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'Taylor' Your Writing: Curious Idioms Abound in the English Language PDF Print Email
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August 31, 2011:  Ah, the dog days of summer--picnics, summer camp, and kicking back.

Idioms abound in the English language almost as much as construction and gardening work in Bronxville.  As I am jolted awake by steady sledge hammering next door, my mind wanders, albeit in shock waves, to wonder about the origins of several commonly used American idioms and proverbs.

How exactly did "dog days" come to mean that hot, lazy time when one could "kick back" and relax?  The Romans called the hottest weeks of the summer "dog days" because, according to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, their theory was that "the dog-star, or Sirius, rising with the sun, added to its heat, and the dog-days  bore the combined heat of the dog-star and the sun (July 3rd to August 11th)."  These days coincided with times of disease and great discomfort. "Kicking back" has only recently come to mean to relax, and I was unable to locate a source for this meaning.

Two common idioms regarding speech have opposing meanings.  To "shoot the breeze," or to chat without purpose or meaning, appears to have originated in the 1940s as meaning "idle chat."  "Bite your tongue" appears as early as Shakespeare:  "So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue."  Henry VI Part II (1.1.319).  Next time you hold back what you really want to say, you are in good company.

Then there's "to split hairs," or to make meaningless distinctions.  Not to be confused with the more problematic "split ends," the idiom actually originated as early as the 1600s from the early difficulty of cutting hair because of the lack of sharp tools and the necessary stubbornness attendant in attempting to cut hair.

We all know that "time is money," but so did the Greeks, who recorded this notion as early as 430 B.C.:  "The most costly outlay is time."  The phrase evolved through the English up to Benjamin Franklin, who is commonly credited with creating it: "Remember, that time is money."  (Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748.)

Then there's the clever phrase, neither an idiom nor a proverb, but interesting nonetheless, and a favorite of mine:  "If you think [you're going to the party], you've got another think coming."  Many people mistakenly say "If you think . . . you've got another thing coming."

An interesting but dense article comparing the linguistics of "think" and "thing" demonstrates that most English speakers do not enunciate two separate "k" sounds for the ending of the word "think" and the beginning of the word "coming."  Rather, most speakers elide the two into one pronounced "k" sound, which makes the words run together as if the speaker is saying "thing coming."  This could lead to the confusion in the phrase, but the article points out that the first printed usage was "think coming."  I encourage the reader to try this with a friend or family member to see if the distinction can be heard.

Finally, as much as I wish the workers next door would quit pounding the pavement, literally, I realize that time is money, so I won't split hairs and tell them they can't work on weekends, nor will I shoot the breeze with them, but, rather, I think I will bite my tongue and kick back during this dog day of summer.  But if you think I will sit here and listen to their incessant pounding, you've got another think coming. (Didn't think I could string these together, did you?!)

Editor's Note:  To contact the writer or suggest a topic for future articles, send an e-mail to CLOAKING .

 

 
Concert to Remember 9/11 Sponsored by Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club and Bronxville Women’s Club Sunday, September 11 PDF Print Email

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August 31, 2011:  A memorial concert to remember the events of September 11, 2001, will take place on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, Sunday, September 11, at 3:00 pm at The Bronxville Women's Club.

The event is sponsored by The Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club and The Bronxville Women's Club.  Local officials will open the program with bagpipes, which will be followed by a concert including William Anderson, guitar; Joyce Rasmussen Balint, violin and mandolin; Michael Ouzounian, viola; Patricia Rogers, bassoon; and Lion Pat Farenga, voice.

A reception donated by Trader Joe's will follow the program.

The net proceeds from the concert and journal ads will benefit the police and fire departments of Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe along with EVAC.  A 50/50 raffle will benefit the ongoing renovations of the historic building of The Bronxville Women's Club.

Donations for the event are $20 each.  Advance ticket holders will enjoy reserved seating.  The Bronxville Women's Club is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable.

For more information, visit The Bronxville Women's Club website, www.bronxvillewomensclub.org.

 

 
Concordia Conservatory of Music and Art to Host Open House on September 17 for Early Childhood, Youth, and Adult Programs PDF Print Email

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August 31, 2011:  Concordia Conservatory of Music and Art--Concordia College's community arts school--will host an open house to preview its music offerings in early childhood, youth, and adult programs on Saturday, September 17, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

There will be student and faculty performances, demonstrations, and visits to the OSilas Gallery throughout the afternoon.  The open house will also include early childhood preview classes and opportunities to meet with students, department heads, faculty, and staff.

Music programs at Concordia Conservatory include private instruction for all orchestral instruments, voice, composition, and theory; classes in musical theater, rock band, and songwriting; chamber music; early childhood programs; adult programs; and summer camps.

