WHAT KENTUCKY BROUGHT HOME
Your in-depth look at this year's National Invitation Tournament MVP, Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell, and his supporting cast at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (What's That Name Again? March 29), whose fairy tale ended just a bit prematurely, was interesting. Seldom does an unknown rise up and challenge the big boys and survive to tell about it.
My only objection to your NIT coverage is that you failed to recognize the achievement of the champions, the Kentucky Wildcats. Here was a team that had lost four starters to graduation from last year's NCAA runner-up team and then lost its fifth, Rick Robey, to a knee injury midway through the season. Kentucky had a 10-10 record on Feb. 14, and then went on to win 10 consecutive contests, the final one against UNCC.
DAVID B. JOHNSON
FOR HOCKEY, IT'S MINNESOTA
As a season-ticket holder to the games of two hockey teams in the Twin City area, I was amazed to see that your only mention of the Minnesota Gophers winning the NCAA hockey title was a three-line paragraph in FOR THE RECORD (April 5). In the same issue you had a fine article on the world curling championship, won by the Hibbing ( Minn.) rink (Winning One for the Skip). You also had an article earlier in the year about youth hockey in Minnesota. So how can you quit now?
Three players on this years championship Gopher team have already signed pro contracts, and the best young pro prospect, Reed Larson, is expected to go in the first round of the NHL draft.
WORDS TO THE WISE (CONT.)
I thoroughly enjoyed Frank Deford's BOOKTALK column (March 8) dealing with the omnipresent "you know" (usually pronounced "y'know"). Those of us who teach courses in oral communication are inundated with that phrase, which is characteristic of the speech not only of athletes, but also of many young people.
In my efforts to impress on my students the desirability of at least trying to eliminate the habit, I wrote this poem (?), which has made my advice at least more interesting than the usual efforts.
WITH, Y'KNOW, APOLOGIES TO, Y'KNOW, DR. SEUSS
Beware, if you can, of the intrusive r,
Of the semi-vowel that is not up to par,
And do all you are able to shun and avoid
The intemperate use of a blasphemous woid.
But of all the speech errors you should try to forgo
By far the most vicious is the pernicious "you know."
It appears like a virus, infecting each clause;
It's a virulent strain of the vocalized pause.
It means—y'know—nothing, but it keeps sneaking in,
'Til it's clearly become our far worst speaking sin.
It's extremely distracting to hear that same flow
Of vapid verbosity—it will drive you y'know.
Oh, it's—y'know—nothing vital, but we are sinking low
When we can't—y'know—say a sentence without saying "y'know."
Vicious, pernicious, not at all delicious;
Omnipresent, incessant, really unpleasant;
Intrusive, abusive, it makes you feel woosive—
I'm speaking, of course, of the awful "you know."
WILLIAM R. DEMOUGEOT
Professor of Speech Communication
North Texas State University