English varies greatly from state to state and location to location. It varies when talking with friends or when speaking before an audience. Some of it is almost unintelligible for the novice, such as Gullah. The Southern drawl differs from the Yankee vernacular. Rarely does the person speaking recognize the difference for himself. For example, the Australians told me how charming my accent was. When I returned the compliment, some other tourists from the north said, "You really told them off, having no idea I could have said the same to them. When traveling, I have been mistaken for English ...
WASHINGTON -- Last week I chided President Obama for his remarks on the Supreme Court and the role of "unelected" judges. The president, wisely, has since chosen to clarify his statement, and express his (correct) view -- that courts should be hesitant to overturn acts of Congress -- in a much more appropriate way. Now there's an example of problematic behavior coming from the judicial branch, with a federal appeals court going out of its way to pick a fight with the president. Talk about judicial activism -- this is a judicial temper tantrum.
Feeling blue about losing $656 million Mega Millions jackpot lottery? Cheer up. Behind the lottery frenzy and hoopla, I've seen enough miserable winners over the years to conclude this: If you're not prepared to handle the pitfalls that follow a sudden windfall, you're probably better off without it.
Today, we're publishing the second half of my two-part in-depth look at how the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) manages our county's portion of the South Carolina sex offender registry. I have to start by thanking Beverly Brevard for talking to me about the process.
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney "unzipped" is the stuff of cartoonists' dreams.
Back in the days before binding caucuses and every-other-day primaries, political conventions were fascinating.
Most of us are familiar with the antiquated adage of "no news is good news" or its cohort, "bad news travels fast." With the former, the absence of information to the contrary justifies continued optimism. Bad news is usually associated with more urgent matters; matters we are inclined to transfer more quickly to one another. Good news is boring, right? News is defined one way as "matter that is newsworthy." Newsworthy is defined as "interesting enough to the general public to warrant reporting." If we really think about it, good news rarely fits the definition of "news" because it is ...
Obamacare faced a tough crowd at the Supreme Court. But those tough, probing questions from Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's key swing voter, give defenders of the Affordable Care Act reasons to have hope.
Atheists have a new reason to say there's no such thing as "God" this week.
American soldiers on both sides never dreamed of airplanes in their combat when the battle of Camden was fought on August 16, 1780 at Gum Swamp. Yet, just a few weeks ago, I led the commanders and staff of much of the 9th (Ninth) Air Force and its fighter squadrons across our battlefield to study the terrain and tactics. What would today's Air Force Major General Lawrence Wells and his colonels care about a 232-year-old Revolutionary War battle? Simple question with a solid answer, of which many of our local citizens may not be aware. Technology, armaments, and accoutrements ...
Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee really wants some bigger acorns for next year's budget proposal and it seems many Americans do, too.
It is customary in the wake of a major racial eruption to say that we Americans need to have a national conversation on race. Yet the fury surrounding the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin shows why it is so hard for us to hold that conversation.
In 1957, Elisabeth Doby English wrote: "Over the mantel in a certain Nashville, Tennessee, home hangs the portrait of a handsome Confederate officer in his uniform that the small boys of the household call 'The Man over the Mantel.'" That portrait of Captain Alfred English Doby was painted by William H. Scarborough in 1865 from a Civil War photograph.
Science fiction novels and comic books are filled with "What If?" stories. Marvel Comics had a long-running series of comics called, gee, "What If?" They still put a few out every now and then. Harry Turtledove is the master of alternate history fiction, supposing what America might have been like if aliens interrupted World War II or the South had won the Civil War.
I don't watch a lot of TV but every week or so I'll sit down and watch a drama-filled reality show with my sister or my mom. Last week, my sister and I were watching a show on Vh1 and my sister said, "I want to be best friends with ___." I thought it was funny and cute that my sister said that, because I think they could be great friends. A few days later, I walked into the den and my sister was watching the exact same show and said something similar: "I'm going to make ...
As the primary pundit at the "Harmony County Weekly Blister," I am frequently called upon to perform many tasks. So, besides winding up the cat and putting out the clock, I also write the advice to the lovelorn column entitled, "Ask the Stud Muffin."
I never played high school football. My glory days ended with the little league Lions and the gridiron of my youth is now a stand of depressingly mature pine trees across the old, worn foot bridge in Woodward Park. Like many, I now enjoy the pleasure of watching and cheering on younger generations and look forward to each new season as it plays out on our home field at Zemp Stadium. It is my opinion that we, as a community, should keep Zemp and prepare the old facility for the future.
WASHINGTON -- Lego's groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.
For the past couple of years, our district has designated one book for summer reading for secondary students. I've really liked this approach. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm and gotten entire families involved. This year's book, This I Believe II, is a collection of personal essays by a very diverse group of people, ranging from legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma to author Studs Terkel. The book got me to thinking; if I was to write an essay about what I believe about education, what would I say?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was 5 years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one's hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
I am man enough to admit that I have cried more than once since the news broke that Robin Williams had died by what local officials said was suicide.
WASHINGTON -- Grade deflation is dead. Long live grade inflation!
Since I have lived in this area for about eight months now, I have made a discovery about Camden. There's quite a bit of music talent here, especially for a town this size. I have to also say that my opinion comes from just the musicians I know and have heard perform personally. I'm sure there are countless others I don't know about -- yet.
I watched Rory McIlroy win the PGA title Sunday, his third straight golf tournament victory and his second major title within three weeks.
I jokingly call my backyard "the wilderness." My house, built in 1912, sits fairly close to my downtown street, as is the custom in the Historic District in Sumter. The Victorian cast iron fence and neat little patch of grass in my front yard belie what is happening behind my house. The deck at the back of my house overlooks a very deep backyard filled with towering oak and pecan trees. Just over the fence at the rear of the yard is a magnificent willow oak which is probably 100 years old. It rises majestically above all and makes a ...
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