Tina Brown, celebrity editor of Talk, previously of the New Yorker, was welcoming writer Alexander Chancellor at a dinner party in New York. "Chancellor failed to rise to the occasion." Then, writes Stephen Robinson, "Brown pinged her glass with her spoon, a sound guaranteed to lower the spirit of a British guest at any American table."
Ping! I perked up, and winced. Until reading this in the Times Literary Supplement (June 11), I didn't know that Brits' spirits were lowered by pings on glasses, even if Britisher Brown was doing the pinging. I felt embarrassed and chagrined because the night before I had been at an ecumenical banquet in Denver toasting the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, H. George Anderson. Spirits were high, for earlier the ELCA had voted to enter into full communion, including exchange of ministers, with the Episcopal Church. To get guests' attention, I pinged on a glass. It worked.