Local Idioms

Surely you’re familiar with the ways that casual remarks catch on as bywords in families and other small social groups; the other day, I had a long talk with PTS former President Tom Gillespie about an occasion when he referred to a combustible riposte that he decided not to make was “insufficiently redemptive” (a phrase that Margaret and I still use to describe plans that satisfy wrath more than grace).
Yesterday evening, as Pippa was getting ready for bed after a long day shopping for new eyeglasses, she came downstairs and thanked Margaret for the time they had spent at the glasses emporium (and other nearby shops, while the glasses were under construction). “But I’d like to mention. . . ,” she began, and Margaret immediately interrupted her to fend off the request for a further favor. “I just thought. . . ,” Pippa resumed, and Margaret introduced some wildly off-topic diversion. “You probably should remember. . . ,” she started again, and this time I chimed in to help Margaret. Pippa retreated upstairs to her bedroom.
Margaret called to PIppa, “If I keep interrupting you, will you not ask me?”
Pippa replied, “No! I mean, you might confuse me with your crafty grammar. . . .”
I have the feeling we’ll be alluding to “crafty grammar” around here for a long time.

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