From the December, 2003 issue of Touchstone
Dead Kids on the Block by Robert Hart

Dead Kids on the Block

Robert Hart on the Wages of Vice

If you have never heard of Balmer Merlin, you have never been a resident of Baltimore, Maryland. It is not that the natives are in too much of a hurry to pronounce the t—that would be natural enough to New Yorkers—or to treat an or with the appropriate sound. What makes them say Balmer is simply that they are laid back: They see no reason to put consonant strain upon the tongue.

This trait is evident in that the purpose of a marble stoop is less for climbing to a front door than for settin’. Settin’ is very much like sitting, but not if one sits up straight, or arches forward to muse like the Thinker. For settin’ means sort-of-sitting, and doing so wholly without attitude. Baltimore has many other charms and grand local traditio . . .


This article is only available to subscribers.

Login to Touchstone Online

Not a subscriber? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of content!
Options Below:

personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

gift subscriptions

GIVE
Online Subscription

Give a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Transactions will be processed on the secure server of The Fellowship of St. James website, the publisher of Touchstone.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

30.2—March/April 2017

Rescuing Cervantes

on Reading Don Quixote in Its Original Christian Context by Luis Cortest

25.4—July/August 2012

All the Lonely People

The Corrosive & Far-Reaching Fallout of the Sexual Revolution by Anthony Esolen

31.5—September/October 2018

Pastoral Realism

on the Congregation as a Wilderness by Paul Gregory Alms

Touchstone is published by

All content The Fellowship of St. James — 2018. All rights reserved.
Returns, refunds, and privacy policy.