Earlier this week my daughter was driving to LA with a small group of fellow students for a week-long service project, learning about and working with Homeboy Industries. She’s busy. She’s got a lot going on. I don’t get a lot of texts from her. But I do read her tweets, including this one:


What a great word! Okay, so I did feel a bit sorry for the poor prairie dog they nearly sent on to his reward. But come on, calamity! What a great word. Somehow I feel it should always be followed by an exclamation point. Calamity! You probably know it means “an event that causes great harm and suffering”, as Merriam Webster tells us. Maybe you think about Calamity Jane. She’s a fascinating historical character (you can skip the very odd Doris Day portrayal). The real Calamity Jane sounds like someone I’d never have been cool enough to hang out with. She was sassy, strong, and really good at her job. us, “She cross-dressed, cursed and drank most men under the table. However, despite this, she was also known to be quite generous.” And I had no idea she was born just a two hour drive from where I live today. So back to calamity. It feels less like a word used as part of a sentence, and more an exclamation. I guess that’s why I always expect to see it followed by an exclamation point. Thoughts?


4 thoughts on “Calamity

  1. Back in the day, if anyone had a “social disease,” it was called a calamity. Calamity Jane had a social disease…ergo,,,her name…exclamation point!

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  3. Wow, I didn’t know she was a real person. Thanks a lot Sue for all that information. I guess it wouldn’t have been a calamity,if I hadn’t seen your bon mot today. But I sure enjoyed it.

    Sent from my iPhone

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