Forgive me for including two grammar-related resources, but if you consider yourself a snoot (syntax nudnik of our time), you will love Garner’s hefty handbook, which cheekily explains every grammar error you could ever encounter.
Simple Joy Saturday will look a little different in 2019. Instead of posting 3 “simple joys” every Saturday, I am going to post a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. My hope is that the content of these posts will be more substantial and that I will post more consistently.
The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Cristie
My mom bought me a “100 Books Bucket List Scratch-Off Poster” for Christmas. Since then, I have been listening to audiobooks like my life depended on it, and I have only listened to two books that were not on the poster: The Year of Less by Cait Flanders and Shouldn’t You Be in School by Lemony Snicket. In my opinion, those two books should have made the list, and a few other books should be removed from the poster.
When I was little, I loved any song with the word joy, mostly because my middle name is Joye (pronounced joy), and I liked the idea that people were singing about me.
One of the most common Christmas carols with the word joy is “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts. Surprisingly, Watts’s inspiration was not Luke 2, the account of Jesus’ birth, but Psalm 98, a psalm that praises Christ for His imminent return. That’s right: one of our favorite “Christmas” songs is actually about Christ’s second coming.
Leave it to the grad student who is studying English to research the etymology of noel…
Noel is a French word which means Christmas (go figure), but it is derived from the Latin word nātālis, meaning birthday. As I thought about nātālis, I geekily marveled at the phonestheme: natalis, natal, nativity, native, nation, natural…
But I digress; I am not giving an English lesson today. Instead, I want to talk about the first noel, the holy nativity.
Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion knew exactly what they needed: a trip home, a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively. They were also very certain of how they would receive the necessary gifts; after following the Yellow Brick Road, they would find a Wizard who could give them what they lacked. If you are familiar with The Wizard of Oz, then you know that these four travelers all received what they needed, but they didn’t receive what they expected.
The same statement can be said of the nation of Israel.
On Saturdays, I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or change as time passes. Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!
1. Finally finding that song about rain!
After spending entirely too much time searching the internet for the song that I mentioned last week, I emailed the radio station. The song I had heard (and forgotten) was “Rain On” by Brother’s Keeper.
2. A surprise visit from my brother.
On Monday afternoon, a typical PIU student in a hoodie and sweatpants wandered past my office. I assumed the student was looking for the English offices, but, to my surprise, the “student” was actually my brother! He qas on a roadtrip with friends, and they stopped by PIU to say hi. He made my day!
3. Carving Pumpkins
I always think that I can carve a pumpkin without drawing on it, and I always carve an ugly pumpkin (It was supposed to be a flower).