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Generally Speaking – Columns

Generally Speaking is the Voyageur's forum for columns, cartoons, and letters to the editor. Skeeter Tales by Joel Seibel is our very own locally produced cartoon. Columns include "Wright News" by Jennie K. Hanson, "Villa Vista News" by Renee Klejeski and "Slices of Life" by Jill Pertler. Views expressed in columns, cartoons, and letters represent the views of the authors.

 

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Other Columns

"Ish"- is that really us?

Things have been "testy" lately

Guilty; even after proven innocent

Perceptions into realities

"Are we being good ancestors?"

Nothing good comes from dusting

Electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack

Excuse us; we're having a moment

Flipping the Switch

Shamrock Township "on the map"

» Jennie Hanson's Wright/Cromwell News – online

Saying what we mean

It’s been an interesting couple weeks regarding looking at how we say things. When we put out a sign, it appears we don’t often consider how it might be literally interpreted. Or, alternately, I may be the odd duck who actually looks at things and ponders their literal interpretation.

On a recent trip to the Twin Cities to borrow our granddaughter, aka Bootsy, for a few days, we stopped at a favorite fast food haunt on our way back to the north country. There was a sign in the window, “Now hiring mornings.” So, I started to think, if I were interviewing a morning, what characteristics might I be looking for. I suppose one would want a morning to be bright – we don’t want to spend a lot of time having to reconcile its cash drawer after a shift. Since fast food is in the hospitality business a sunny disposition would be important for good customer service. As fast food restaurants do have some “rush” periods, I would also want my mornings to be calm under the pressure of the long lines and indecisive orderers. I want to be careful with a breezy morning. Too breezy and it might turn off customers. No walleye chop required in ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

news photo
Other Columns

Things have been "testy" lately

Guilty; even after proven innocent

Perceptions into realities

"Are we being good ancestors?"

Nothing good comes from dusting

Electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack

Excuse us; we're having a moment

Flipping the Switch

Shamrock Township "on the map"

Relationships - reality?

» Jennie Hanson's Wright/Cromwell News – online

“Ish” - is that really us?

read a story last week that began about how we, as a country, are becoming nationalized to the point of losing regional ways of saying things. This was an NPR History department piece (npr.org/sections/npr-history-dept), which started out talking about lost slang words, but then shifted gears to feature an organization that is housed at the University of Wisconsin – DARE (Dictionary of American Regional English).

DARE has been around for 5o years, and continues to capture words and phrases that appear on a regional basis, which may change due to generational change. The story then produced a listing of words identified by state & D.C.

That got me guessing, what would they put in for Minnesota? Uff da? You betcha? Ya sure? One phrase I have run across that seems uniquely Minnesotan occurs at restaurants, and was pointed out to me by out-of-state visitors. Even in finer restaurants, there is a tendency for servers to, when checking back after the food has been delivered, ask “How’s everything tasting?” or some variation of that question. I hadn’t noticed it, but then started to pay attention. I never heard it as I traveled about the country. But it shows up frequently in Minnesota eating establishments. Pay attention, and see how often you hear this. It’s pretty funny. My grandmother’s exasperation, in her German dialect, was “Ach!” My mother picked that up. My dad had an assortment of more colorful euphemisms. Well, anyway, what DARE assigned to Minnesota was “ish,” as an “expression of disgust.”

I don’t know about you, but “ish,” just doesn’t do it for me, and while I have heard ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

news photo
Other Columns

Guilty; even after proven innocent

Perceptions into realities

"Are we being good ancestors?"

Nothing good comes from dusting

Electromagnetic-pulse (EMP) attack

Excuse us; we're having a moment

Flipping the Switch

Shamrock Township "on the map"

Relationships - reality?

Political Bargains

» Jennie Hanson's Wright/Cromwell News – online

Things have been “testy” lately

Unrelated to the completion of the school year, there has been much in the news recently related to testing. From software failures and hacks, to errors in test instructions, to New York teacher testing being ruled discriminatory, and finally a reading requirement as a charter school board membership criterion – all things broadly related to the subject of testing.

When I taught, I would tell my students that some of the things that we did in class would relate to letting them practice for life, which I suggested was a series of unannounced quizzes. My goal was to help them think on their feet, communicate effectively, practice at working and problem solving in teams, etc.

Minnesota Comprehensive Testing, under the auspices of the Department of Education has been hampered by their testing partner’s software glitches and then, in May being hacked, reportedly by someone in Australia. Within the last couple days a problem with the instructions in the SAT was reported. The exam proctor’s instructions said the test lasted 20 minutes, the student instructions said 25 minutes. A couple large oopses, with a lot at stake.

Testing, in general, has been under a level of attack in recent years. U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood (You may remember her name ...

For the rest of this story and more, pick up this week's Voyageur Press.

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