I don't suppose there's ever been a woman more plainspoken and down-to-earth than my mother. Not that she used rude or even rough language; indeed, she was one of the most tactful people I ever knew. (She always prefaced suspicions, but not facts, with "I've got a sneaking idea that . . .") But when it was called for, she just told it like it was and you could take it or leave it. Furthermore, she made no bones—in suitable company—about her likes and dislikes.