Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Linguistic Misunderestimations 'n' More

Recently we received a press release containing the following phrase:

She literally catapulted herself into a new rank of club performers...

Certainly there was an easier way to go about career advancement. Picture it! A singer climbs to the top of a catapult to be hurled into a row of frightened fellow artists below (replacements for those already flattened by the last catapulting). Is she vocalizing as she flies through the air while those below freeze in terror? As Holly Golightly would say, “The mind reels”.

Here at Two Well Read we are taking a stand against the misuse of the word literally. Of course, we aren’t literally taking a stand. We’re sitting. But even so….

According to one of our favorite writers on matters verbal, Mr. Roy Blount Jr., "This word, which derives from letter, as in 'the letter of the law', means just what it says, which is to say: ”meaning just what it says.” It should not be used to mean its opposite: virtually, or figuratively...."

Ah! Perhaps former president G.W. Bush really meant to say that the mission was figuratively accomplished.

Enough said.

Won’t you join us in our quest to restore this word to its proper place? The next time some hapless fellow tells you he "literally went through the roof” or “literally died”, ask for proof. Were there splinters involved? A white light? If not, perhaps you can gently suggest a better linguistic path. Together we can literally make a difference.

PS The quote from Roy Blount Jr. is from his fabulous new book Alphabet Juice. If you love words as we do, check it out. It’s a great read!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mondegreen Moment

On this cloudy Thursday afternoon let’s take a break and ponder the following misheard gem from the Beatles' Ticket to Ride

She’s got a chicken to ride
We can’t help but wonder where one finds a chicken saddle?

Your Redheads are collecting mondegreens for a weekly feature here on Two Well Read, and we need your input. Please share your stories of misheard lyrics with us by sending them to If we use them we’ll give you full credit, and a nifty surprise gift. There’s no expiration date on this one and no limit on the number of entries you can send.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Most Unusual Gig

Miss Wendy Lane Welcomes you to her fabulous dressing house

My friend Michelle O, when not trying to kill me through physical fitness, is often the source of inspired lunacy. So when she asked me to be the featured performer at a benefit for her foundation, I said yes at once. After all, there were no golf clubs or tennis rackets involved. This is how my intrepid pianist Rick Jensen and I found ourselves performing in the middle of a furniture store and sharing a bill with former New York Giants (I am told this is a football team) Ottis Anderson, Jim Burt, Harry Carson, and Bart Oates.
Wendy Lane auditions new back-up singers. Super Bowl XXV MVP Ottis Anderson is on the right.
Lest you think this is a bad thing let me say that, first of all, it was a VERY NICE furniture store, and second we were all pitching in to support the Colleen Giblin Foundation and their mission of pediatric neurological research. A variety of folks donated their time and talents to make this evening a success, starting with Joe, Marcia and Mark Bograd and Mark Thomas, who opened the doors of Bograd's Fine Furniture, for this event, and provided for Rick and me not just a dressing room, but a dressing HOUSE. Our very own two story Victorian with pressed tin ceilings, and lovely antiques.
Rick gets ready for his close-up in the dressing house
We were having such a great time staging an impromptu photo session in our digs we almost missed our entrance. A big Redhead smooch to event co-sponsors New Jersey Monthly Magazine, and Fiore Associates, as well as, Meg Minasian, and Michelle Oates of the Gilblin Foundation, and our wonderful tech guys Kaipo Bridges and Jason Small. It was a marvelous party, and we were honored to be part of it.
Wendy Lane & Rick on-stage

Wendy Lane, Ottis Anderson, and Michelle Oates having way too much fun

Monday, May 4, 2009

Keeping Up

We’re so flustered from all our recent activity that we just realized we neglected to announce the winner from last month’s Inspiration Challenge. The Redhead award (a $20 I-Tunes gift card) goes to our friend Karen Merstik from the Vegas girl group Dangerous Curves. We were delighted to hear her thoughts on getting back into the inspirational groove, and even more thrilled to find that she is also a redhead. Karen, drop us a note at with your contact info, and we’ll get your card right out to you. As for the rest of you…we’ll be posting this month’s giveaway question in the next week so keep your browser tuned in.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Where Has the Time All Gone To?

It has been a whirlwind of a week for your Redheads. First we had Miss Laurel’s gig at Birdland, which was a smash hit. Many thanks to Jim Caruso, who wins our vote for the coolest guy in show biz, Sean Corcoran who made it all look and sound pretty, and the Birdland staff, especially James the bartender who kept Miss Wendy Lane supplied with diet cokes throughout! Tuesday was Bistro Award night, where Laurel was awarded the 2009 Bistro for best Jazz Vocalist, and we got to see Liza with a Z, Charles Aznavour and various and sundry other show folk. After that the rest of the week was spent hard at work on a few new projects we have in the works. We’ll be spilling the details on those in the coming weeks and months, but for now here are a few shots from Monday’s Birdland show.

Laurel & the Band
Rich De Rosa (Drums), Steve La Spina (Bass), Tex Arnold (Musical Director, piano)

Laurel & Broadcast Legend Joe Franklin

Laurel with Composer Larry Kerchner, Joe Franklin, & Annette Costa

The photos were all taken by Wendy Lane, who despite her nifty Armani Cocktail dress forgot to get herself into any of the shots. No worries though, we’ll have some of her after her performance for the Colleen Giblin Foundation this coming Thursday (details about that may be found under Where In the World are the Redheads to the right of this column).