Niagara Gazette


May 18, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: The 'write' way to do things


Niagara Gazette — “As an historian, with college degrees and tweed sports coats and everything, you know I’m prepared to offer the same, only different …” fellow columnist Ed Adamczak. This construction suggests that the reader is an historian, which ain’t necessarily so. Reconstruction: “You know that as an historian, I’m prepared…” Ed, who writes volumes, seldom errs.

“That was one of the most bizarre, unique days of my life …” LeBron James. He missed the layup. “Unique” means one of a kind and allows of no modifiers. As a word, it is almost uniquely misunderstood.

“That was a show only for cats,” Punkinhead to Tiger in the comic strip “Tiger.” What’s wrong with that? Nothing — the “only” is perfectly placed, whereas many might have said, “That was only a show for cats.” Give a posthumous A+ to the late Bud Blake, who died about four years ago.

But we’re still here. Come visit. Bring a book.

Contact Polly and Doug at

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