I remember walking into the wee cottage inhabited by my old pal Robert and his wife Lisa some thirty years ago and remarking on the "fallish" weather.
Robert was a serious dude toying with a master's degree in English Lit at the time, and he wasted no time in correcting my grammar.
"It's not fallish, Neumann. It's autumnal."
I am functionally illiterate in several languages, but I took that lesson to heart. I can't help but think of Robert every time the weather turns autumnal. My old pal Robert never completed that degree, but he did turn out to be a guy who has managed to eke out a living as a writer and artist, and even got an invite to the Junos on account of one of his creations.
Not sure what he would have done with that "master's" degree. Marcus Gee has a goodly take-down of the corruption of language in his column at the Globe today. Gee is sufficiently genteel to avoid any references to "snowflakes," but he's more or less on board with my assessment of the Massey College brouhaha I wrote about two weeks ago.
That "chief" thing at the Toronto School Board is quite the exercise in political correctitude, is it not? I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before the title of CEO is erased from our vocabulary. It's derogatory to indigenous Canadians, so we are told. Stop using the word "chief" and everything will be cool.
If we don't use the word "chief," potable water will miraculously appear on reservations nationwide, and the horrendous suicide epidemic will be curtailed overnight...
Just like the way black folks started going to college instead of prison when we stopped calling them the n-word.
That's the problem with political correctitude. It allows well-intentioned (mostly) white folks to imagine that they're doing something while they're doing nothing.
But it is definitely turning fallish here at Falling Downs. Every day we see the geese tighten up their flying vees. In mid-summer those vees more often than not looked like W's or Y's or god knows what. There was interminable honking as the boss goose reprimanded the newbies.
Honk honk honk... fall back, Brucie, move up, Betty... and what the hell are you doing over there?... we're supposed to be a fucking "V"...
Lately they've got their shit together. Their overflights look a lot less like misshapen letters of the alphabet and a lot more like the proud Canadians who will imminently head off to beshit the beaches of the Carolinas for the next six months.
My old pal Robert is now my pal Iris. Lisa is long out of the picture. Ya, shit happens, I guess. At least I think she's still my pal, although I've not heard from her for a spell.
A friend is a friend is a friend...
And the weather has turned fallish here at Falling Downs.