The Charlotte News

Monday, November 29, 1937


Site Ed. Note: Well, there it is again: Traffic, Independence Square, a Ford, and crazy driving through the intersection, horns a-bleating... Go figure.

We've also had plenty of truck with bunnies of late, and at least one reference each to pie and bread, though the bread was not rye. (Those living outside Tarheelia and, specifically, outside the 1960's in Tarheelia, will have to use their imaginations on that one. Some round hints are above and below.)

We shall today make reply to the Winston-Salem Journal, (which, we admit, had a significant hand in teaching us whatever good or bad spelling we might exhibit variously herein): that among its list of commonly misspelled words, we admit--and are quite knowledgeable of them, should you occasion on them; yet, we aren’t about to make correction either as we believe in leaving the mess as it is, as it often becomes far more interesting that way in pluperfectly imperfect hindsight, as poetic wisdom, or something—that as recently as just a few weeks ago, we spelled "chaperon" with that notorious "e" attached, danglingly chaperoning its end, and that we have oft slipped to fall into the bad habit, incurred somewhere along the line, of utilizing that blasted "c" for an "s" in supersede—which we ought certainly to know better than to do by the latin law term, learned somers skipping the ties, though not usually in use any longer, except by extraordinary writ, of which we’ve had no occasion to utilize extraordinarily, yet, that being supersedeas.

As to the remainder of the words to which the Journal points as problematic, still commonly misspelled, we find, especially embarrassing being embarrass, often spelled with only one of its "r"’s, a practice to which we ourselves pleaded guilty when we caught ourselves some sixteen years ago having misspelled it thusly for most of our years, we nevertheless can report today a 100% pass rate. And, we are dilligently and aciduously working on superseed and chaperoan.

We admit, however, that erysipelas is not a term we frequently use or run across, and therefore have to wonder why in the world that was frequently misspelled in the 1937 Winston-Salem lexicon, it being some sort of rare disease with which we have had no truck and do not wish to have in the future. (We only know that because we looked it up today.) Perhaps, one of those sulpha drug elixirs came along and cured it all such that we no longer have to be bothered with its spelling.

As to Ms. Davis’s entry regarding several, we would also suggest that she consider "joint and several", though in our day those who had several joints, especially the double-jointed, were usually jointly and severally irresponsible, as well as liable under the law for their joint and several conducts, for which rarely were they severally sent to the joint—but, we conjoinedly and jointly asseverate, could scarcely do joinery at the time, that of words, syllables, wood, or much else, that being the built-in sentence, that is that it becomes somewhat difficult, by the attempted joinder of particles thus evoked from within the percipient audition anyway, to conjoin word-constructs into phrasal components comprising readily discernible sentences within a defined idiom, hence into constructive thoughts. But that’s just our dove-tale take on it all, having attempted conversation with some of the thus severally joined, outside the joint.

Warm Hearts, Not Blue Noses*

At first glance we thought it might be an offshoot of MAFLO, this group which is hoping to convert the stout old Tompkins Building into a home for a rescue mission. Guy M. Beaty, MAFLO's president, is chairman of the committee of ways and means, and one or two committeemen are more or less active in Zeke Henderson's outfit. But on second glance we perceived that the personnel of the rescue home group is drawn from the city at large, from its civic and religious leaders; and our relief that the rescue mission proposal didn't originate with MAFLO was mingled with sorrow that MAFLO hadn't at last thought of some activity worthy of its moral fervor and will to uplift.

For the rescue mission sounds truly Good Samaritan in purpose. It would equip the city with another agency of great potential value in ministering unto the stranger within our gates, in working with juvenile delinquency, in assisting wayward women to find respectable employment, and in supplying food and clothing to families in desperate need. The rescue mission, in short, unlike MAFLO, seems wholly charitable in design instead of merely coercive.

Out of Reach

Something may yet come out of the proposal to pay annual wages instead of hourly wages to artisans in the building trades. The President himself broached the idea to William Green, who threw up his hands and said it was impracticable. Carpenters and bricklayers and the like went from job to job, from this contractor to that. The best Mr. Green could think of to help bring down construction costs was to make a counter-proposal: that local real estate taxes be reduced. Yes, we know it's hopeless: but that's what he suggested.

But now comes J. W. Williams, president of AFL's building trades department, to say that members of his unions would be willing to work for less per hour in return for equivalent annual wages, if there were just some way it could be done. This would seem to put it up to alert contractors to do it, to hire crews at fixed weekly wages, working or not working, on the chance that lessened costs per job would bring orders for more jobs. And if the practice became general and the volume of construction increased, prices of building supplies should come down and the whole construction and allied industries be placed on somewhat of a mass production basis, which is precisely what is needed. For it is an anomaly that for all our ingenuity and mechanical genius, one of the main wants of man--houses--is still almost out of his reach.

