Opinion column feedback is fun

This might be one of those weeks when readers have crawled out of the woodwork to share comments and opinions about this column.

Sometimes I think perhaps my six regular readers have abandoned me and gone elsewhere for news — like to the New York Times or the Chicago Tribune, you know? There are long dry spells when no one says “boo” about my opinion and that is a bit frustrating. I count on those six regular readers to keep me up to speed and I appreciate their input.

I have received letters and e-mails regarding my comments about the words “kerfuffle” and “guttersnipe.” One reader wants to be informed when the Coneburg daughter actually comes up with a kerfuffle sandwich or wrap. The reader has an appreciation for odd words and thinks a kerfuffle item on the Coneburg menu might just expand literary awareness all over Marion County.

The term guttersnipe elicited comments as well. While the word did not pop up in many dictionaries, almost all readers familiar with it agreed with my mother. They thought the term should be spoken in hushed tones for emphasis on bad behavior in reference to women who use provocative clothing and language, an overabundance of makeup, or exuded behavior that could be assigned to a woman of ill repute. Mama must have known whereof she spoke! One person mentioned the term being used in the musical “My Fair Lady.” Since I am not a fan of musicals, I have no knowledge of that, but it sounds as though it could be so.

I also heard from the widow of a former Peabody resident and PHS graduate. She still subscribes to the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin. I was delighted to hear from her and find out she is still a subscriber. She was writing to let me know that I probably do not have to exchange my old flip phone for a Magna-Excalibre Numero-Uno Ma Bell Fantastika phone that will keep me connected to more people, places, and things than I want.

She told me she went to her “local phone store” and got a new flip phone that does just what she and I want a cellular phone to do. Siri is not involved. Of course, we do not have a local phone store so I might have to search a bit, but that was good news indeed. I will investigate the possibility and let you know how it works out in case there are others like me looking to hang on to this simple uneventful life.

In addition to all this great feedback, I found out from the front office staff at city hall that my explanation of a city council discussion a week ago about the future of curbside pickup during cleanup week left several local families confused. What? I was not cogent and precise with my reporting? I confused my readers? Did I?

I looked up the report of the presentation by city treasurer Jonna Munson and Waste Connection representative Herschel West, and guess what? Yes, my statements were loose. They certainly could have been misconstrued so here is my mea culpa about trash service.

The issue was switching curbside pickup during cleanup week from Friday morning as it has been for years to Saturday morning to better accommodate the staff at Waste Connections. The operative words regarding this change are “during cleanup week.”

When I reported this discussion from the city council meeting of Oct. 10, I left out those words. I was not cogent and precise with my reporting. I said, “…the Saturday curbside pickup instead of the traditional Friday pickup left about half a dozen residents unhappy because their trash was not removed.”

See? No reference to cleanup week. The city office had calls from people who thought that sentence meant the city had switched our weekly curbside pickup from Friday to Saturday.

As the kids say, “My bad.” I can certainly see how people could have misunderstood my report about cleanup week. So, everyone go back to taking your weekly trash out on Friday morning until it is spring cleanup time. During cleanup week, you will still take your weekly trash to the curb on Friday, but your extra cleanup week trash will be picked up on Saturday morning.

There you have it — my opinion of your opinions on my opinion.

—susan marshall

Last modified Oct. 20, 2016

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