Today is Thursday, October 2, 2014

My dad is named Dad

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My dad is named Dad By ANNE DONNELL…Would you explain clearly the reason “dad” isn’t always capitalized? Isn’t it the name/title of an actual person, therefore a proper noun, therefore capitalized?-A Thinking PersonHmmm. Someone’s taking a strong stand here, almost an antagonistic stand with that underlining. I do know why “dad” isn’t always capitalized, and the explanation does not involve a situation in which almost illiterate people pick up pen or pencil and write, but the pressure to “explain clearly”?  That’s stress notched up, way up. Up, up, and away, in that old Superman manner. So, grab your krypton. After some puns in an occupational manner we’ll take on the dancing close to irate QP of T (Question Person of Today). And dancing close to irate is better than what’s happening on TV: peculiarly dressed and, more often, basically undressed dancers with odd spinal angles dancing close to “stars.”ONLINE DEPARTMENT “Job Hunt” (Thanks, P. W.) • My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. Couldn't concentrate. • Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.  • After that, I tried being a tailor, but wasn't suited for it -- mainly because it was a sew-sew job. • Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting. • Then, tried being a chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but just didn't have the thyme. • Next, I attempted being a deli worker, but any way I sliced it - couldn't cut the mustard. • My best job was a musician, but eventually found I wasn't noteworthy. • I studied a long time to become a doctor, but didn't have any patience. • Next, was a job in a shoe factory. Tried hard but just didn't fit in. • I became a professional fisherman, but discovered I couldn't live on my net income. • Managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining. • So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job. • After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian - until I realized there was no future in it. • My last job was working in Starbucks, but had to quit because it was the same old grind. • So I tried retirement and found I was perfect for the job!  So here’s the “dad” situation in some sort of nutshell, one we hope to be palatable to our QP of T whose sensibilities seems troublingly disturbed.   “Dad” can be a proper name and often is. Children call their fathers Dad, Daddy, Pop, Pops, Papa, Father, Old Man. When these are used as names they’re capitalized because they are proper nouns.EXAMPLES. Could you bring me another soda, Dad? Could you give me some money, Pops? Will you buy four tickets to our school fundraising dinner, Father?But, “dad” can be an indication, description of a relationship and not a proper noun.  Here’s some EXAMPLES. I’ll ask my dad for some money when he gets home. He really is a good dad, not like some of the dads I know. Janice’s dad met us at the airport. A clue to this use, the non-capitalized one, is adjectives modifying the dad.  That’s rare with the proper noun use.These distinctions are sometimes ignored in sources that should know better, like magazines and newspapers. That doesn’t give anyone else permission to misuse capital letters.Expanding a bit, the same ideas govern the capitalizing of mother, mom, ma, mama, grandfather, granddad, granddaddy, grandmother, grandma, grandpa, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin. Ask Sister Schubert of the yummy rolls now beloved from holiday coast to coast and in between.   Well, I wish she were my sister, although when I was young I never wanted one (and didn’t have one) because then I would have had to do more sharing. I was already being forced to share my older brother’s vegetables passed via his grimy hands under the table, accompanied by threats to an old furry horror, my beloved cat. That cat was meaner than my very mean brother.  Why didn’t I figure that out and quit “sharing” secondhand vegetables?  BW (Bigtime Word) asyndeton – omission of a copulative conjunction (usually and).  I don’t think you’ll use this much.
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