It can’t happen here.

In 1964, when Barry Goldwater was running for president, Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here came to my attention, so I promptly checked a copy out of the library and read it right away. In case you’ve never heard of… Read More ›

Sanity through math

Why is Jonathan Halabi called “Mr. D.”? I mean, it’s an excellent way to refer to a math teacher — isn’t it? — but I’m puzzled by “D” as the abbreviation for Halibi. Oh well, who am I to object?… Read More ›


Who is Karen? As Gretchen McCulloch explains, language changes more rapidly today than in the past, because internet. One current meaning of Karen is new. According to Wikipedia: Karen is a term used in the United States for a person perceived to… Read More ›

Grim fairytales

That’s grim, not Grimm. Well, both, actually. As some Americans — and all Germans — know, the Grimm fairytales can be quite grim. Some of us have gained a particular perspective on this point from Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful musical, Into the… Read More ›