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I'M IN AGREEANCE YOU SHOULD NEVER USE THAT WORD

It's time to look into the old mailbag again and answer some questions from the curious:

I have a question. I don't want to seem too cynical. I was listening to KUER's annual fund-raising campaign, and I wonder if you think the host's vocabulary was appropriate for an educational station? The host said, "If you are in AGREEANCE with what we are doing here at KUER, please make a pledge now." Then later, using an expression meaning "so to speak," he said, "as it was," which I'm pretty sure SHOULD be "as it WERE."

- Velma Varney, Veyo

Thanks, Velma, for your astute observations. I think you have every right to take issue with an educational radio station host who stumbles with word usage. In other words, I'm clearly in AGREEANCE with you. (Ha, ha. No, just kidding.)

Certainly the use of AGREEANCE is incorrect by any stretch of the imagination, and you have a right to expect a KUER host to use the language correctly, as it were. (Ha - did you notice the sly way I threw in that last phrase?) Although AGREEANCE should never be used on the air, it is OK in a newspaper column.

I walked into the symphony late the other night and saw a guy conducting who didn't seem to have any idea what he was doing. He acted as if he were beating the dust out of a rug hanging on the line. Whenever the orchestra stopped, he just kept beating. I had a very difficult time concentrating on Mozart. What's the deal? Are assistant conductors hard to come by these days?

- Morley Morehouse, Murray

The deal is, Morley, you saw a TV news director playing like a conductor. He bought the right to conduct the symphony at a fund-raising auction. As I watched him conduct, I was thinking it would be more interesting to let someone with an actual musical background take the baton. (Like me!) This person might even study the score before picking up the baton, then make such a credible showing that people would say, "Wow, that wasn't bad, was it?" I can dream, can't I? (Whoops, now I'm asking the questions.)

I read in the sports section the other day that former President Jimmy Carter actually caught a foul ball during an Atlanta-San Diego game. Tell me, is there anything this ex-president has NOT done since leaving the White House?

- Delbert Doubtful, Delta

Good question, Delbert. Actually, Jimmy Carter has never starred in his own sitcom or hosted the Academy Awards.

I watched Steve Young actually play a role on TV's "Lois and Clark" the other day, and I don't think he's going to have his own TV show anytime soon. I was wondering if I might be able to play opposite Teri Hatcher some time, too?

- Orrin Orbit, Orem

I understand what you're saying, Orrin, but the fact is, big-time football players usually have some pretty good connections most of us can't claim. If I were you, I would try for a guest spot on the local morning news first.

I'm an otherwise normal adult who inexplicably gets an occasional zit on the face. This is not only embarrassing but often painful. What's the best way to get rid of these little rascals?

- Alan Acne, unincorporated

I confess, Alan, that I sometimes have the same problem. Why just this week I suddenly developed a bulbous, red nose because of a horrible, ugly zit. I asked my trusted pharmacist, Chuck, what to do, and he told me my only hope was to apply heat. So I soaked my nose in the hottest water I could stand. Now it is still red but no longer bulbous.

That's it for this week, kids. Keep those cards and letters coming.