davidbrucehaiku: WINTER IS COMING






Winter is coming

Time to bring out heavy jeans

Thick sweaters and coats


Free davidbrucehaiku #11 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs) (Includes Discussion Guides for Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise)

davidbrucehaiku: WHAT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE?






Inferno? Heaven?

What is on the other side?

How did you live life?


Free davidbrucehaiku #11 eBook (pdf)

Free davidbrucehaiku eBooks (pdfs)

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs)


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.

Free eBooks by David Bruce (pdfs) (Includes Discussion Guides for Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise)

David Bruce: Language Anecdotes

British actress Emily Mortimer studied Russian while attending Oxford University, and she has spent much time in Russia. Her knowledge of Russian comes in handy when she is riding in a taxi driven by a Ukrainian. She says that she has “always managed to sort of charm Ukrainian taxi drivers in New York by suddenly swearing in Russia in the back of the cab.” Unfortunately, while making part of the movie Transsiberian in Lithuania, no one seemed impressed by her knowledge of Russian. Soon she discovered why: “Then someone pointed out about a week into it that in Lithuania they’d been brutally oppressed and persecuted by the Soviet Union for 30 years, and the least cool thing to do in Lithuania is to speak Russian.” By the way, her father is Sir John Mortimer QC, about whom she says, “He was a criminal defense lawyer for much of his life, and he defended murderers a lot. And he said that murderers were by far the nicest criminals he’s ever had to defend. And they’d inevitably gotten rid of the one person on earth that was really bugging them. So he’s always kept me very open-minded about murderers.”

Journalist and author Andrew Mueller takes spelling, punctuation, and grammar seriously. He once discovered that a possible romantic companion did not know—or care—about the difference between your and you’re. She ceased to be a possible romantic companion for him. He once shouted an obscenity at people whose stall had a sign for toiletrie’s. And he routinely went four blocks out of his way to purchase groceries because the store across the street had a sign for tomatoe’s. All of us can applaud Mr. Mueller’s campaign for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. (Oh, wait. He’s a Brit—his book I Wouldn’t Start From Here: The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong is published in Britain—who wants Americans to use the spelling neighbours. In the opinion of this American writer, that makes him a radical who has gone too far.)

Singer-songwriters need many talents, including the ability to give good interviews. Of course, as songwriters and singers, they tend to have a facility in creating and presenting language. For example, Charlotte Sometimes made a splash with her 2008 debut album, the pop-with-attitude Waves and the Both of Us. And no wonder—this is a sample lyric: “Do you think of her / Hands on my waist / And do you think of me when she screams your name?” David Medsker of Bullz-eye.com asked her in an interview, “What is the hardest thing about being a woman rocker that people outside the biz would never understand?” Ms. Sometimes replied, “Having PMS. I think I should get those days off!”

Colin Hay, front man for the Australian group Men at Work (and currently a solo artist), used to be multilingual: He can speak English with a Scottish accent. And he used to be able to speak English with an Australian accent. He was born and raised in Scotland, but when he was a teenager, his family moved to Australia. Mr. Hays says, “I used to have two accents. There’s the Scottish accent I’ve always had. But I developed an Australian accent just to assimilate. I would talk Australian out on the street, and at home with my parents, I would speak Scottish.”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is Danish, starred as an immortal New York police officer in Fox’s TV series New Amsterdam. He is multilingual and has acted using many languages, but of course he does not have equal facility in all of the languages he speaks. For example, his French can be lacking. Mr. Coster-Waldau remembers one particular movie: “The script was in French, and I learned all my lines. I was working with this actress who was great, but she wanted to improvise. All I could do is look at her with great depth in my eyes.”

At age 14, Canadian ballet dancer Olympia Dowd was given the opportunity to study and perform—in an international tour to Asia and Europe!—with the Moscow City Ballet. Also given the invitation was her fellow Canadian ballet dancer, 17-year-old Rebecca Blaney. Of course, precautions were taken. The men in the Moscow City Ballet were given a strict warning—if you flirt with the Canadian girls, you will be fired. Also, of course, the girls learned a few things they perhaps should not have learned—such as Russian swear words.

Actor Will Smith started out as a well-respected Philadelphia rapper. He wrote his own lyrics, and sometimes he used profanity in those lyrics. However, one day his grandmother read a page of lyrics he had written, and across the top of the page she wrote, “Dear Willard, intelligent people do not use these words to express themselves.” After that experience, he wrote lyrics without swear words.

When the triangular Fuller Building, aka the Flatiron Building, was built in New York in 1902, it created an occasional breeze on Twenty-Third Street that was enough to raise ladies’ skirts and reveal an ankle or two—something of interest to many men. Occasionally, police officers would have to tell gawking men, “Twenty-three skidoo,” a phrase that means, “Get away from Twenty-third Street.”

When Fay Kanin started writing for the movies, she told her boss, Sam Marx, the story editor at MGM, “Mr. Marx, I know you own Gone with the Wind. I’ve read it, and I would be a wonderful writer for it.” He smiled at her brashness and said, “I think they have in mind a more expensive writer for it.” Ms. Kanin always appreciated that he used the word “expensive” instead of the word “talented.”

The term “Jim Crow” had its origin when Thomas “Daddy” Rice, a white man who wore blackface and played an African-American in minstrel shows, saw a black boy in ragged clothing singing “Jump, Jim Crow.” Mr. Rice copied the boy’s movements and used them in minstrel shows, and after a while “Jim Crow” began to be used to denote legal segregation between whites and blacks.

