"You need to write something about domestic violence," a friend told me recently. I hadn't thought about tackling that subject because so many others have done so.
Actually, she was concerned about more emphasis on teaching young people, especially boys, that violence is not the answer to frustration or anger.
So often, the inclination seems to be pulling out a gun. We probably cannot change the "gun culture" of adults who are already steeped in it, but we can make significant changes with today's youth? How?
As a teacher and mother, I dealt directly with teenagers. Of course, that was many years ago, but I witnessed and sometimes refereed and punished those who resorted to fist-fights and pummelings - but not guns and knives. It just didn't occur to them.
So what has happened? And how can it be undone?
Although there have always been wife-beaters and those who discipline children too harshly, those were (and still are) in the minority. Perhaps most of those were able to keep their violence from becoming public. Nowadays, there is more public focus on such behavior, with very negative reactions. Will such focus bring positive changes in that behavior?
These are questions that need to be probed to find workable answers.
On a less important subject, I'll get personal and, again in response to a friend (whom I seldom see), give "an update."
For my advanced age, I'm actually in good health. And, yes, I have had my flu shot. But I am still not driving and still must use a walker to get around.
However, my physical therapist agrees that my muscles have strengthened to the point that I can begin to use a cane just a little - and only with someone available to help. Riding the stationary bike each day and continuing specific exercises does really help.
And I am genuinely grateful to all who so graciously make it possible for me to get out and about.
A number of friends have remarked about their enjoyment of the "play on words" which I quoted in my last column. So here are some interesting English language heteronyms, borrowed from another email. (You know that homographs are words spelled alike but with different meanings; heteronyms are homographs which are pronounced differently.)
Read these sentences aloud:
• The bandage was wound around the wound.
• The farm was used to produce produce.
• The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
• He could lead if he would get the lead out.
• The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
• There is no time like the present to present this present.
• A bass was painted on the bass drum.
• When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
• I did not object to that object.
• There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
• They were too close to close the door.
• The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
• Upon seeing a tear in the coat I shed a tear.
• The buck does funny things when the does are present.
• I had to subject this subject to a series of tests.
Let's face it: English is a strange language.
Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.