Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On the Lanai

A favorite place for us (pseudo) Goth Girls to hang out is on my sister Peg's screened deck, which we have taken to calling The Lanai, because that sounds so much more romantic and exotic than veranda or patio or porch or deck. Well, The Lanai is important to us, and I readily confess to random capitalization as one of my favorite English usage errors, not to mention that important words should be capitalized.

When my brother-in-law Tom (Di's husband, the Warrior-Worrier, see June 25) saw that we were capitalizing this word in our e-mails, he said, "Why? Is this Lanai a person?" No. A place? Well, kind of. It's not a place as in Lanai -- Hawaii's most enticing island; but it is a place we like to be. A mere thing? Well, it is a thing, but it's not merely a thing. It's a favorite thing. It's our vacation hideout, the way we used to build a clubhouse in the summertime, in the woods or on a vacant lot.

Okay, said Tom. Let's think about this: "Imagine the word, Springfield. Is it a field full of (coil) springs, not capitalized; or is it a place, e.g., Springfield, Missouri? There is a Springfield in just about every state. If there is a Lanai in almost every state (not just Hawaii!), then I think it's okay to capitalize. See you have to dig deep to see the real meaning of life."

Then he offered a conclusion that sounded for all the world like something our dear departed dad would have said: "Just thought some calcification was in order."

P.S. Thanks Tom!

Triple Sisters Weekend

My Girls, Washington, DC

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