Ha-RASS-ment or HAR-ass-ment? Do you loan somebody money, or lend him or her money? Temperchure or tem-per-a-ture? (I think I know the answer to that last one.) An interesting moment during the Writers Festival annual fundraising gala dinner on Monday night came when host Gloria Macarenko amused the guests with her account of the CBC's "Media Broadcast Advisor". Have you ever wondered how news readers nail the pronunciation of those multisyllabic, consonant-heavy names—linguistic porcupines—that often accompany news stories?
This year's Writers Festival is an embarrassment of riches and I kicked it off at "Travels with my Family," just to see what's in store for the kids this year. David Homel and Marie-Louise Gay have a series of books based on trips they did with their children when they were little (they're in their twenties now). I can tell you this much: if you want to kick off a festival with a surfeit of kinetic energy, then a theatre full of 7 to ten year olds happy to be out of school for an afternoon is a damn good way to do it. Waiting for the authors to come out was like sitting in a giant popcorn machine, the room cracking and popping with excited children.