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A damned poor mind

Jamie Bate

It is a damned poor mind indeed which can’t think of at least two ways to spell any word.

” President

Andrew Jackson

I tend to agree with Old Hickory’s statement. But as a journalist, the one word that ultimately gets placed on the page has to be write, um, right (or more correctly, correct), otherwise I’ll here, ugh, hear about it from our good readers.

That was the case a couple of weeks ago, when in an attempt to characterize Truckee as a small town, we called it a berg. Not long after, a reader let us know in no uncertain terms that we had screwed up.

While Truckee can be a chilly burg, as the reader astutely pointed out, it’s not a berg ” as in ice. (Just for the record, we caught the mistake as content was loaded onto sierrasun.com, albeit too late for the paper.)

I’ll take the blame for that one. Too many years taking language courses and living in Germany have me cross-pollinating lingoes. You should hear me order a beer down in Mexico, “Buenas tardes, mein Freund. Bitte ein cerveza, por favor.”

Speaking of bier, or beer (hey, it’s a damn poor mind which can’t think of at least two ways to spell beer), there’s a tasty brew cooked up in a not-so-little German burg called Bitburg, which is kind of close to Heidelberg but no where near Pittsburgh.

Ah, words. While leafing through a dictionary recently, I came across a few ” all on the same page no less ” that made me think about our little mountain berg, ah dang ” burg, during springtime with an entirely new vocabulary.

After all, I awoke Tuesday morning to find our little burg covered in a niveous blanket of white. That started me thinking about the daffodils I saw poking up along East Jibboom Street the other day. I wondered when more would burst from their nival landscape to add splashes of color around our burg.

It was during that noesis that I contemplated the whole berg v. burg nodus. Yes, I was something of a noddy for letting that gaff slip into the paper, but by no means was it intended to be a nocent act.

So call me a nit wit, but not that other kind of noddy. After all, we all know they are found in tropical waters, where, alas, there are no bergs nor burgs to be found.

Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at jbate@sierrasun.com.


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