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Words and all that

History lesson

Maybe you haven't heard yet, but World War II is over. The honorable military members merely doing their duty as they saw it for the misguided emperor of Japan finally saw the error of their ways and lay down their arms. Of course, the way they told it then was, "Japs Surrender." But we don't talk like that these days, and we don't like to be reminded that anybody ever did:

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

The Indiana State University basketball team fell 61057 to the University of Northern Iowa, and this is the headline they put on the story:

Still close, still no cigar for ISU men against UNI


It's only Feb. 2, and already I've heard two candidates for euphemism of the year on the news. The first comes in conection with the story about the California octuplets -- "selective reduction." Isn't that a nice, clean term? Instead of planting just one embryo -- which really makes carrying the baby to term an iffy proposition, and who wants to be so old-fashioned as to just to deal with one baby a time -- plant multiple embryos.

It's a mulligan

Rats. Obama and Roberts re-did the oath, so now we won't have four years of "he's not really president, so nothing counts" hysteria the way we did after the Supreme Court "stole the election" for Bush in 2000.

After a flawless recitation that included no Bible and took 25 seconds, Roberts smiled and said, "Congratulations, again."

The "P" word

For the "What you see depends on where you stand" file:

Gordon Brown today described as "unacceptable" the moment when Prince Harry zoomed his camcorder in on the face of a fellow Sandhurst cadet and mused: "Ah, our little Paki friend, Ahmed".

But the Prime Minister predicted that the British public would give the prince the benefit of the doubt over his use of racist language in the 2006 home video.

[. . .]

There they go again

Lake Superior State University continues to do God's work with its annual list of words so overused they should be banned forever:

A movie about a "maverick," his journey "from Wall Street to Main Street," his "desperate search" for a "monkey" and a "game-changing" revelation about his "carbon footprint" probably would make the nation's word-watchers physically ill.

Especially if it were the "winner of five nominations."


This is a minor irritation, really, but if I hear about one more "self-titled" album, I'll scream.

The paid piper

N.J. Gov. Jon Corzine takes the marbles out of his mouth long enough to explain the economic crisis:

"Now the piper is coming home to roost," Corzine said. "We have to pay that piper."

But why did the piper cross the road, and will he find a place to roost there, and do we have to pay him then, too? I think the piper in New Jersey has flown the coop.

But don't count your pipers before they hatch.

Now, these are great ideas

Headline in The Indianapolis Star:

3 ideas hope to yield bounty for education

I'll be darned. Never knew ideas could feel hope.


"Meh," the sound from "The Simpsons" signifying boredom, has been voted into the Collins English Dictionary, beating out hundreds of other new words such as "textovert" and "MIRF." My favorite among those that didn't make the cut:

Deja Moo:

THE feeling that you have heard this bull before.

If you don't like that choice, go ahead and give me a thumb lashing.