"The Battle of THE Books" by James Chandler: I loved
every word of it. I was, however, taken aback by one word in the
next article, "Search for Meanings." On page 24, I read
by any strength of the imagination." I have always
heard it as "by any stretch of the imagination." And
it makes sense too. One doesn't speak in terms of the imagination
being weak or strong.
on page 36 ["Page-Turners"], a professor is quoted as
saying, "when I'm done." Maybe there has been a recent
acceptance of an expression that is omnipresent these days-and
used by almost everyone, although incorrectly in my opinion. When
I taught the 4th grade and my students would approach my desk,
with a paper in hand saying "I'm done," I would laugh
and tell them that they looked very much alive to me. And that
I thought what they meant was that they "had finished."
I suppose that I could "stretch" the rule to say that
the past tense of "to do" would be OK if the verb "to
have" accompanied it, and it also had an object-as in "I
have done the task (that was assigned to me)."
Strauff Kosicki, PhB'46
of the imagination" is what the Oxford English Dictionary's
North American editor, Jesse Sheidlower, AB'89, said-in what he
and the story's writer agree was a happy slip of the tongue: there
are times when one's imagination may be strong as well as supple.-Ed.