A Doll Comes To Visit

You are a fifth-grade girl who comes home from school to find a doll on your front porch. The doll looks like you, is dressed like you, and there is something about the eyes. Who left it? Why is it here? And what makes this doll so special?

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Stories Short and Strange

19 short stories for general audiences ranging from the unusual to the unbelievable to the just plain strange.

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The Boy Who Could Wiggle His Ears

Learning how to wiggle your ears is really hard. But you can do it if you keep trying. And if you learn to keep trying, no problem is too big. So if you can wiggle your ears, you can do anything!

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The Importance of Proofreading

This is a true story from a friend in the advertising business. He had designed a calendar for a client as a beginning-of-the-year promotion.  Each month was introduced with a wise saying.  One month’s saying was “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”   The following month’s was  “Well

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Brave New World… of Food?

Something about the menu didn’t seem quite right. We were at one of our favorite restaurants for our weekly Saturday dining-out. The menu had been redone, and one of the new offerings caught my eye. It was an appetizer: Chicken Fingers with dipping sauce $3.99 Maybe it was the fact that I was unusually alert

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Thai Words in English

Yesterday’s column piqued a friend’s curiosity. In an email he asked what Thai words that I remember have made it into English? My tour of duty in Southeast Asia was 1972-73, but I quickly remembered one word — nitnoy. It’s online in the Urban Dictionary. Nitnoy — “A little bit” – from Thai “Nit Noi”.

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Why is English So Popular?

If the English language is so idiomatic (as discussed yesterday), why does it enjoy worldwide popularity?  Language-wise, the book The Story of English gives three reasons: — Unlike all the other European languages, gender is determined by meaning, so a noun doesn’t have to be matched with the right article. For example, in French the moon

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Beware of Heard…

Beware of heard, a dreadful word That looks like beard and sounds like bird, And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead — For goodness’ sake, don’t call it deed! Presumably written by a frustrated immigrant trying to learn the language, this poem exemplifies the inconsistencies in English. As related in The Story of English

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