Sounds like “On the Beautiful Blue Danube,” right? (Some people refer to that waltz as “The Beautiful Blue Danube.” Don’t forget the “On.”) Anyway, in Impromptus today, I write about a friend of mine, who went to Harvard College in the 1950s, I believe. He was enthusing about a professor of his: Werner Jaeger, the renowned classicist who lived from 1888 to 1961. “I was so excited, just being in his classroom, I could hardly listen to what he was saying. He was simply a great, electrifying teacher. We all felt hit by lightning or something.”
I had one or two like that — but these were not teachers in schools. Anyway, a reader writes, “Being so excited you can hardly listen? Being practically dizzy in the presence of greatness? That’s exactly how I feel on an NR cruise!”
Hey, she said it, we didn’t. In any event, her check is in the mail . . .
P.S. I have headed this lil’ item “On the USS NR.” I have a question for you: When do you drop the periods in “U.S.S.”? When do you drop the periods in “U.S.S.R.”? How about “C.I.A.”? These things evolve, I guess — you just know.
P.P.S. One of the (minor) plagues of contemporary America is that people call acronyms things that are not acronyms: USS, USSR, and CIA are not acronyms. They are abbreviations, or initials. NATO, NORAD — yes.
In the summer of 2008, a writer for New York magazine was having an Obamasm, or whatever we might call it. He wrote that the candidate was “our national oratorical superhero — a honey-tongued Frankenfusion of Lincoln, Gandhi, Cicero, Jesus, and all our most cherished national acronyms (MLK, JFK, RFK, FDR).”
Um, no. On many, many counts, no.