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“Dig . . . Dug . . . Dog”

(Un)Grammatically Speaking One of the less-heralded parental duties is (gently) correcting your kid’s bad grammar — or trying to. Witness this exchange between me and my (then) 8 year-old daughter: She: “Did you know that Raffy (family dog) digged a big hole in the garden?” Me: “It’s “dug,” not “dig.” She (with emphasis): “Did you know...
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Open-Ended Questions, Closed-Ended Questions & College Freshmen

Good Journalistic — and Realtor — Technique (vs. Parent of New College Student) Good journalists — and Realtors! — know that the key to eliciting information is to pose open-ended questions rather than closed-ended questions. So, savvy listing agents debriefing Buyers’ agents ask, “What did your client like most/least about the home?,” not, “How did...
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The Two Meanings (at Least) of “Taking Someone to School”

Slang vs. Literal According to Urban Dictionary, the slang meaning of “taking someone to school” is, “beating someone in a competition badly and thereby teaching them how it’s really done.” Ahh, but what if that someone is your 18 year-old son, and you really ARE “taking him to school” — in this case, to college halfway across the...
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The “When I Was Your Age” Lecture . . . with a Twist

Right Message, Wrong Messenger “Pick you up from school?!?  When I was your age, nobody picked me up from school.  I had to take two city buses, wait in the cold for a transfer, and sit in traffic for an hour to get home from school.” –Overheard at the Kaplan kitchen table around 7:30 a.m....
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“Top Ten” Bar Mitzvah Worries: No Hits, But Some Close Misses

What Could Go Wrong?  Worry #10:  “The Bar Mitzvah Blizzard” “Relax, enjoy everything,” my relatives counseled leading up to my son’s (just-concluded) bar mitzvah weekend. “What could possibly go wrong?” I actually had no fewer than 74 discrete worries, but these were my “Top Ten”: 10. Epic blizzard will shut down local airport; Gramie, Zadie, Grandpa...
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Parsing Pronouns, or, “What Do You Mean, ‘You Got Their Fine?!?'”

Question #2:  And Exactly How Much Was That?? It turns out son #2 doesn’t owe anyone anything. What he meant to say was, “I got there fine” (as in, “I arrived safely”). The back story:  he and a friend biked to school for the first time the other morning, and was under strict instructions to...
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