Tag Archives: stamps

The Fickleness of Vocabulary; or, the Case of the R-Word

Strip of 1974 stamps dedicated to "retarded" children

In 1974, the US Postal Service put out a stamp stating “Retarded Children Can be Helped.” The sentiment was certainly one we can relate to: the mentally impaired do not need to be marginalized. This is contrary to a long history of approaches to mental disability, which has included institutionalization and forced sterilization. I can find no consensus as to how many people were still using the word “retarded” in a non-derogatory way in 1974. Some thought it was already

Amazon the (Almost) Omnipotent; also, a Bit of Family History

Anytime someone complains that they can’t find a certain book, the first thing I ask is “Have you checked Amazon?”  If they complain that a certain book is too expensive, I ask “Have you checked Amazon for used copies?” Now, there are, indeed, times when Amazon does not actually have the book you’re looking for, but you’re probably going for old and/or obscure. However, I’m beginning to think Amazon may list every book in existence with a U.S. registered copyright,

More Tales of 1923 Inflation

Yesterday I introduced the billion mark stamp from 1923 Germany with a bit of background  behind this truly absurd item. Today, I visited a stamp store (which the owner says now officially makes me a philatelist, rather than a person who just happens to have stamps) and had a lovely conversation with the owner.  I related how I had come into my collection and how I could appreciate them more now than as a teen because I knew some of