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Talking less, listening more

By By Suzanne Monk
Jan. 1, 2002
In the past couple of months, I have learned some unexpected things about people I thought I knew about as well as I ever would … people I see all the time, acquaintances.
People have unknown depths and if you drop a rock in their pond, you may be surprised how long it takes to hit bottom.
I have heard an astonishing love story about how a home invasion changed a marriage and what it now takes to make the wife feel safe. I learned deeper respect for a man in a feed store cap as he talked honestly about his arrest and rehabilitation. I've seen "tough love" between friends delivered at shouting strength.
These stories I may never be able to tell, but I've come to the conclusion that I need to listen more and talk less.
As we launch a new design today, we also re-commit ourselves to listening to what readers think, and what they want out of their hometown newspaper. So, let us know.
In the meantime, here are a few observations that I ran out of space for Sunday.
Quick takes from cops and courts
The Landmark water tower case will be heard by either the Mississippi Supreme Court or the Mississippi Court of Appeals. This is the contractors' dispute over construction of a million-gallon tank in North Meridian. A briefing schedule a series of deadlines for both sides to submit their arguments was issued Friday. One of the two courts will be assigned after briefs are received.
By the way, Mississippi Court of Appeals is relatively new. Authorized by the legislature in 1994, it became operational in January 1995. It was designed to relieve some of the Supreme Court caseload and make everything happen faster.
Both courts are appeals courts and share a common Web site, The site is a little hard to navigate, but you might want to check it out sometime. The Supreme Court hands down rulings on Thursdays, the Court of Appeals on Tuesdays.
I had intended to investigate whether any other officers from the Charleston Police Department had interviewed for the Meridian police chief's job but my phone calls aren't returned anymore. Go figure.
Finally, a friend of mine took one of my recent columns and ran it through a "dialecticizing" Web site at You can enter a piece of text, and this site will translate it into any of eight different dialects, including "Cockney," "hacker" and "pig Latin." It was oddly re-assuring to see how easily my column translated into "redneck."