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Everything Goes Haywire

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Friday, 28 November 2014 in Uncategorized

...and I don't have a clue where that phrase came from. Going haywire? What does it mean?

But it came to my mind Wenesday ngiht, when...almost simultaneously...a dental implant fell out. Because of a snowstorm the power went off. And..unrelated to the power outage..my email program failed...can't send, can't receive.

Is it fair for everythng to happen...ah, to go haywire...all at once? Maybe it's easier. Instead of three separate meltdowns, you have only one.

Now, the day after Thanksgiving, I am planning to head south on Monday to connect with the dentist, who is in Massachsetts. The power is back on, thank goodness...it returned yesterday morning in time to cook dinner for a friend who is visiting. And I am waiting now for a phone call from my computer guru, who over the years has managed to fix every computer disaster and I hope will be able to restore my email capacity. Then the world will seem okay again.

And in the meantime, with no email, I am sitting here at the computer and will turn my attention to work which awaits...and without the distraction of those always ongoing communications.  Perhaps this is even a good thing.

I have turkey soup simmering. There is snow on the ground outside, quite beautiful, but the roads are clear and the sky is partly blue.

And here is this: It would seem a story of semantics gone haywire. Haywire is a compound of the words hay and wire, originally simply denoting wire used to bale hay or straw. The term is first recorded as a noun in a debate in the Canadian House of Commons (1917), so it is a Canadianism or, since it appeared soon thereafter in a U.S. publication, a North Americanism. We find an earlier (1905) attributive use in the phrase hay wire outfit, a term used contemptuously for poorly equipped loggers. What lies behind this term is the practice of making repairs with haywire. Haywire is found in other contexts with the general sense "makeshift, inefficient," from which come the extended senses "not functioning properly" and "crazy."

As you can see, I still have internet access, and therefore many ways, still, to be distracted!

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Comments

joy
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joy Saturday, 29 November 2014

Hi My name is Joy. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I emailed you yesterday regarding your book "Like the Willow Tree." One of our 6th grade assignments was to choose a historical fiction book and create a food dish or dessert that falls under the category of the author's heritage, story's setting, or character's heritage. Would you please suggest a food dish or dessert for one of these categories. I need to not only explain how the dish relates to the history but I also need to make it and share it with the class. This assignment is due on Monday Dec. 1st so I REALLY need your help! Only bread and butter are mentioned in the book so I need more ideas PLEASE!! A desperate 6th grader:)

Monique
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Monique Friday, 12 December 2014

Dear Ms. Lowry:

I would just like to thank you the amazing books you have written. I first started reading your books in fourth grade, when I read Number the Stars. I loved that book and, to this day, it remains one of my favorites. I also loved The Giver. You have a magnificent gift with words, and I would just like to thank you for sharing it with the world.

Sincerely,
Monique

PS If you ever have a book signing coming up, please tell me :)

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