Issue 131, page 4

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From Howard Spindel:

In response to Beth Hayes [Curmudgeons' Corner]:

I hear many voice messages on the phone stating, 'Hi, I'm currently away from my desk right now...' But I can never come up with a pithy, yet redundant, response. Let me know if anything comes to mind.

How about:

Please answer and respond to my call. I currently would appreciate your timely response now or promptly.

From Sheri Martin:

As for a pithy response, how about "Does that mean you are electrically away from your desk right now, or very small raisin-ly away from your desk right now?"

From Stephen Benbow:

How about, in response to I'm currently away from my desk: "When you get back to your desk call me when you get back to your desk"?

From Graham Crowley:

If responding to an outgoing voice-mail message which combines "currently" with "at present", then you should respond with a request to be attended to "after they subsequently return".

From Tracey Waldron:

If I encountered that message, in response I'd leave my own message saying something like, "Fine, you're 'currently away' right now; will you be 'currently away' later? Or will you be 'laterly away' later?"

Hopefully I'd find something wittier to say, but that's all that comes to mind right now.

When Noel Coward was living in Hollywood writing movie scripts he often received invitations to rather tedious upper-class receptions.  One began pompously, "From the desk of Mrs. A..."  His reply began "Dear desk,..."

From Dennis:

Your statement that the verb shanghai originated in San Francisco is correct, but you didn't explain how and why. During the gold rush years that started in 1849, sailing ships poured into San Francisco from all over the world, bearing fortune-seekers as well as supplies for the mines and the teeming boomtown. With the gold fields so tantalizingly close, thousands of sailors jumped ship to join the stampede, leaving hundreds of vessels abandoned at the docks and in the harbor. Desperate captains were willing to pay a bounty for able-bodied men who could help get their abandoned ships back on the profitable trade routes. Barbary Coast saloonkeepers, innkeepers, and proprietors of Chinese opium dens were quick to cash in on this demand, rowing out to waiting ships with their drugged victims who would be hoisted aboard - only to wake up once the ship was clear of the Golden Gate and on its way to... Shanghai.

The abandoned hulks at San Francisco's docks were at first used as floating warehouses and hotels. Over decades, detritus and silt built up around them till they became fused to the shore. Much of today's Financial District rests on this foundation, and it is a rare excavation for new construction that fails to unearth the timbers of some long-forgotten vessel.

Actually, we did explain "how" in the original discussion, just not with quite as much detail.  Thanks for that San Francisco perspective, Dennis

From Melanie and Mike:

Thanks for the good wishes you all sent to us while Mike was recuperating from surgery.  He's feeling much better (and so is Melanie).  We appreciate all of the notes you sent. 

From Brad Daniels:

So, with Mike not contributing, I suppose that makes you [Melanie] a distaff half-staff... :-)

Eeeeeeew, Brad!  (The louder the groan, the better the pun.)

From Stacie Wolny:

The Curmudgeons' Corner [in Issue 129] reminds me of the menu at a restaurant that we just ate at in Guerneville, CA. Throughout the menu they did things like:

Coor's (yes, even that)

Not just a few times, but almost every single instance of a capitalized plural (or at least s-ending thing) was turned into a possessive. But not every time, just almost every time. Very strange. So I pointed it out to the waiter, who seemed to be mortified but had not noticed it before. 

It's rampant!

From Richard O. Schamp, M.D.:

I have become a regular user of the Palm-type PDA, and wondered if you knew of dictionaries (such as the American Heritage Dictionary) in a Palm OS format.  Perhaps one of your readers might.



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Last Updated 08/18/01 07:05 PM