Scandalously, this second man was a faculty member, the reverend Principal of the Preparatory Department. He had been sending love letters to the student. This may have been sexual harrasment, but it was the 19th century, so the faculty member's colleagues didn't fire him. Instead, they voted to banish her.
That's just some of the titillating gossip about the Connexion Of Male And Female Departments in the earliest years of the College. It's our latest installment of Delazon Smith's scurrilous pamphlet.
It appears that the word that, when used as a conjunction, is sometimes optional. A writer may decide that it belongs in a sentence. Another writer may decide it doesn't belong.
One of my college friends used that every chance that she got. I thought that her style must be a more elegant one, so for a time I emulated the way that she wrote. More recently, one of my colleagues kept misidentifying a 1996 Tom Hanks movie with a four-syllable title as That Thing That You Do! But I've heard journalists, striving for brevity, insist that that should never be used in such a manner.
However, sometimes it's necessary, lest the writer inadvertently lead the reader down a blind path.
A hockey story in yesterday's newspaper asserted, The Penguins must get the best blue-collar workers such as Max Talbot, Mark Eaton and Pascal Dupuis have to give. I had expected the sentence to turn out something like this: The Penguins must get the best blue-collar workers such as Max Talbot, Mark Eaton and Pascal Dupuis either by trading for more such players or by acquiring them on the free-agent market. But noooo. The sentence stopped making sense after Dupuis, and I had to go back to the beginning and mentally insert the missing that while reading it a second time: The Penguins must get the best that blue-collar workers such as Max Talbot, Mark Eaton and Pascal Dupuis have to give.
We mustn't sacrifice clarity for brevity.
Jokes in a late-night comedians monologue typically refer, in their punch lines, to something the audience already knows. Because weve heard this fact lampooned before, we laugh on cue.
For example, from Jay Leno in 1990: You can't blame R.J. Reynolds for marketing their new cigarettes at minorities and young women. They're the only ones left. All the other groups they've targeted have died! This apparently macabre joke works only because weve already accepted that cigarette smoking is deadly.
Id like to suggest that it may be time to retire one of these much-used facts. As were constantly reminded, at the beginning of World War II Hitlers tanks stormed into France, and rather than risk the destruction of Paris by the overpowering force of the Germans, the French government surrendered. To that point all the other nations that Hitler had invaded had also given up. Nevertheless, ever since, jokes have been based on the stereotype that the French are cowardly.
In this months Funny Times, Dave Barry reviews the past year. He relates that in May 2008, Irans nuclear aspirations lead six nations to convene an emergency meeting, during which they manage, in heated negotiations, to talk France out of surrendering.
Then in July, Barack Obama ... flies to Germany without using an airplane and gives a major speech speaking English and German simultaneously to 200,000 mesmerized Germans, who immediately elect him chancellor, prompting France to surrender.
In the same issue, Will Durst asserts that Sen. John McCain ran the worst campaign ever. That includes New Coke, France in 39, and Cloris Leachman on Dancing With The Stars.
And then this week, Carbolic Smoke Ball ran this fake headline: British, French Submarines Collide in Atlantic French Sub Immediately Surrenders.
FEB. 19, 2019 GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE BEGINS FRIDAY
FEB. 17, 2019 YOUNG WOLVES AT MID-CENTURY
All the 20th-century rules of propriety are being observed. Of the couple's four feet, the prescribed minimum of three are on the floor, and the parlor door has been propped open with a wastebasket to discourage surreptitious shenanigans.
But how did the young man learn the blonde's name and address? He used his Wolfbook. The cartoon above appeared on the cover. The photos inside included one particular freshman who today is an 86-year-old emeritus professor, still living near the campus.
My latest article gives you a peek at Wolfing in 1950.
Decades earlier, when Delazon Smith was an Oberlin student, he also served less than a full term. His disagreement with school policy and philosophy ... earned him an invitation to leave and not return. Thereupon he promptly published a book telling what was wrong with the college including even the vittles.
The college's leaders therefore prohibited such sinful substances as pork and pepper and coffee and tea. Students sometimes had to subsist on bread and water, like prisoners! They were, however, allowed salt.
Smith bemoaned the ban on all types of tea, including Bohea and Imperial and Gunpowder. He claimed that folks from other towns could tell that a young man was from Oberlin by his emaciated appearance, his lean, lantern-jawed visage.
He was so appalled that he exclaimed, We are led to cry out in the language of the poet! The nine-stanza tirade that resulted is the highlight of this fortnight's installment from Smith's book, entitled Board and Mode of Living.
FEB. 11, 2019 A GRAY DAY IN HISTORY
On this date 172 years ago, Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio. There was a college in the next county, but he never enrolled there.
The sketch was dated February 11, 1876. Alexander Graham Bell's patent drawings wouldn't be filed until three days later!
My latest article tells about Elisha Gray, The Edison of Oberlin College.
FEB. 8, 2019 THESE BILLS ARE CONFOUNDERATE!
Now it's more than 150 years old, and you don't hear about it anymore unless you're a collector, which I'm not. However, the many variations of these graybacks and other denominations are interesting.
Below is a note from the third series, issued in 1861 and signed and numbered by hand. Although backed only by bonds, within the Confederacy it was supposed to be receivable in payment of all dues except export duties and it would have been worth real money if the South had won the war. Six months after the ratification of a Treaty of Peace between the Confederate States and the United States, the Confederate States of America will pay to the bearer Ten Dollars.
The man on the lower left is the CSA Secretary of State, Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter. To balance the design, a stock image of innocence was chosen for the lower right. Later it was discovered to be a vignette of one Alfred L. Elwyn. But in 1861, Elwyn was no longer a child. He had graduated from Harvard and co-founded the Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind as well as a school for mentally disabled children. Now he was serving as the treasurer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And, of course, he was an abolitionist.
Imagine a basketball arena reduced to 1/20 scale, with a court the size of a Foosball table and the players four inches high. You and your friends gather around the table and watch the action from any angle you choose. Or maybe instead of little athletes, you could see little actors performing a play. I actually wrote up my idea as an essay, now long lost, for my eighth-grade English class.
How would it work? I guessed that the positions of the players on the court could be detected with some sort of radar beam, or perhaps with one of those newly-invented "lasers." That would constitute the camera.
In your living room would be the receiver, a transparent rectangular cube about four feet on a side. Inside the cube, electronic circuits would precisely schedule the firing of millions of little guns, shooting tiny particles from one side of the interior to the other. The guns would be timed so that 30 times a second, the particles would have reached positions in space corresponding to the surfaces of the real players. At that instant, a strobe light would fire, illuminating the particles and forming ghostly images of miniature players. A thirtieth of a second later, the next firing of the strobe would reveal a new set of particles in slightly different positions, and your eye would fill in the gaps. Of course the expended particles would fall to the bottom of the box, and eventually you'd have to empty the litter tray like a birdcage.
My English teacher Mrs. Endsley said that she had no idea what I was trying to describe, but it certainly sounded clever.
Half a century later, in the January issue of Broadcast Engineering, Anthony R. Gargano muses about the state of television technology. He seems to share my vision from long ago.
The proposed technology may be completely different, but my dream from 1960 is still alive!
FEB. 3, 2019 STAGING
It was the second Tuesday of September in 1969. Some 120 miles to the southeast, they were still cleaning up from the Woodstock music festival, though it had been over for three weeks. I myself, however, was on the campus of Syracuse University. With about 70 other young adults, I was joining Sequence 22 of a Master's degree program in Radio and Television.