|It's Linda Lohman by a nose!|
Since I took lexicographer Julia Cresswell's course in the history of the English language at Christ Church, Oxford, last month, I've been on the lookout for cliches. Julia, after all, is the author of The Cat's Pajamas, The Penguin Book of Cliches. Strangely, I couldn't find "let sleeping dogs lie" in her book. Perhaps it's still considered novel even though, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it dates back to 1822. It's certainly a valid statement, apparently now during the dog days of August. Want proof? Here are my two canine companions in the entryway just a couple of hours ago.
I'd promised that I'd ask Tsunami to select a winner for the drawing for a free copy of Not Your Mother's Book...On Travel. I offered this prize to entice Facebook friends and followers of A Touch of Tarragon to submit ideas and possible chapter headings for the upcoming Not Your Mother's Book...On Sharing Secrets.
A huge thanks to the people who took the time to brainstorm for me:
Kim Lehnhoff, Bobby Barbara Smith, Stacey Gustafson, Linda Lohman, Lola De Maci, Eve Gaal, Debra Ayers Brown, Terri Spilman, Barbara Carpenter and Kathy Baker.
I wrote their names on slips of paper which I spread facedown evenly over the bottom of my favorite travel suitcase, and then attempted to lure Tsunami over to do the job, as I'd described in my blog "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"
Here's another cliche for you: you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Julia says the use of the term "old dog" to mean somebody well versed in something dates back to the 16th century. It appears that Nami is well versed in sleeping away her afternoons. Get up and nose around a suitcase? Why bother?
Grab and gulp Natty, though, is a dog of a different color. Well, yes, he's a black mutt, while Tsunami, as all can plainly see, is a tri-color purebred Akita, to the manor born. (Julia points out this is a corruption of the older "to the manner born," meaning growing up accustomed to something, as used by Shakespeare, in Hamlet.) So as Nami dozed on, I tossed a couple of dog biscuits into the suitcase. Natty can smell a biscuit a mile away. He awakened, yawned, stretched and then meandered over to nose around the suitcase. I tried to give him a hint about signaling out a slip of paper with his paw, but he preferred to use his nose.
And the name he turned over was that of Linda Lohman. Linda's work has appeared in Not Your Mother's Book: On Dogs, as well as in that other popular anthology series, Chicken Soup.
Tomorrow I'll post some of the tantalizing ideas people have given me for topics for On Sharing Secrets. Stay tuned...and you don't have to keep this under your hat...Linda won't. An active member of The Red Hat Society, here's Linda as she's featured on the website The Writer's Circle. I don't think it's any secret that this lady has a touch of zany in her blood...she's the bee's knees! (1920s, per Julia, along with the cat's pajamas and the cat's meow...all, of course, meaning "excellent".)