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  •      Bad news accumulates in my wire basket. It will make me feel better if I share it.

         There's a clipping about two sisters charged in Nassau County in January with endangering the welfare of their three children because they had lived without electricity in a shared apartment for about a year. The case was to come up tomorrow.

  •     A single batch of daffodils, in a tight cluster near the sun porch in my backyard, is almost in bloom. They seem to be saying “thank goodness” for this week’s sun and warmth. Before long, I will see which other plants survived the long, cold winter (and survived the ravages of the famished deer).

  •     That said, he hopes to grow the economy from day one. At the end of the day, it’s gaining traction and — going forward — some people will be pleased. Others? Not so much.

        The paragraph above contains seven of the many jargon-y turns of phrase that get my dander up. I’m proud of being a stick-in-the-mud where American English is concerned. I’m not entirely sure what my problem is, but I simply loathe trendy, overused words and phrases.

  •     A story in The New York Times on March 3 brought into more vivid focus all the news these days about the Affordable Care Act. At least for me, it reverberated more strongly than all the statistics about those who remain uninsured.

  •     Jeannette Edwards Rattray, who wrote “One of Ours,” the longest-standing personal column ever to run in The Star, used to say “the world comes to our door.” That was eons and eons ago (or at least it feels like it to me). Would she still say that — that the world comes to our door? I think she might not. These days, the world is already here . . . if perhaps only on weekends.

  •        John de Poo, a man whose zest for life attracted many friends and drew him to master diverse skills, died in Key West, Fla., on Feb. 20. He had been stricken by West Nile encephalitis, but his death was caused by an aortic aneurism. He was 89 years old.

  •     Because I have been a writer, editor, and eventually publisher for The Star over the course of more than 50 years, hundreds and hundreds of obituaries have crossed my desk. Sometimes, naturally, they have been obituaries of relatives or friends.

  •     Almost by chance, but aware that it was Black History Month, my husband and I went to Shelter Island on Friday night for a program on the history of slavery sponsored by the Shelter Island Library and Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. We had been primed by Mac Griswold’s penetrating book, “The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island.”

  •     A friend sent an eBlast this week that offered a balm to the winter-weary soul. Using a service called Paperless Post, his email bore the subject line winter 2014, but its contents, the poem "in time of daffodils" by E.E. Cummings, heralded spring.
     
    In time of daffodils (who know
    the goal of living is to grow)
    forgetting why, remember how
        
    In time of lilacs who proclaim
    The aim of waking is to dream. . . .

           

  •     The surgeon general’s first report on how bad smoking is for the human body came out on Jan. 11, 1964. Fifty years later — perhaps in connection with the report’s anniversary? — CVS Caremark, the huge drugstore chain that has a branch in East Hampton, announced on Feb. 6 that it would no longer sell tobacco products. When I read the news I let out an audible hooray.