Redux x 2: Still unidentified blue pinwheel thingie

7 04 2010

Previously posted in March 2008

I photographed this same type of flower a few years ago (see link here), and I still haven’t been successful in identifying it. I think I’ll take a print to Green Spring Gardens and maybe they can identify it (since they’re the ones who grew it). In the link I just provided, you’ll read my father’s take on the origin of the flower. It was quite involved (he had extra time on his hands, apparently), but still didn’t really identify the flower.

FYI—in reference to my father’s note about not pronouncing the “h” in “herb”—no matter how often I tell him that it’s usually the British who pronounce the “h” in “herb,” he still thinks that’s the only way to pronounce the word. He even points out that if Martha Stewart says it like that, then it must be right. (He says that if “erb” is correct, then we should also say “umongous,” “uge,” and “erbert oover”—as in the name of our 31st President). I’ve done the research and actually—both pronunciations are correct (although he will never agree). Most Americans say it with a silent “h.” Some pronounce the “h” if it’s a person’s name, then don’t when referencing the green stuff. I’m taking a poll, here and now. How many of you pronounce “herb” with the hard h? And what is your reasoning for doing so?

An aside: While searching “pronounciation of the word herb,” I found a synopsis of one of Alexis Stewart’s (Martha’s daughter) radio shows. In it, Alexis says that her mother pronounces it incorrectly and goes on to explain her mother’s reasoning. (Martha and my dad—separated at birth—who knew?). An excerpt from that review is below. I am not responsible for the terrible practice of not capitalizing the first word of each sentence, nor the positioning of the period outside the quotation marks, nor the lower-casing of Martha’s name. I know better than that. I’m hoping the practice of lower-cased i’s and names is simply a phase bloggers are going through, although I sincerely doubt it. What can I say? Aside from the “Great (H)erb Debate,” I am my father’s daughter.

then alexis said that martha says the word “herb” incorrectly. martha pronounces the “h” and claims she pronounces the “h” because, after all, people pronounce the “h” when they say the name herbert, so why shouldn’t they then pronounce the “h” in the word “herb”.  alexis added that trying to explain to martha why her pronunciation is faulty is like playing tennis with a hopelessly bad player – there’s just nothing you can do about it.

If everyone in America was forced to buy the book(s), The Mac is Not a Typewriter or The PC is Not a Typewriter (excellent little books by Robin Williams—the author, not the actor), we would all be (grammatically and publishing-wise) better for it. I imagine Ms. Williams could retire early if that transpired. I know I could finally stop losing sleep over all those excess spaces after periods and misplaced punctuation.

FYI, contrary to the popularity of the practice, you should only put one space after the end of a sentence before beginning a new one. In covered-wagon days, there were proportional typefaces, and every letter and punctuation mark occupied the same width, so two spaces were necessary to make the sentence break clear. These days, the tap of a keyboard spacebar yields 1.5 characters; plenty for spacing before starting a new sentence. Save those extra spaces for other paragraphs—recycle! Old habits are hard to break. I came from the era of typewriters and had the “two space rule” drilled into my head. Then I entered the world of desktop publishing with my very first Mac. If I can break the habit, so can you. Really. Give it a try. Pretty please? It’s the right thing to do (although you may have been blissfully unaware until just now).

And remember, this rule includes just one space after any punctuation—quotation marks, exclamation points (which my father abhors, but that’s another posting), as well as the oft-used periods.

One comment in a forum on the subject of space after periods signed his letter, “Just say NO to Double Spacing!—brought to you by PADSAP (People Against Double Spacing After Periods).

Whaaaa? There’s a club for people like me? Where do I sign up? Hey Dad—maybe we can get a two-for-one membership.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.




3 responses

7 04 2010

The flower is one of the members of the phlox family. There are several wildflowers that look similar. Not sure if the one you photographed is a wildflower or a hybrid.

If it’s a wildflower it might be Sand phlox – phlox bifida – that’s the only one I know of with the notch in the lobes

Hope this helps


7 04 2010

I will speak of this just one more time—this time only, but this time with words that have just one (this word starts with an s, then has a y, then two ells, then an a, then a b, then a third ell and ends with an e). Folks in (you know where) do not say herb. They say ‘erb—go on, look it up on the net.

With thanks to the bard:

With an open mind
Look long and strong
And you will find
That I am right
And you are wrong.

There are lots of sites on the web that show my side, your side and the side of those in (you know where). Look for them—they will show you my side, your side and their side, and their side is my side, not your side. The word on that side of the sea east of us in that place shown above as (you know where) is ‘erb, not herb, and I will speak of that word no more—at least for now.

Lots and lots of sites do not side with you in the way you think it should be said—they side with me. Live with it. Do not fight wars that you and I know you will not win. Give up and give in. Say herb 10 x 10 ten times—that would take quite a long time, and would get you to the huge sum of ten B, and you know what that B means. I know that is a lot of words, but if you do it, it might break your will and teach you to say herb, not ‘erb.

That word is left for those from (you know where) and you are not from there. I know you are not—you are a girl born to your mom and dad, and we have the DNA to prove it—so there! And do not tell me that DNA is more than one word, because it is not—it is voiced as ‘NA—the D is not voiced, just as the h is not voiced in ‘erb by those in (you know where).

I know, I know—I have far too much time on my hands.

8 04 2010
Old Prof

Cindy, thank you for your comment at my blog site or is it, on my blog site? I agree with you in that I think I’ll enjoy reading your Dad’s blog. He is a very perceptive man. (That translates to: “He pretty much agrees with what I think.”)
Do you think he would be interested in exchanging e-mails? If so, send me his e-mail address and will write to him and introduce myself. I promise not to be one of those annoying pests who always seem compelled to forward everything that comes across the screen.
Or, perhaps you would rather give him mine which is and let him decide. To be 100% honest, I just recently lost an e-pen pal and I miss his letters. He used to write a lot like your dad.
Whatever, I thank you again for your kind words. At my age I treasure them. Actually, I suppose at any age.
Old Prof

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