Had to take a mental health break from the blog for the last few days. My Mom, a loyal reader and former English teacher, informed me that I was using "its" when I should have been using "it's," and that sent me into such a tailspin of grammar-and-usage-induced depression that I needed to step away from the computer. You see, I unfortunately lost my ability to discriminate between it's and its while I was teaching; I saw the wrong variant used so many times that first I started to second guess myself, then I started not to notice, and finally I forgot the correct usage completely. The comp and rhetoric faculty where I used to teach would call this "the evolution of the language." I call that BS, so now that my Mom has given me a handy-dandy little way to remember which its is it's, I can continue. (Handy-dandy little way: The apostrophe means something is missing. What's missing is the "i" in "it is," so...it's is it is.)
In any event, speaking of my folks, I decided to email them this photo from Iceberg Quest as we motored over to Cape Spear to see:
A HILL! Excitement.
Actually, that hill is the easternmost point in North America. So there it is -- the end. (An optimist would tell you that it's the beginning.) So it wasn't that impressive from the boat. I did get there by car despite the best efforts of Magellan on Day 2 in St. John's, and it's actually very impressive. But what this picture really got me pondering was this:
From a small tour boat in the North Atlantic, took a picture of Newfoundland on my Blackberry and emailed it from that Blackberry to my parents, who received it on their computer on Long Island thirty seconds or so later (yes, yes, I know, we should all upgrade to 4G to make it really fast). When my parents were young, Blackberry was only a fruit, Newfoundland was not yet a province of Canada, television didn't yet exist, and in order to make a phone call from her house on Long Island, my mother had to speak to an operator over their party line. (My father, being a doctor's son in NYC, suffered no such indignities as his family had a dedicated line.)
Talk about how much can change over the course of a lifetime...