13 August 2013

Portrait of the blogger as a young man

This weekend I attended a family get-together in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where a variety of family members had gathered to greet seldom-seen relatives from as far away as Barcelona.

One of those in attendance was a bright and charming young lady from Montana who loves to draw.  In exchange for my showing her how to perform a spectacular magic trick ("I'll pull your two cards out of this deck in one second"), she agreed to create a portrait of me. I've cropped her signature from the bottom in order to let her preserve her internet anonymity for a few more years.

The resolution of the scan fails to capture the subtle shadings on the cheeks where she carefully smeared the carbon to show contour, but I love the way her artist's eye looked beyond the solar skin changes and the wrinkles from the cares of the world, and instead extracted the collegiate persona that still lives inside me.


  1. Oh, show us the card trick! Show us the card trick, please.

  2. Attender.

    A person who is paid is a payee; the person paying is a payer.
    A person who takes a mortgage is a mortgagee, the person granting is a mortgagor.
    A person to whom a letter is addressed is the addressee, the writer is the addressor.
    A person who is trusted to carry out a trust is a trustee.

    In other words, by centuries-long usage, the suffix ~ee is applied to the passive role. The person who attends a meeting, symposium, conference, etc. is in an active role. They can be an invitee, but they must be an attender.

    Another example of how barely-literate American management graduates are mangling the language by inventing words at a whim.

    1. Fixed. Thanks - I wasn't aware that "attendee" wasn't in the dictionary.

    2. It's been in the dictionary since at least 1937. Don't let prescriptivists intimidate you.

  3. Give me a break anonymous. That's the beauty of the English language, it's malleability, it's fluidity. The English of today is not like the English of centuries past because why? It's been mangled!!

  4. It is an really great portrait and the anonymous commentee seems a little snooty. :)


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