My “About the King of Texas” page is a work in progress. I am re-posting it now as one of the first steps towards presenting a more comprehensive picture of my mother’s youngest son—that’s me, myself or I, whichever seems correct to the viewer (other writers vary, and as a group tend to use all three at separate times.
In my world when I was a child, when asked a question such as, “Who wants to go to the picture show?” we would often reply, “Me, myself and I,” indicating that all three of us would jump at the chance to see a picture show. For the edification of viewers a bit younger than I, picture show was our term for a movie. We never suggested going to a movie, or to a theater.
The term movies is derived from motion pictures, the words first used to describe the mid-19th century process of projecting images on a dark screen by passing film strips rapidly between a bright light and the screen. Motion pictures morphed into moving pictures and the truncated term movies soon followed, and that is the term most used today. In the era of my early childhood, the terms motion pictures and moving pictures were not used—at least not in my isolated rural area in Alabama.
In retrospect, I postulate the possibility that those terms had become passe’ and we had advanced to the term picture show. However, I don’t recall hearing the word passe’ at the time—had I heard it I would have probably considered it to be a mispronunciation of a familiar noun, one that had several definitions and uses (so to speak), including its use to indicate the gender of a female cat or kitten, namely passe’ cat. The gender of a male cat is, of course, indicated by the term “tom cat,” indicating a male cat or kitten).
For the additional edification of the group of the population younger than I, a group that accounts for ninety-one percent of our nation’s population, those under the age of seventy, I happily and gratefully report that I breathe the rarified air of the other nine percent. I have for a goodly number of years, and I’m still counting.
Hey, don’t laugh—we’re gaining on the young’uns—in 1950 we were only five percent!
I don’t recall our little town having a theater—if it did have one, it was never referred to as a theater. Little though our town was, we did have a picture show, one that was brightly lighted and showed films every Friday and Saturday night—it was dark for the rest of the week.
Ah, for the good old days!
Here is my current home page.
It’s not completely original—I have made slight modifications to it over the ten months I’ve been blogging, and subsequent changes will follow. This posting includes the comments that the site has garnered (a rather sparse listing).
About the King of Texas
I will complete my “About” page later (and I have a lot to say about myself), but because my daughter made me promise to post something—anything—no later than today, I’ll keep my promise with this short prayer:
Oh, Lord, please deliver me from people that use the expression “can’t wrap my head around that.” How can one wrap one’s head around something? If one has difficulty forming a mental grasp of something one has heard, seen or felt, then say it, rather than using such an inane voguish phrase.
On the practical side, should one successfully wrap one’s head around something the cranium would be horribly distorted, and the process of unwrapping one’s head could be unsuccessful—consider just how disastrous that would be.
1. Well said….written. I have never liked the phrase “keep your eyes peeled” which sounds pretty painful. However I do like the phrase “head on a swivel.” I’m sure the King of Texas knows (or will shortly find out) where these phrases originated. He seems like that type of guy to me. Also, it is quite convenient when people say “to me” at the end of a sentence. My 5 year old daughter says that quite often and who can argue with that—. Not I. (By itsjustnotright on March 23, 2009)
2. Dear King of Texas: You write like Flannery O’Connor, so maybe you are the King O’Texas. I am going to delve more into this blog at a later time—you know, when I can wrap my head around it. What do you think of the word “irregardless?” (By Barbara Kelley on June 13, 2009)
Hi, Barbara—thanks for the comment, particularly for your comparison of my writing to that of Flannery O’Connor—I’ll accept it as a compliment, regardless of her propensity to lace her writings with grotesque characters. I appreciate your application of an apostrophe to my title—apostrophication, so to speak. I know—apostrophication is not a word—at least it was not a word until I created it. I couldn’t find it anywhere online or offline. I should probably apply for a patent so I could draw royalties each time the word is used.
I love it—there is probably a wee bit of Irish in all of us, including our current president. And here I must give thanks and a tip of my hat to Kinky Friedman, a well-known Texas resident and a successful writer and sometimes candidate (unsuccessful) for public office. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Kinky said that he would vote for that Irishman, Barak O’Bama.
As regards—or in regard to—or regarding—irregardless:
Irregardless is not a proper word, regardless of its appearance in dictionaries and regardless of its use in speeches and writings by supposedly erudite persons. An exception might be when the user is faced with an untutored audience, one that might accept its use as proper—audiences in certain southern hilly or swampy areas, for example.
You know, of course, that the prefix ir means not, and the suffix less means without, ergo the non-word irregardless contains a double negative.
Less negates regard all by itself—it needs no help from ir.
Thanks again for your visit and for your comment. Please feel free to “delve more into” my blog—I welcome your comments, whether compliments or criticisms, and I will respond to either—or both.
3. Good morning—one day one of our officers said, “I can’t wrap my head around it right now.” I thought, what does she mean? Well, I know now. I became overloaded with projects at work and simply couldn’t take on one more responsibility. Still, I don’t appreciate this kind of expression. Why not just say, I have too much responsibility right now and can’t take on anything more at this time. Information overload is a reality in the work world now unfortunately.
Cindy Dyer is our graphic artist. She mentioned what a great writer you are. I can see you enjoy being a student of language. The world needs those who can express themselves with polish and flair. The gift of writing using eloquent language skills is fast disappearing from this world.
Best wishes, Mary Ellen
Immediately after reading Barbara Kelley’s comment, my head swelled to such huge proportions that, for a brief time, any itch that developed anywhere above my neck required the use of a back-scratcher to quell the itching. Because the swelling phenomenon occurs frequently, I keep a back-scratcher within handy reach. In this instance the swelling was mercifully short in duration. Through my use of deductive reasoning (reaching a conclusion by reducing a general conclusion to a specific fact), my swollen head quickly returned to its normal size.
I realize that probably all my viewers know the principles of deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning, but on the remote possibility that one-in-a-million is not familiar with the terms, here is an example of deductive reasoning:
All good writers are always brilliant.
I am sometimes brilliant—I have teeny weenie flashes of brilliance (my opinion).
I am a good writer.
The swelling was quickly reduced because that argument is not valid. If the first premise is true, that brilliant writers are always brilliant, then my conclusion that I am a brilliant writer is invalid because I am only sometimes brilliant. In order for the argument to be valid, the second premise would have to be that I am always brilliant.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.