Short shot #57: near

A NYT “Metropolitan Diary” entry on 1/17/11:

Dear Diary:
My husband and I were at a dinner when I was inroduced to a woman who lived on the Upper West Side. She was telling me about her grandchildren.
Thinking of my grandchildren, who live in London and Washington, I asked, “Do they live near you?”
She looked very sad. “No,” she replied. “They live in Brooklyn.”
Marian Solomon Lubinsky

Context, context, context. These things are relative to context.

My grand-daughter lived for some years in Mountain View, roughly 10 miles from me. When I told people this, the grandparents among them were mostly openly envious that Opal should live so near to me (Opal’s other grandparents live in Papua New Guinea!). Even I thought of this as close, despite the fact that I had to drive there. Now she lives a short walk away from me in Palo Alto, and people are ridiculously envious; this degree of closeness is rare in our social world.

2 Responses to “Short shot #57: near”

  1. Erik Zyman Carrasco Says:

    Off topic and inconsequential, but I was surprised that you hyphenated “grand-daughter,” both because I think in the U.S. we “evolve” toward solid compounds faster than in, say, Britain (e.g., “newsstand”), and because I doubt you’d hyphenate “grandson.” I guess you wanted to break up the written sequence “dd.”

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      On my spelling: Yes, I break up grand-daughter because I don’t like the way granddaughter looks. Totally an aesthetic judgment. Not recommending it to anyone else, just what I prefer myself.

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