Passages in Our Traffic

The motorist who was crossing Independence Square last night at nine o'clock blew his horn seven or eight times, querulously, though there was no pedestrian or anything else in his way.

"What," we inquired of the pleasant-faced copper who was gazing after him--"what do you suppose that guy thinks he's blowing that horn for?"

"I was wondering about that," he said.

The man in the Ford had just turned into Church from Trade this morning when the light at Church and Fourth began to change. He made it, traveling at a speed that must have been close to fifty when he went over the intersection--for by a minute nobody came out of Fourth from behind the News building to collide with him. The cop [indiscernible words] lurched after him indecisively, and turned away. It is pretty easy to understand why neither officer did anything. These are old Charlotte customs. And these cops are decent fellows, reluctant to seem rigorous and nasty. Nevertheless, the town is no longer a country community, and if anything is ever going to be done about the infernal noise nuisance and the diabolic traffic nuisances, the lax tolerance of a country community is going to have to be cast overboard. Traffic laws are laws like any others, and the only way to command respect for laws is to haul before the judge those who violate them.

Reminder of Dr. Tugwell

Moderation in all things, is still a good rule. If Dr. Rexford Guy Tugwell hadn't been in such a hurry for an immoderate pure food and drugs law, he'd have got a moderate one, and probably some 70 persons wouldn’t have been dead from taking Elixir of Sulphanilamide.

The pure food and drugs act, everybody admits, needs tightening. Congress has before it now recommendations to prohibit the distribution of drugs until clinical tests have shown them to be safe for use and also safe for use according to the manufacturer's directions. There is nothing immoderate about that, and with the Elixir deaths fresh in mind, Congress surely will pass the needed laws. But there is, alas, no way to make them retroactive to the 70 corpses.

The trouble with Dr. Tugwell's bill was that he wanted to set up a Federal commission with absolute power over the drug trade. This commission would have been authorized to cite a manufacturing druggist for misbranding and misleading advertising, no matter how harmless, and at once, without further ado or hearing in court, to order such products removed from all the shelves in all the drug stores in the country. Obviously, if the commission were to have overreached itself, the manufacturer would have been ruined by the time the ponderous processes of the law had creaked to his rescue. Dr. Tugwell's bill failed to pass, and as a result of the days consumed in debating it, no substitute was accepted.

Simple as ABC*

By the record, the ABC method seems to be a much more efficient way of cleaning up bootleggers in a county than our own prohibition method. For Sunday, Federal, State, and Fayetteville officers under the direction of an ABC man, corralled sixty-nine of these gentry in Cumberland County. That isn't all the bootleggers in Cumberland, probably, but it is in likelihood the majority of the worst offenders among them. And taken with the fact that a similar raid last Summer bagged fifty-odd, it ought to go a long way actually to discourage bootleggers in the county.

Has prohibition ever succeeded in getting results anything like as good in this county where bootleggers are inevitably more numerous than in Cumberland? Everyone knows it hasn't. Everyone knows that under prohibition the best that has been done is to fetch in only a few straggling pint peddlers and a roadhouse boss or two.

Nor, we think, is there any difficulty in understanding the contrast. Under the ABC system, there is an agency with an active and positive interest in putting down bootlegging--an agency with the authority to organize the forces of the law for putting it down. And the good citizenry is a unit in desiring to see it put down--if only there has been provided a lawful substitute for bootlegging.

Site Ed. Note: And, wherever he may be in the great cosmic beyond, our apologies to Dave Guard for tripping lightly on his fine song a couple of days ago. Thanks for the memory, Dave, and for all the others, too.

Well, enough hammering for today.

Here’s the rest of the page.

Meanwhile, we’re going to consult our Girl Scout Handbook for some more ideas.

The Brown Man's Cockiness

The Japanese, having thumbed their noses at Britain, France, and the United States in regard to their protests against the wholesale murder of civilians in China, now thumb it again in regard to their protests against being summarily deprived of any voice in the control of Shanghai.

What lies behind this is in part simply megalomania. The calculated propaganda of Mussolini and Hitler has done much to instill in the Italian and German minds the notion of destined invincibility. But it does not have to be instilled in the minds of the Japanese warlords. They have always had it. It is an integral part of the national cult of Shinto and the worship of the sun-emperor.

But behind the Japanese defiance there is also an element of very canny calculation. The United States, they understand very well, does not mean to fight if it can possibly be avoided. Like Germany in 1916 and 1917, they are confident, indeed, that the United States will not fight under any circumstances. And as for France and Britain--France can do nothing without Britain. And though it is improbable that Britain will see her empire destroyed without fighting, the Spanish case has amply demonstrated that she has no intention of fighting under any circumstances until she has completed her rearmament program. That gives the Japanese good reason to think that they have two years in which to defy her with impunity--and to strengthen their position to meet her when the test comes.

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