Pinocchio isn't the only one whose nose grows

News-DemocratFebruary 28, 2014 

I've often been told your nose and ears keep growing as you age. Is that really true? -- V.M., of Millstadt

You may not be mistaken for Jimmy Durante by the time you're 80, but, yes, your schnozz and lobes do keep growing throughout life.

According to Italian scientists who studied this inquiring-minds-want-to-know question, your bones stop growing after puberty.

But the tissue in your nose and ears isn't bone. It's cartilage, a more plastic-like material that keeps growing until the day you die. And here's more bad news: Gravity will make those growing earlobes sag, making them look even larger, according to Dr. Arthur Perry, a plastic surgeon and an expert on the "Dr. Oz" show.

So unlike the phenonenon where your skin dries out and shrinks after death to make it appear that your fingernails are still growing, your ears and nose apparently do keep getting bigger. That's what helps keep plastic surgeons in business with their rhino- and otoplasty procedures.

When did people start using the really annoying "I graduated high school" instead of "I graduated from high school"? -- Easily Annoyed in Columbia

Perhaps you can blame it on the tweet generation, for which any essay over 140 characters apparently now ranks up there with "War and Peace."

So now we wind up with messages filled with LOL (laughing out loud -- or living on Lipitor), BFF (best friends forever) and WDDD (woopie doo da day). Pop singers seem obligated to have at least song title in their repertoire that includes "Luv 4 U." Yech.

And we seem to be starting them earlier and earlier. This week, a colleague pointed out that a local educational center offers a program called Engineering 4 Kidz. Double yech.

So Mignon Fogarty would be delighted to hear of your disgust with this lazy attempt to save one word by butchering the language. She writes the Grammar Girl blog on the Internet and says anyone using this construction should definitely not graduate with honors.

Here's why: When you say "Roger graduated Missouri," you've turned "to graduate" into a transitive verb, she writes.

"By definition, the act of graduating is something a school does to a student, not something a student does to a school."

So while you can say that Missouri graduated 3,000 students, you should not say that someone graduated Missouri.

"Do your alma mater a favor and make your English instructors proud," she concludes. "Tell people you graduated from college or high school."

On thin ice: I may have executed a double klutz in answering my own recent trivia question, "What Winter Olympics sport made its debut at the Summer Games?"

My answer was hockey in 1920, but as Jim Filanda rightfully pointed out, figure skating was part of the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

In my defense, I didn't consider it part of the Summer Olympics because the competition took place on Oct. 28-29, months after the rest of the competition had ended. Besides, only 21 skaters from six countries competed in four events. (In fact, only three took park in two of the events so everyone medaled.)

The men's single winner? Sweden's Ulrich Salchow, for whom the common ice-skating jump is named.

Nailing the answer: And thanks to Randall Brammer for telling me about a house of God that turned into a house of hardware.

In my answer last Sunday about the old Epworth Methodist Church on Walter Street in Belleville, I hedged about what happened to it after it closed because nobody I called had specific information. Brammer wrote to say that the former Remick's Hardware bought it to use as a warehouse before it was torn down two years ago. Brammer's uncle, by the way, played organ at the church and is told his granddad helped rebuild the church after a fire in 1935.

April in March?: Listen up, April Simpson fans. Last Monday, April gleefully posted "One more week!" on her Facebook page, so it sounds as if your favorite Fox2 personality could be back as early as next week.

As you probably know by now, April had her right hip replaced on Dec. 23, which followed treatment for a brain tumor in late 2010 and an operation to replace her left hip in July 2012. Here's hoping she's very careful on any ice this weekend.

Today's trivia

Can you name the three Westerns that have won the Academy Award for best picture?

Answer to Thursday's trivia: If Wichita State shocks the sports world by winning the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament this year, it could become only the eighth team in history to become national champions with an undefeated record in the tourney's 76-year history. The first was San Francisco in 1956, when, led by such greats as K.C. Jones and Bill Russell, the Dons polished off Iowa 83-71 for a 29-0 season. Since then, six other teams have accomplished the feat: North Carolina (1957), UCLA (1964, 1967, 1972 and 1973) -- and, finally, Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers in 1976, which pounded Michigan, 86-68, to wrap up a 32-0 campaign. Wichita State would wind up 40-0.

Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or rschlueter@bnd.com or call 618-239-2465.

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