the station at the exact time that the train was due.

5. Thanks to the media, Hachiko became famous as a symbol of loyalty.

6. In 1934, a bronze statue of Hachiko was placed in front of the railroad station. Hachiko was present at the ceremony. (He died in 1935 and was buried next to his owner.)

7. During World War II, the statue was recycled. A new statue was placed there in 1948.





Source: Wikipedia
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 9:56:45 AM
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No. 11

Alfred Nobel (1833 - 1896) was the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prizes.

He once wrote:

"I am a misanthrope and yet utterly benevolent." ( = He kept away from human society as much as possible, but he was a kind, idealistic person.)

When he died, he willed most of his vast fortune to fund the Prizes, which he wanted given to "Those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."



Source: National Geographic History, July, 2017.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 7:19:52 PM

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TheParser wrote:
I agree with you 100%, Coag.

I have been told several times: "Don't worry. He [the dog] won't bite you!"

I have just read that a plane passenger was bitten by a support dog.

And I have read that a few (mercifully!) plane passengers have insisted on having their support PIG with them!


*****

I am a very old man.
When I was young, the pendulum swung too far to the right (a person had very few rights).
Today, the pendulum has swung too far to the left (people can do almost anything they want no matter how it affects other people).


Have a nice weekend!



The UK does not recognise emotional support animals, so fortunately this issue des not come up here, we have assistance animals launch as guide dogs for the blind.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 9:02:11 AM
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Sarrriesfan wrote:


The UK does not recognise emotional support animals.



Very interesting comment!



Have a nice day!

coag
Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 1:52:55 PM

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TheParser wrote:
No. 11

Alfred Nobel (1833 - 1896) was the inventor of dynamite and the founder of the Nobel Prizes.

He once wrote:

"I am a misanthrope and yet utterly benevolent." ( = He kept away from human society as much as possible, but he was a kind, idealistic person.)

When he died, he willed most of his vast fortune to fund the Prizes, which he wanted given to "Those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind."

Source: National Geographic History, July, 2017.

I remember reading a funny story about why there is no Nobel prize in mathematics. Allegedly, Nobel's wife had an affair with a mathematician. For
this reason, Nobel did not want to designate money for mathematicians. But, this is not a true story, Nobel was never married.
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:13:33 AM
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coag wrote:
Nobel was never married.



Thank you for your contribution.


Yes, Mr. Nobel was a genuine loner.

That magazine article said that when he was in the hospital on one occasion, only one person came to visit him -- an employee of his.



Have a nice day!
TheParser
Posted: Sunday, July 02, 2017 9:26:55 AM
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No. 12


It "was the custom among men in [ancient] Rome, when swearing to tell the truth, to place one's right hand on one's testicles. The English word 'testimony' is related to this custom."

-- Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts

TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 8:18:05 AM
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No.13


(I am) delighted to share this amusing tidbit, which I read yesterday.

In a certain Asian country at the end of the nineteenth century, if you took a night train and if you were frugal (very careful about spending your money), you could rent a sleeping berth just for half of the night.

How commonsensical!
almo 1
Posted: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 8:15:30 PM
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan


So if you were not frugal, you could not rent a sleeping berth?Think d'oh!



TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, August 02, 2017 7:20:04 AM
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Your humble servant thinks that if a passenger in those days had not been frugal, that passenger would have rented a sleeping berth for the whole night.


Have a great hump day (Wednesday)!
TheParser
Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 8:42:29 AM
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No. 14


"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."


Yes, that is a grammatically correct sentence.

If you ever teach English in your country someday and one of your students claims to know everything, ask that student to analyze that sentence. That student will be duly humbled.

Of course, I am not intelligent enough to explain it to you.

You will have to read the explanation in the September, 2017, issue of Reader's Digest. (I assume that the World Wide Web also has explanations.)



P.S. This "crazy" sentence works because:

a. The plural of "buffalo" is also "buffalo."

b. There is an American city named Buffalo.



I just read this article last night, so I am still trying to understand the explanation, which ends with this sentence: "English is strange and wonderful!"
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, August 04, 2017 8:47:51 AM

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The wikipedia article elucidates it as follows:

Quote:
Buffalo from Buffalo whom other buffalo from Buffalo bully [themselves] bully buffalo from Buffalo.


It helps when you know that "buffalo" is a verb that can mean "intimidate" or "bully".

The wiki even includes a helpful picture to explain the structure:

TheParser
Posted: Monday, August 07, 2017 7:38:39 AM
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I've found an explanation from one source.

Remember:

Bison = buffalo (the animal).
The city of Buffalo in the state of New York.
to buffalo = to intimidate / to bully.


The article advises us to "stare" at that sentence until we realize its meaning is this:


"Bison from Buffalo, New York, who are intimidated by other bison in their community, also happen to intimidate other bison in their community."



Source: An article on the Web from The Week magazine, March 4, 2013.
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 8:29:57 AM
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No. 15


In the Middle Ages (A.D. 476 - A.D. 1453), travel was "nasty" and "brutish."

How appropriate, then, that the word "travel" comes from the word "travail," which itself comes from a word referring to an ancient form of torture.



Source: London Review of Books, August 17, 2017.
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 7:54:51 AM
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No. 16

William Taylor in 1797 introduced the word "autobiography."

He may have gotten the idea from the German.

He did not like the word "self-biography" because (he said) "[I]t is not very usual in English to employ hybrid words partly Saxon and partly Greek."

Although he thought that "autobiography" was "pedantic," this is the word that English speakers have adopted.




Source: same as the previous source.
TheParser
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:57:12 AM
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No. 17

Good Table Manners


A newspaper reader writes:

1. "We finished the salad" at a restaurant dinner party for eight people.

2. "The main meal begins being served, which sometimes takes a few minutes, but I start to eat without waiting."

3. "My son says I should have waited for all to be served."


"Amy," who has an advice column replies:

"Yes, you should have waited to eat until everyone had been served their main course. Oftentimes, the host of the party will encourage people to eat by saying, 'Oh. please don't wait for me.' Bur even then, the polite thing to do is to wait so that everyone may start together, unless the kitchen is taking an exceptionally long time to deliver the last entrees, and others at your table insist that you start."
TheParser
Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:40:01 AM
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No. 18


More rudeness every day



Yes, many things in 2017 are better than in past years.
But in 2017, more and more people do not know their place.


In the American city of Los Angeles (where the famous "Hollywood" is located), many people of every race, age, and economic background are becoming so rude that the authorities are now begging them: Please! Please! Please! Have some manners!

Many passengers hog seats. That is, they put their belongings on the seat next to them. This prevents another passenger from sitting down. (There have been fights because a rude passenger refuses to move his belongings.)

Some men passengers engage in "manspreading." That is, they sit down with their legs spread far apart, thus taking up space where another passenger could sit.

The authorities are threatening to fine violators (make them pay money).

Of course, that will NOT work because:

1. There are not enough inspectors to check every bus and subway car (carriage).
2. A fine does not scare a lot of people. They will just tear up the citation.
3. If your parents did not teach you good manners and consideration for other human beings, then no request from the authorities is going to change you.

The situation is HOPELESS. People are totally out of control.


P.S. The authorities are concerned, for the buses and subway are losing money: Some people say that they are afraid to use public transportation because of crime and rude individuals.

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