Mon, 15 Jul 2002

Dear Mister Wonderful,

To express solidarity with my Heathen Brothers and Sisters and support the new pledge amendment in schools, I am planning to cross the word "God" off all of my dollar bills (sadly I don't have time to scratch it off all my coins). My dilemma is what to write in its place. "In Wonder We Trust" doesn't quite fit. What replacement word do you suggest?

E Pluribus Unum,

Robert E. Rubin


Dear Dead Precedents,

As Thoreau used to say, "Simplify, simplify!" Of course, he was an extremely annoying person with a penchant for repeating himself unnecessarily. We got it on the first "simplify," thanks Hank. No need to go baroquing it up.

I don't know how many times we had to give him the old "pond-toss" when he wouldn't shut his face.

So, yes, I think your little fiscal dilemma here can be solved with an astonishing degree of simplicity and accuracy. First though: Isn't dilemma a wonderful word? Di-lemma. Two lemmas gamboling over the vocabulary patch, gently discombobulating the verity trees. And just the shape of the word, that long-necked d and high l rolling down to the double m's, evoking a dinosaur, perhaps, or a lounging sphinx. Cross not the dilemma; its horns are swift and sticky.

Anyway. Point is. No need to cover-up and replace on the old dollar bill, just make an addition. A simple "l" will transform the phrase into a statement both powerful and palatable: "In Gold We Trust."

It's time they owned up about that, anyway.