Issue 131, page 4
In response to Beth Hayes [Curmudgeons'
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.
Please answer and respond to my call. I
currently would appreciate your timely response now or promptly.
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?"
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
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
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
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
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.)
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.
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.
Comments, additions? Send to
Melanie & Mike: firstname.lastname@example.org
DO NOT SEND QUERIES TO THAT ADDRESS.
Instead, ASK US.
© 1995-2001 TIERE
Last Updated 08/18/01 07:05 PM