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Words and all that

A pressing health matter

On ABC this morning, they were babbling about President Obama's "full-court press" on health care reform, and I wondered how many others were using that figure of speech.

Five words

Here's a nice little vocabulary builder to start off with. How many of these five words do you know?

adumbrate, sedulous, feuilleton, phlogistic, quidnunc.

A dirty book

Sometimes I get lost in the dictionary, forgetting the word I am looking up and just browsing and stopping here and there at interesting words. But it's been a while since I went through it looking for the dirty parts:

The Menifee Union School District is forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned from the district's classrooms, a district official said Friday.


One of the more intersting aspects of the Harry Reid case is how oddly anachronistic he sounded with "Negro dialect." He has let time pass him by, apparently unaware that Negro has gone from favored word to taboo word.

Google this

Speaking of words, I heard Charly Butcher on WOWO this morning on the way to work, expressing mild amusement that, with all that's happened in the last 10 years (terror attack on the twin towers, two wars, health care and global warming debates, first African-American president, etc.), this should end up being the "word of the decade":

Word play

Saving old barns is a worthy effort made even more likeable by the cleverness of preservationists in naming the project:

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana will co-sponsor a March workshop called "Barn Again!" focusing on ways to maintain, rehabilitate and adapt old barns for contemporary needs.

LOL, happy campers

It's that wonderful time of the year when we get to decide on words and phrases, such as "wonderful time of the year," that should be banned forever:

In its annual effort to protect the Queen's English, a Michigan university is insisting that "shovel ready" be buried, "tweet" be tossed and all "czars" be banished.

You can call me Al

So, what do you think? Is this guy a geek or a nerd?

But David Anderegg, a professor of psychology at Bennington College, says that merely mentioning terms like nerd or geek serves to perpetuate the stereotype. The words are damaging, much like racial epithets, he says, and should be avoided.

Unhand me, you friend!

The New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen its word of the year for 2009, and, strangely, "Obamessiah" wasn't even on the list:

"Birther " was in the running, so was "death panels," but in the end the New Oxford American Dictionary can only pick one word of the year. For 2009, it's "unfriend," says the Oxford University Press.

The realdeal

An issue the administration and its Republican foes have not debated yet (but any day now, I'm sure):

Is it "health care" or "healthcare?"

The red underline in my browser says "healthcare" is misspelled, but sometimes browsers are better at surfing than spelling, especially in areas where popular use is evolving a spelling or word meaning.