There was uttered confusion malingering in the malaprops


March 23, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

The following, presented here for connoisseurs of compu-speak and gobbledygook, are the opening sentences of a recent press release: "Computer Solutions, GSD in Columbia has expanded its disaster recovery services by introducing ArtiSave Backup, a series of Artisoft backup products for the LANtastic network operating system. The first product is software for data recovery that is compatible with industry standard (ASPI) SCSI adapters and tape drives. The second product is a software/hardware bundle with Mountain Network Solutions' SideCar II parallel port tape drive." To which I say, "Oh."

Making most of life

When he was 10 years old, Nick Walters almost died from juvenile diabetes and, ever since winning that battle and getting a second shot at life, he's been giving back in a big way.

He's been a tireless fund raiser for diabetes research, a public speaker on the disease's symptoms and treatment, and he's written a book on coping with its juvenile form. Nick is a senior at Towson Catholic and this spring he has a good part of the student body and faculty involved in his latest service project: Collecting badly need materials -- toys, clothing, school supplies, toiletries -- for orphaned Russian children, some of whom are gravely ill, in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Nick hooked up with a California-based project called Spirit of Hope International, devoted to supporting "communities facing issues of change, loss, trauma and death." Under this group's auspices, he will travel to Russia in May to present the goods, missing his graduation and prom to fulfill the commitment. Sounds like a remarkable kid. "He is," says his principal, Dr. Andrew Dotterweich. Towson Catholic, and the various parishes of its students, responded in a big way to the call for donations.

Yesterday, the living room of the Walters household was filled with the kinds of things Nick had sought. Everything is being packed for shipment this weekend. Nick and his parents said I could publish their phone number. If you're interested in learning more or making a donation, call 823-3460.

An event in Laurel

Fasten your seat belts, brothers and sisters. The following announcement has been received from "an international Christian center" in Laurel: "Experience the spectacular portrayal of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from your own car!

"The Tabernacle of Laurel presents, 'The Scenes of Easter,' a unique 'drive-thru theater' on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Come and be a part of the excitement, and relive the greatest story ever told as over 60 biblically costumed actors re-enact the events of the final week of Jesus! The Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the glorious Resurrection come to life before your very eyes as you drive from scene to scene. The Tabernacle is conveniently located at 11601 South Laurel Drive, just minutes from the Baltimore/Washington Parkway at Route 197. Call (301) 490-3838 for directions."

Unfurled in Pasadena

Remember that statement about flag desecration by Ray Huff? The state delegate from Anne Arundel County likened the stars-and-stripes to a "corporation," and said, "you don't go into a corporation and tear it down."

It was a long, awkward stretch to make a point about how the flag deserves respect. After the quote appeared in this space, one of Ray's constituents called to point out something: The flag that flies in front of the delegate's insurance agency in Pasadena is in terrible shape due to neglect.

We checked it out late last week, and found the flag a wreck, sliced just under the field of blue, all the way back to the border. Well, sometime over the weekend, Ray must have heard an earful about flag desecration because, as of yesterday, a brand-spanking-new flag was flapping in front of Huff's office on Ritchie Highway.

Words of wonder

And while we're on the subject of a person's choice of words, here are more malaprops, this group assembled and presented by Ann Henry of Ellicott City. "My brother, Paul Plein -- pronounced 'Pline,' it's French -- has been fracturing the English language for as long as I can remember," Ann says. Here are some Pleinisms (pronounced, "Pline-isms"):

While dining at an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant: "Wow, this is great! Even if you don't like it, there's plenty of it!"

After eating a morsel: "This tastes like something I never had before."

Referring to a friend: "I know him like the back of a book."

Recalling a relative: "Is he still dead?"

On another friend: "He just spent five days in St. Agnes in the expensive care unit."

Shake of the head

Here's another quotable from a statesman at work. Lou DePazzo, state delegate from Dundalk, took part in a discussion last week on a bill that would prevent the demotion or transfer of county school administrators before they have a chance for a hearing. Said Lou: "A herd of deer led by a lion is much more effective than a herd of lions led by a deer." I'm told that, even in context, it made no sense. It just made a lot of heads shake.

This Just In appears each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Letters should be addressed to The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. The phone number is (410) 332-6166.

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