When was "English" first spoken? That's a question I asked Google to check out on the internet.... and it answered with "About 34,900,000 results." Granted I had SOME free time on my hands... but not quite THAT much. So I checked into the first 3 or so and found that some guy didn't just suddenly pop out of the ground speaking "English", the language EVOLVED from Germanic Languages to "Old English" about 450 AD, then kept changing up to "Today's English"... which will not be the same as "Tomorrow's English." You see English is a "living" language. New words find their way into the language every day... new phrases as well. Which brings me to today's subject.

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Being fairly close to my home I visit the "Crawfordsville Family Restaurant" fairly often. (They're on Hwy 136 where "Hardees" used to be.) They offer a diverse menu of good old' Hoosier food and friendly service.

A few weeks ago a waitress (excuse me "server") named Angel Weaver came to my table and asked for my order. I don't know what made me use the word, but while continuing to peer at the picture of it in the menu I answered something like "I'll have that Chicken Fried Steak... with all the ACCOUTREMENTS."

There was a pause... I looked up from the menu and Angel had a rather perplexed look on her face.

I said "Do you know what "accoutrements' are?"

Angel hesitantly said... "No."

I said "It's all the stuff that goes with it." (Which any English Teacher will tell you is only PARTIALLY true)

But here's the kicker... Angel looked back at me and put together 7 words which I don't believe had EVER been assembled in that order in the HISTORY of the English Language... In all those 1,562 years of evolving English... I can't believe ANYONE had ever said...."How do you want your accoutrements cooked?"

So here's to ANGEL WEAVER!!!... A modern-day practitioner of the "evolvnation" of English as a "Living" Language.

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But that's not all.... As I ate breakfast ... I kept mulling over the significance of what I have just explained to you. Then... when I went to pay my bill... I told Angel what I was thinking and I was going to mention it someday in this column. I finished by saying "Here... write your name down on this paper so I don't forget how to spell it."

And she looked at me... smiled and said..."How can you forget an Angel?" (Yep... I believe she did it again!)

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Now here are 2 things I DON'T want YOU to forget:

Number 1: The 2nd Annual Crawfordsville Local Author Book-signing Fair is TOMORROW NIGHT (Thursday) downstairs in the Library's RR Donnelley Room from 5-8PM.

Number 2: Along with Dick Wolfsie and the 25 or so other fine Authors "yours truly" will have a table where I will be peddling my two NEW books (sort of an "Opening Night!!!" as they've never been available ANYWHERE before.)

One is an answer to some of you requesting copies of previous columns...it's called "The First 76 Best of "By The Way." It's a compilation of my first 76 columns with some NEW stuff thrown in... like letters from column readers... and my here-to fore unpublished "behind the scene" comments on things related to the column. It's supposed to sell for 12 bucks... but I'll give you a special discount tomorrow night ONLY.

The other is a DETAILED INDEX of my "Paddling Sugar Creek" book as compiled by Dian Moore. She put it together because SHE had a hard time locating facts and stuff she had previously read in the book. I found it to be such a great companion to the main book I requested... and she agreed to make it available to the public. (We have Deluxe and "Plain" editions available at $8 and $5)

A few copies of my "Scottish Freewheeler" novella and reports on Lincolns Funeral Train and how the Jim Davis Bridge got its name will be available as well.

But even if you don't want to buy a book... "Come on down" and say hello. I'd be most happy to chat a while. Admission is free... and I'm told they'll also have complementary drinks and snacks you can stick in your pocket.

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"Til next Wednesday when, I plan to give you a never before mentioned reason why I end this column the way I do.... choose to be happy... and (just like Angel)... keep smiling.



Dick Munro writes a his weekly column, By The Way, for The Paper. It appears each Wednesday in The Paper.