Minefoolnest & Other Misfits

I’m not a spelling bee. I think the reason I’m not a tiptop speller (well, apart from maybe the more obvious reason) has to do with sound and pronunciation, where sound is what we hear, and pronunciation is how we repeat what we think we heard. I remember President Bush bedeviled for misspelling tomato, or…

A Portrait of the Plumber as a Poor Speller; or, Wrong Word

When my father first asked me if I wanted to follow him into the plumbing trade, I’d already been helping him on jobs for several years. I knew the names of the tools, could boil lead and poor it into the rope packed pipe joints, run the threading machine, drill holes, dig ditches with the…