Today’s Word: coeval (adjective) – Coeval (koh-EE-vuhl) means of the same age or time period. As used by Henry David Thoreau in Walden: “Such an eye was not born when the bird was, but is coeval with the sky it reflects.”

Did You Know?: Bifocals were invented by Ben Franklin to end his frustration with constantly having to switch between two pairs of glasses.

Worth Quoting: “There’s no way of writing well and also of writing easily.”– Anthony Trollope

What I’m Reading: “The Allure of Protective Stupidity”

I insist that any manuscript sent to me for review be clearly written. And I use a device called the FK (Flesch-Kincaid), Readability Tool, to mandate that. (The FK score is an algorithm that measures complexity of vocabulary and sentence structure.) I do it because I want to avoid reading text burdened with one of the most common writerly mistakes: weak and confused thinking.

As George Orwell said, “If you simplify your English… when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.”

Here’s an interesting essay on how Orwell anticipated the language policing that is so popular among leftists today.

Look at This:

This is not universally true (you don’t need to remind me) but I’ve always had this theory that in a family with a mother and a father, the mother gives her children the moral core and the father the measure of moral standards

The compass of their children’s values will always point towards that moral core while the tendency of their actions will be measured by those standards

My mother’s moral core was about kindness and acceptance. My father’s moral standards were about striving and integrity. I’ve never felt I measured up entirely to either but I’m grateful they are there and grateful when I am reminded of them as I was with this commencement speech.