Dr. Edward Ducharme, my beloved uncle, holds a double PhD in English and education and a law degree. But considering that laughter is indeed medicine, let’s make that a triple-doctorate. As a humourist, my uncle is a true master. It usually only takes him but a few short minutes to have me in tears, and at the end of an hour, I’ve had an envigorating abdominal workout. Days later, I am still giggling at his antics and my ribs still hurt with good pain.
Edward has inspired me countless times and in more ways than he knows. Notably, he continues to inspire daily me as a thinker and as a linguist. Edward is a relentless searcher of the truth, and he would be willing to search through a mountain of dictionaries, if it were necessary, just to find the best word to convey his message. But he usually has the right word on the tip of his tongue. He is quick and witty, charming and sarcastic, in the DuCharme style, but Ed does it better than the rest of us.
I especially want to thank my Uncle Ed for inspiring me to write. My upcoming book, Get Wiggly, would not be possible without his advice. And this very Web site would probably hold a fraction of its present content had my uncle not single-handedly tumbled my writer’s block.
Edward entered law in his mid-40s and is now a judge of the highest court in the province: The Ontario Court of Appeal. An appellate judge is required on a daily basis to write decisions that are meaningful, understandable and effective. On the bench, his tremendous analytical capabilities and superb writing skills are well-utilized.
“When I was doing my doctoral work, I became interested in a theoretical problem: Where is the meaning of a text? … Is it found in the words on the printed page? Or is it found in the intention of the author? Or is it found in the mind of the reader?… I never intended to practice law… I meant only to inquire about that issue: Where is the meaning of a legal text?”
“I said to my mother, ‘What do you think of the idea of me studying law?’”… “And she sat right up in her bed and she said, ‘That’s a fabulous idea! Promise me you’ll practice with your brother.’”
“Trust thyself. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you.”
– from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem Self Reliance