Letters to the Editor 

The Nineteenth Century Club, Grammar Police, and the Tiny Crossword Puzzle

Erasing History
Regarding Bianca Phillips' well-written article, "Erasing History": Let me see if I have the facts right. The owners of the Nineteenth Century Club decided they did not want to keep the broken-down building that had been theirs for a very long time.

So a smart businessman (Dick Hackett) convinced them to auction the building and donate a big chunk of money to a well-deserving organization (the Children's Museum). A successful couple made the highest bid and decided that the best option for their businesses was to replace the broken-down building with a few shops that they believe the city of Memphis will support. Not one tiny neighborhood mind you, the city of Memphis. I don't think the "65 percent" of Midtowners that the Memphis Heritage group claims will not shop there will affect their business in the slightest. People love to shop for exotic Asian spices, foods, and other products. Do you really believe that the only customers who shop at Whole Foods are from the two-mile radius of Poplar and Mendenhall?

This debacle reminds me of the protests of Chick-fil-A when they wanted to tear down the old building at Union and Rembert. The claim at that time was that Chick-fil-A was going to demolish a church to build a business. That was a lie. My father worked as a commercial artist in that building for nearly 30 years. It was never a church; the building was designed to look like a church because the Frontier Press printing company's only customer was the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

In my opinion, the reason that Memphis Heritage can't raise enough money for their cause is simply because it is unnecessary, and most people know that buildings come and go, and the city of Memphis is always growing and changing.

Barclay Frazier
Memphis

Grammar Police
The only time I can't be critical of someone who uses improper language (Steve Hiss, Letters to the Editor, July 4th issue) is when it's committed by someone I like, such as Tim Sampson.

My most noticed "misuse" is of two words — politics and ethics — both of which are singular nouns and take singular verbs. I can't count the number of times the Flyer and The Commercial Appeal have not caught this.

As for Paula Deen (Tricia Watson, Letter to the Editor, July 4th issue), I never noticed her use of the "N-word," probably because I never watched or listened to her. When I stumbled onto her by accident, I noticed that she used a pound of sugar and a pound of butter in almost everything she cooked, which was far more offensive to me than any breach of grammar. Apparently, she doesn't do that anymore, as she has lost an enormous amount of weight.

The two most harmful foods you can put in your body are the wrong kind of sugar and the wrong kind of fat.

Miriam Rachels
Memphis

Relax
Every day, the news is full of depressing stories about various crises, scandals, trends. Relax! The apocalypse is not nigh. In fact, while the U.S. has many problems — and always has — things are on the upswing. In the fourth year of a slow but steady recovery, the economy is adding close to 200,000 jobs a month. The stock market has doubled in four years; housing prices are coming back; inflation is half of what it was in 2008. America is not turning into Greece.

Meanwhile, U.S. carbon emissions have dropped to the lowest level in two decades, and so have oil imports. Admittedly, all this good news would make a boring summer movie, but maybe we should enjoy it anyway.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City, California

Puzzling
What's the deal with that postage stamp masquerading as a crossword puzzle? I have difficulty both reading the clues and filling in the answers.

My guess is that most crossword fans have old, tired eyes like mine.

I'd say, either have a crossword or don't, but if you do, make it usable. This used to be one of the things I looked forward to each week, but I can certainly get my fix elsewhere.

Will Cooper
Memphis

Editor's note: We will endeavor to make it bigger.

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