• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Words and all that

Just call me cheeseball

The new Oxford Dictionary is out, which means new words and phrases, most, of them, alas, not ones to really welcome: vuvuzela, climate change, credit crunch, toxic debt. But there are a few fun ones:

To balance them out among the 2,000 or so new items there are a few more left-field choices.

And the N-word is No

No tears here for the departure of "Dr. Laura," though the controversy over the "N-word" seems to contain more than a little theatrical outrage. Actually, that only hints at the real problem:


Twelve words you might not know you're mispronouncing, including this one that I most frequently hear mangled:

It's a pepper, it's a mayonnaise flavoring, it's a restaurant chain beloved by both soccer moms and MMORPG players alike. And it's NOT pronounced "chip-ole-tee." It's chee-POHT-lay.

Mr. President

Earlier this week, a letter writer chided us for a perceived slight of the president:

The May 29 editorial titled, “Fair or not, it's Mr. Obama's oil spill now,” does not follow The News-Sentinel's usual journalism conventions. During previous administrations, this paper has consistently, respectfully referred to the head of our country with the title of “President.” Why is this article titled this way?

The bleep formerly known as $#*!

Guess we're evolving. Not only are obscenities objectionable, but the symbols we use to show where the obscenties reside are in bad taste:

Comings and goings

I haven't bothered you with a word-usage peeve lately, so indulge me today. Under the headline "Emigrant first in her family to earn degree," the South Bend Tribune has a story about a refugee from Bosnia getting her degree from Indiana University South Bend. There is this short paragraph:

She and her family eventually found their way back to their village, but learned there was no future for them there. They immigrated to South Bend 10 years ago.


We're a little slow in Indiana. Lake Superior State University put the annoying "staycation" on its list of banished words last year, but we're just starting to savor its use here. Folks at the Indiana Dunes report that the phenomenon helped boost visitors to 1.1. million last year, a 64 percent increase over 2005.

The grateful dread

From an editorial in the Richmond Palladium-Item:

Monday's announcement by Cabon Motors was not the really big news we are all anxiously awaiting, but to the extent that it is the latest step toward what we hope will be federal approval of a $310 million loan request, we are happy with it.

Big deal

Lord knows I hate sticking up for Joe Biden, but too many people are making way too much of his latest verbal mishap. Especially annoying are those who say he somehow ruined what should have been a momentous occasion:

 Experts weigh in:


Lost in translation

I hate giving The Journal Gazette attention so early in the week, but its Political Notebook writers brought up something too good to pass on. It seems Gov. Mitch Daniels challenged some reporters' cultural literacy when he said the General Assembly had played defense more than offense in what turned out to be a "Hippocratic session":