When comedian Sid Caesar and his wife dined out, Mr. Caesar would sometimes baffle waiters by using a mixture of French and Italian doubletalk when ordering from the menu.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


David Bruce’s Lulu Bookstore (Paperbacks)

David Bruce’s Amazon Author Bookstore

David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore

David Bruce’s Apple Bookstore

David Bruce’s Barnes and Noble Books

David Bruce’s Kobo Books

davidbruceblog #1

davidbruceblog #2

davidbruceblog #3

Voltaire’s CANDIDE: Chapter 4. How Candide Found His Old Master Pangloss Again and What Happened to Him

Candide, divided between compassion and horror, but giving way to the former, bestowed on this shocking figure the two florins which the honest Anabaptist, James, had just before given to him. The specter looked at him very earnestly, shed tears and threw his arms about his neck. Candide started back aghast.

“Alas!” said the one wretch to the other, “don’t you know dear Pangloss?”

“What do I hear? Is it you, my dear master! you I behold in this piteous plight? What dreadful misfortune has befallen you? What has made you leave the most magnificent and delightful of all castles? What has become of Miss Cunegund, the mirror of young ladies, and Nature’s masterpiece?”

“Oh, Lord!” cried Pangloss, “I am so weak I cannot stand,” upon which Candide instantly led him to the Anabaptist’s stable, and procured him something to eat.

As soon as Pangloss had a little refreshed himself, Candide began to repeat his inquiries concerning Miss Cunegund.

“She is dead,” replied the other.

“Dead!” cried Candide, and immediately fainted away; his friend restored him by the help of a little bad vinegar, which he found by chance in the stable.

Candide opened his eyes, and again repeated: “Dead! is Miss Cunegund dead? Ah, where is the best of worlds now? But of what illness did she die? Was it of grief on seeing her father kick me out of his magnificent castle?”

“No,” replied Pangloss, “her body was ripped open by the Bulgarian soldiers, after they had subjected her to as much cruelty as a damsel could survive; they knocked the Baron, her father, on the head for attempting to defend her; My Lady, her mother, was cut in pieces; my poor pupil was served just in the same manner as his sister; and as for the castle, they have not left one stone upon another; they have destroyed all the ducks, and sheep, the barns, and the trees; but we have had our revenge, for the Abares have done the very same thing in a neighboring barony, which belonged to a Bulgarian lord.”

At hearing this, Candide fainted away a second time, but, not withstanding, having come to himself again, he said all that it became him to say; he inquired into the cause and effect, as well as into the sufficing reason that had reduced Pangloss to so miserable a condition.

“Alas,” replied the preceptor, “it was love; love, the comfort of the human species; love, the preserver of the universe; the soul of all sensible beings; love! tender love!”

“Alas,” cried Candide, “I have had some knowledge of love myself, this sovereign of hearts, this soul of souls; yet it never cost me more than a kiss and twenty kicks on the backside. But how could this beautiful cause produce in you so hideous an effect?”

Pangloss made answer in these terms:

“O my dear Candide, you must remember Pacquette, that pretty wench, who waited on our noble Baroness; in her arms I tasted the pleasures of Paradise, which produced these Hell torments with which you see me devoured. She was infected with an ailment, and perhaps has since died of it; she received this present of a learned Franciscan, who derived it from the fountainhead; he was indebted for it to an old countess, who had it of a captain of horse, who had it of a marchioness, who had it of a page, the page had it of a Jesuit, who, during his novitiate, had it in a direct line from one of the fellow adventurers of Christopher Columbus; for my part I shall give it to nobody, I am a dying man.”

“O sage Pangloss,” cried Candide, “what a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of it?”

“Not at all,” replied the great man, “it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds; for if Columbus had not caught in an island in America this disease, which contaminates the source of generation, and frequently impedes propagation itself, and is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have had neither chocolate nor cochineal. It is also to be observed, that, even to the present time, in this continent of ours, this malady, like our religious controversies, is peculiar to ourselves. The Turks, the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese, and the Japanese are entirely unacquainted with it; but there is a sufficing reason for them to know it in a few centuries. In the meantime, it is making prodigious havoc among us, especially in those armies composed of well disciplined hirelings, who determine the fate of nations; for we may safely affirm, that, when an army of thirty thousand men engages another equal in size, there are about twenty thousand infected with syphilis on each side.”

“Very surprising, indeed,” said Candide, “but you must get cured.”

“Lord help me, how can I?” said Pangloss. “My dear friend, I have not a penny in the world; and you know one cannot be bled or have an enema without money.”

This last speech had its effect on Candide; he flew to the charitable Anabaptist, James; he flung himself at his feet, and gave him so striking a picture of the miserable condition of his friend that the good man without any further hesitation agreed to take Dr. Pangloss into his house, and to pay for his cure. The cure was effected with only the loss of one eye and an ear. As he wrote a good hand, and understood accounts tolerably well, the Anabaptist made him his bookkeeper. At the expiration of two months, being obliged by some mercantile affairs to go to Lisbon he took the two philosophers with him in the same ship; Pangloss, during the course of the voyage, explained to him how everything was so constituted that it could not be better. James did not quite agree with him on this point.

“Men,” said he “must, in some things, have deviated from their original innocence; for they were not born wolves, and yet they worry one another like those beasts of prey. God never gave them twenty-four pounders nor bayonets, and yet they have made cannon and bayonets to destroy one another. To this account I might add not only bankruptcies, but the law which seizes on the effects of bankrupts, only to cheat the creditors.”

“All this was indispensably necessary,” replied the one-eyed doctor, “for private misfortunes are public benefits; so that the more private misfortunes there are, the greater is the general good.”

While he was arguing in this manner, the sky was overcast, the winds blew from the four quarters of the compass, and the ship was assailed by a most terrible tempest, within sight of the port of Lisbon.


Source: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Candide