A whole-word reader is, in contrast to a phonics reader, someone who sees the entire word as an entity rather than as a series of syllables to be sounded out and assembled. At least, theoretically, since you can't be exclusively one or the other.
That is, a phonics-taught reader would certainly learn to recognize some words on sight. You wouldn't have to sound out Sss--T--OP every time you came to a stop sign.
And, if you weren't taught some phonics, you couldn't possibly store up all the words you've ever seen simply by their appearance.
(This is not a breakthrough analysis -- no educational theory can be applied as written, despite the fervour of its advocates. A Summerhill school with no rules would be burnt to the ground within a month.)
Some of the oddities of being predominantly a whole-word reader include seeing blocks of texts where you're only supposed to see one word at a time, so that, as you roll down the exit ramp, you see "Ahead Stop" painted on the tarmac.
Another, more relevant to today's Sherman's Lagoon, involves fitting new words into unintentional phonic disorder, which is to say, seeing potential phonic clues in a long, unfamiliar words which, if you slowed down and viewed the word a syllable at a time instead of as a unit, you'd realize actually consist of different syllables.
That is, you see whole words and familiar forms within a word that simply aren't there.
Such that your eyes are convinced, though you consciously know it can't possibly be true, that there is a Greek dish called "Spankatopia."
Which is not food at all, but, rather, an ideal land for people into mild S&M.
Though I still say it's spinach pie, and I still say to hell with it.
While we're on the topic of personal oddities, today's Six Chix brings to mind the notion that women seem to have an ability to assemble themselves that men do not possess.
I don't think the ability is innate, but I do suspect there is an innate sense of aesthetics that is natural in women and comes across as excessive vanity in men. Further, I think this sense leads them to practice in youth, such that most women become expert at analyzing what looks will work for them and what ones will not.
One of these developed abilities -- and Isabella Bannerman's gag suggests that it is a rare one -- is being able to recreate at home what happens in the salon, the joke being an expensive haircut ruined because only a handful of women could repair it on their own.
Still, a handful is better than none. When I was 21, I went to my first hairdresser-rather-than-barber and got a Rod Stewart cut. And learned that, casual as the look appears, Rod Stewart likely had a staff that attended to his hair so he didn't look a complete prat.
It's not that most women would have developed the ability to re-create the look each morning, but most would have developed the sense not to get such a ridiculous haircut in the first place.
(If you think this is sexist, I invite you to walk through the halls of any middle school and observe young women learning the hard way and young men not learning at all.)
Local Juxtaposition of the Day
I don't know precisely what part of Massachusetts Jeff Corriveau grew up in, but I suspect it was not too far from here, because he does maple-syrup-tapping arcs on occasion at this time of year and, while he's never very technical about it, it's clear he knows what he's talking about.
We were discussing the topic the other day because we have had an early spring. Sugaring off calls for warm days and cold nights and we haven't really had the latter, but someone said the producers started tapping in February, which is early but was when the sap began to run.
Which shows some adaptibility on the part of the trees, providing hope that maple syrup will do better than coffee as the climates shift, both trees needing a combination of weather and soil that only coincides in some belts, plus climate-based protection against other threats. We'll get back to that.
Anyway, the producers may have started early but Jeff isn't too late because it's ongoing.
Meanwhile, speaking of narrow, climate-specific belts, I'd like to know precisely where it is that the groundhog's predication is supposed to be applicable and I suspect the answer is somewhere in Germany.
Howsoever, Harry Bliss timed this almost perfectly, since our abnormally warm winter gave way to bitter cold this weekend and we're being threatened with a dump that should make him wish he'd timed the panel to run tomorrow, as he would have seemed truly psychic.
And, despite the urban background, this qualifies as local humor, given that Bliss lives less than 20 miles away, though, while I greatly admire his work, I've never met him, nor do I expect to, since he lives in J.D. Salinger's old homestead.
If that doesn't send a strong enough signal that he's not looking for pop-in guests, I'll bet the neighbors have not yet lost their longtime tradition of sending curious tourists off on wild goose chases on Jerry's behalf.
About that Climate thingie
Not only does our new EPA Director think that a tiny number of paid science trolls contradicting more than 95% of scientists who actually know what they're talking about constitutes "tremendous disagreement" about climate change (Goodbye, coffee! Goodbye, maple syrup!), but, as Matt Wuerker points out, Dear Leader is not only halting but clawing back efforts to remedy obvious, immediate problems.
So he can increase the defense budget.
Apparently weapons-assembly jobs matter more than reclamation jobs.
Make Earth Toxic Again
(Yes, this Malvina Reynolds song is about atomic fallout. But it's also about environmental apathy.)