Thursday, July 15, 2010

A brief look back.

I got lucky when I was a kid. I was a consort with a number of people who had a love of words. One was my Latin teacher, Mr. Howard Comeau. (He would go crazy if you ever said "How Come" because that, he said was his name.)

In any event, I went to a large middle school with something like 2000 kids in total. The Vice Principal, these were the days of Viet Nam, was a former military man who commanded the school with an authoritarian fear. He used to bark over the loud speaker, which I called to much amusement of my peers "the lout speaker," "Johnnie Auletta, please report to my office with alacrity, celerity and dispatch." All of us in Mr. Comeau's class would chuckle over this language. Except for Johnny Auletta, of course.

Another word lover who took me in was Mrs. Chapin, my high school English teacher. In her stern moments she would tell me "you're acting puerile and banal." And then we'd laugh at her tortured phraseology.

Another such character was Mr. Bockius, another English teacher with a turn of a phrase. If you said something or handed something in that was well done he would remark, "that's aptly ept and eptly apt."

These people inspired in me a love of language and words. While most people today don't get such things, I'm glad I do. They help me laugh through the day.


Anonymous said...
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george tannenbaum said...

Chinese spam.