In a lovely column in The Times about Ciro Scala, who went back to college after a half-century pause, Ginia Bellafante wrote: “The high school Ciro went to in Brooklyn could not provide his transcript, which turned out to be on microfiche and thus might as well have been preserved on bark.” (Nancy Friedland, Manhattan)
Pithiness, thy name is Maureen Dowd: “Joe Biden better Build Better or he won’t be Back.” (David Stout, Albuquerque, and Bob Walthers, Port Townsend, Wash., among others)
Or is thy name Gail Collins? Pushing back at the idea that Biden should announce that he won’t run in 2024, Gail wrote: “If you don’t have to be a lame duck, why volunteer to hobble when you waddle?” (Karen Coe, Seattle, and Stephen Manes, Santa Monica, Calif.)
Lyricism’s name is Margaret Renkl, who had this to say about people’s claims of ownership of the greenery around them: “A tree’s shade belongs not to us, but to the furtive bobcat making its shadowy way through our cacophonous world.” (Peter Comerford, Providence, R.I.)
It’s rare that I revisit an article praised in a previous installment of this feature, but I’m making an exception for Mike Tanier’s preview of the N.F.L. playoffs, in which he spoofed the key vulnerability of each contender. It was that much fun. Here’s Mike on the Kansas City Chiefs, and for those not familiar with the references to come, Patrick Mahomes is their star quarterback and Tyreek Hill their star receiver: “Nearly every turnover the team coughs up is a Rube Goldbergian series of improbable coincidences: The intended receiver slips before Patrick Mahomes delivers a side-armed pass, the ball ricochets off the receiver’s helmet and the antlers of a gazelle grazing along the sideline before landing in the hands of a defender, who bobbles the ball directly into the hands of a teammate, who nearly runs for a touchdown before being chased down by the gazelle, or by the slightly faster Tyreek Hill.” (Frank Friedman, Voorhees, N.J.)
It’s also rare that I showcase words within an article other than the author’s. But in putting together an obituary of Howard Solomon, Richard Sandomir had the excellent sense to make use of an email he’d received from the man’s son, the writer Andrew Solomon, about how his father had helped him through the depression he recounted in his extraordinary memoir “The Noonday Demon.” From that email: “My father was like a reef that took the violent waves of a frightening world and broke them down into gentle, manageable undulations before they reached the beach where I stood.” (Pete Browne, Kansas City, Mo.)
And now I’m crying.
To nominate favorite bits of recent writing from The Times or other publications to be mentioned in “For the Love of Sentences,” please email me here, and please include your name and place of residence.