usingtherightwords

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A Lesson from Dennis the Menace


One comic strip I don’t miss is “Dennis the Menace.” Just in case there’s someone out there who hasn’t heard or read the strip, Dennis is a young boy with a noticeable cowlick who wears a striped shirt and overalls. As originally drawn by Hank Ketcham, Dennis was mischievous, destructive, noisy, menacing (of course) and exasperating, especially to his parents, his next-door-neighbor, Mr. Wilson, and neighborhood girl, Margaret.

Ketcham died in 2001, and the strip has continued under Ketcham’s former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand. I believe Dennis has become less destructive, quieter and more clever than obnoxious and menacing.

This isn’t my father’s Dennis the Menace. I think the strip’s name should change to “Dennis the Lesser Menace,” but I digress.

In one particular strip I read last week, Margaret is showing Dennis a photo hanging on the wall near a staircase in Margaret’s home.

“Here’s a picture of me when I was younger,” she tells Dennis.

“Every picture if you is when you were younger,” he replies.

I paused and thought, Wait a minute! Dennis doesn’t think like this! He’s only about 5½ years old!

Then I realized how right he was and how I had never considered that before.

I felt sheepish. I should know that a photograph always captures a younger self. It took a comic strip to show me something I missed.

Until next time! Use the right words!

It’s here! My début book, “If You Experience Death, Please Call: And Other Fatal Mistakes We Make With Language” is out and available on Amazon. Order now for just $14.95. Contact me on my website to reserve your copy or Order here.

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January 21, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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