Visual arts programs at Concordia Conservatory include private instruction; classes in ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpting, illustration, theatre design, Eco Art, and portfolio development; adult programs; and summer camps.

Melissa Alexander, head of the conservatory's piano department, holds an M.M. from the University of Hartford-Hartt School of Music, did postgraduate studies at Mannes College of Music, and holds a B.A. from State University of New York-Albany.

Annette Espada, head of the chamber music department, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Miami, an M.A. from New York University, and a B.M. from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico.

Rami Vamos, head of the string department, holds an M.A. from Queens College, an M.M. from Yale University, and a B.M. from Indiana University.

Patricia Miranda, head of the art department, holds a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase Conservatory and also studied at the School of Sacred Arts, NYC.

For more information, call 914-395-4507 or visit www.concordiaconservatory.org.

Pictured here:  Conservatory student and Bronxville resident Eleanor Fitzgibbons prepares for her piano lesson.

Photo by Joe Pregiato

 

 
OSilas Gallery to Exhibit Works by Lou Hicks: Contemporary Landscapes, September 8 to December 3 PDF Print Email

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August 31, 2011:  The OSilas Gallery at Concordia College will present the works of painter Lou Hicks from September 8 through December 3, 2011.  A reception and gallery talk with the artist, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 8.

In her 80th year, Hicks continues to work on expressionistic canvases, larger than she, employing in fleshy oils a robust, masculine physicality alongside an inherent spirituality.

Hicks employs an archaeological process of discovery and excavation in reaction to the environment in which she lives and works.  The strong influence of abstract expressionism, its physicality and responsiveness, is filtered through her own intuitive and introspective vision.

Her true subject matter is the surface manipulations of paint colors and layers.  Using a complex method of scraping and layering thick, lush oil paint mixed with wax, Hicks builds a rich, moody surface activated by constant building and abrading, accumulating and revealing, creating a genuinely lived history within the surface of the paintings.  This revealing of multiple histories encourages a visual conversation with materiality, ephemerality, and beauty.

Hicks's work embodies a history lived.  Evocative and ephemeral, earthy and intense, her lush oil paintings reflect a concern for a deeper intuited meaning expressed through the paint, one not readily seen but suggested, built up over time, instilling feelings of awe, peace, and calm.

Patricia Miranda, OSilas Gallery director, is the curator of the exhibit.

For additional information, contact Patricia Miranda, director, OSilas Gallery, at 914-337-9300, ext. 2173, or at CLOAKING .

Pictured here: All Too Red, 2010, oil on canvas, 44x44.

Photo by David Wohl

 
Martha Silver to Hold Art Exhibit at Bronxville Women’s Club September 22-24; All Proceeds to Go to Shelter Pet Alliance PDF Print Email
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August 24, 2011:  The Bronxville Women's Club will hold a reception to mark the opening of an art exhibit of works by artist Martha Silver on Thursday, September 22, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Martha Silver will be donating all the proceeds of the sale of her art to The Shelter Pet Alliance for the animals of the Yonkers Animal Shelter.

The exhibit will also be open on Friday, September 23, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday, September 24, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Martha Silver is an accomplished watercolor artist who loves to paint.   Her techniques vary with each painting and her paintings cover a wide variety of subjects.

Martha takes full advantage of surrounding beauty for her subjects.  Her paintings are also a product of her imagination and her inspiration.  Elements from the many different places she has lived or visited can be found in her art.  Subjects are often given an individual artistic interpretation with abstract nuances.

Martha continues to be inspired by her love of the sea and of sailing as well as her love of animals and the natural environment, both along the Bronx River and the coast of Maine.  Many of her paintings also reflect her travels to, and her love of, Africa and the Bahamas.

Martha also draws her inspiration from her husband and their puppy, Rebel, who was adopted from the Yonkers Animal Shelter.  They adopted a dog named Jake in 1997, also from the Yonkers Animal Shelter.  Jake died in 2009 of kidney disease at age 14 1/2 years.  Later that year Rebel arrived at the shelter and they knew immediately that they had to adopt him, as he looked just like Jake!

Martha has retired from teaching special education at the Bronxville Middle School.  She has a masters degree in elementary and special education, as well as a masters degree in instructional technology.  She continues to use her teaching skills to volunteer to read with first-grade students in Maine.  She also volunteers in Maine at the Phippsburg Museum and Phippsburg Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

For more information, please contact The Bronxville Women's Club at 914-337-3252 or visit its website at www.bronxvillewomensclub.org.

Pictured here:  Watercolor by artist Martha Silver.

 

 
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