As a purely normative matter, if a bear shat in the woods should anyone (besides bears) care?

The title question to this post strikes me as far more consequential than the hubbub about whether the Senate will or will not change a procedural rule requiring 60 votes to wake up. But, then again, I have this obsessive compulsive drive to worry about shit that matters such as the destruction of the federal judiciary via the sequester.

I have to stop now.  I must take my pills.


7 responses

  1. Actually, it’s the grammar that attracts me to this post. It is undeniable that the simple, third person past tense of the verb “to shit” is “shat.” But other “it” verbs don’t regularly share this feature. The suspect gritted (not “grat”) his teeth. My son pitted (not “pat”) himself against an easy opponent in the first round. Although there is not perfect regularity. The killer slit (not “slitted” or “slat”) his own throat rather than be caught.

    My French is pretty good. I have spent a lot of time in Quebec; I spent several summers teaching at McGill. The Quebecers (le Quebecois) sound to me like they speak French with an American accent (which actually makes them easier for me to understand and to pick up their slang) but I try to avoid making this observation when I am in Quebec. The funny thing is that their slang verbs are all perfectly regular (“er”, “ir” or “re” in ending). Huh.

    Oh, on the Senate rule. I learned reading 4th volume of a very interesting biography on LBJ that it used to be 2/3 of the Senate that was needed to end debate. And they actually required Senators to stand at the podium and say stuff for it to count as debate. Somehow the nation survived. Your fellow traveler in indifference, Pat.

  2. Dear Pat,

    As for grammar, I hope you recognize the irony of my earlier post on legal writing. As for Quebec, I find hysterically funny Triumph the Insult Comic Dog “doing” Quebec. As for LBJ, I liked him because he used to conduct Presidential business with his aides while seated on the toilet, and, also, because he was particularly good at picking up Beagles by their ears. All the best.


  3. Rich, thanks for the laugh on the insult dog. I found it hysterically funny. I had a long argument in French with a taxi driver who insisted that the “long term” plan was for Quebec to secede and join the U.S. It was hard to know where to begin. But I did suggest that the fact that he found a Francophone American the 8th wonder of the world should be some hint. I seldom miss irony. As for LBJ, he’s the first president I can recall as a child (I was born in 1961). I recall the comment of my father, who has never been a partisan fellow. He said that LBJ scared him into voting for LBJ because of all the crazy stuff that Goldwater would do, and then LBJ went out and did it himself. I think he was referring to Vietnam, but sometimes it’s just better to let a subject drop. Best, Pat.

  4. Dear Pat,

    I was born in 1946.

    Regarding Goldwater, his advertising people had a slogan that said, “In your heart, you know he’s right.” One of the best and funniest opposition responses of all times was directed at Goldwater’s slogan. It was: “In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts” with a backdrop showing a hydrogen bomb going off. It was then that I knew writing snark was a noble calling.

    Good night.


  5. Pat, one more thing on Goldwater, and I will call it an evening.

    After the election debacle, it was then that Donald R. Ross from Omaha was dispatched to Goldwater’s head man in Ohio to make it clear that Goldwater was done being the voice of the party. Of course, Don later became Donald R. Ross, United States Circuit Judge. Many a Creighton Law grad worked for Don over the years as law clerks. I had the privilege of becoming his third law clerk, and later practiced law with Don’s brother in law, Ed Cook, for 13 years. I owe my selection as a United States District Judge to Don and my training as a lawyer to Ed. Both of them are closer to me than my late father, a good man in his own right. In some twisted way, maybe I owe Goldwater something as a result.

    All the best.


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