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Words and all that

Words, words, words

Fifty fun words. This has always been one of my favorites:

Tatterdemalion - a person with tattered clothing or of unkempt appearance. This word has, to my mind, a "bouncy" rhythm to it and use it often. I know several people who could have this word attributed to them...

Just the sesquipedalian in me, I guess.

A bald assertion

"The media this year are really in the tank for liberals."

"That, sir, is a boldfaced lie."

Sorry, that's the first think I thought of when I read this:

Yesterday Jr. Illinois Senator Obama told a bold-faced lie on the stimulus package. Not only did he not have a role in formulating the legislation, he didn't even bother showing up to vote on it.

Reminds me of . . .

Stay calm, partisans. I'm linking to this New York Times article on Barack Obama not for any political reason but just because of an interesting word use:

FLINT, Mich.

Tryst me later

Romance goes awry in southern Indiana:

Events did not go as planned for a Linton man and a woman from Vincennes who agreed to have sex with him in exchange for vodka, cigarettes and $10 cash.

Corey Breneman, 36 of Linton, faces a charge of patronizing a prostitute. And 40-year-old Eydan Brown of Vincennes is charged with prostitution.

Quick, after those goats!

Words from the not so wise:

Among the gems from this year's undergraduate exams are an economics student at City University in London student who attributed Northern Rock's downfall to the "laxative enforcement policies".

In literature, a student from Bath Spa University wrote of Margaret Atwood's book: "The Handmaid's Tale shows how patriarchy treats women as escape goats."

Spel gud?

And the most commonly misspelled word in the English language is . . . give up?

Collins Dictionaries of Britain said its researchers have estimated that the most commonly misspelled word in the English language is "supersede."



Be a manly writer! Don't be a girlie scribe; it will lead you into sissy sentences; your writing will be convoluted and your thinking vague:

Butterworth, who had worked in the States, wondered why so many Americans shared Donald Barthelme's sense that the mark was "ugly as a tick on a dog's belly." His answer: As a culture, we Yanks distrust nuance and complexity.

Foxy Hemingway

He fished. Then he wrote about fishing. It is a good read. A fine read. Not a hard read:

In a letter to Gertrude Stein, Hemingway described "Big Two-Hearted River" as a story in which "nothing happens." Nick Adams walks out of Seney, makes camp, and goes fishing. Beneath this mundane surface, however, swims a potent personal drama.


Guess the battle has been lost:

Embaressed by yor spelling? Never you mind.

Fed up with his students' complete inability to spell common English correctly, a British academic has suggested it may be time to accept "variant spellings" as legitimate.


The rights stuff

My English teacher Mrs. Lee would have been appalled at the sheer illogic of a sentence such as this:

Numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday reveal that nearly one out of 10 counties are now classified as "majority-minority," meaning the county's population includes over 50 percent minority residents.