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

Words and all that

O, plz


"Da vp iz?"

In text messaging lingo, that translates to "The vice president is?"

Four years ago, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced his vice presidential nominee, then Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), at a morning rally in Pittsburgh.

How times change.

War of the words

It's been widely discussed that how a poll question is worded can affect the outcome of the poll. Apparently, that's true for ballot initiatives as well:

Supporters of Proposition 8, the proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, said they would file suit today to block a change made by California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to the language of the measure's ballot title and summary.

Nosh it

I've worked with some first-class prima donnas in my day, but this guy has them all beat:

One of Britain's leading restaurant critics has been left red faced after an obscene 1,000-word email rant he sent to his editors emerged on the internet.

Their crime? Changing a single word in one of his reviews.

Giles Coren, son of the humourist Alan Coren, was angry that his phrase “where to go for a nosh” had been replaced with “where to go for nosh”, with the penultimate word removed.
[. . .]

So sory,we regrit the eror


For the "surprised it didn't happen sooner" file:

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has given its initial approval to a bill that would require all future legislation be written in language that is gender neutral.

Praise be

Here's a line from a story in the Richmond paper,

Richard Bryant ordinarily accepted his kudos for victories on the football field as coach of the Red Devils

and a quiz. What's wrong with the following sentence? The kudos received by the coach is much deserved.

Give up? Nothing. It was a trick question. You know, if it weren't for newspapers, that word would have died out a long time ago.

You say you want a devolution

With the Supreme Court's death penalty decision, we're going to hear more about this country's "evolving standard of decency," so let's have a little vocabulary lesson.

Devolve is not really the antonym of evolve, or at least it wasn't until recently. Devolve means a transer or delegation (of a duty or responsibility, for example) to another. We can say that, because of the county's dissolution of the cumulative bridge fund, maintenance of Fort Wayne's bridges has devolved on the city.

Guerdon-variety words

After every National Spelling Bee, it is required that at least one witty columnist write a piece making fun of all the exotic words that pop up by using every single one of them in a "We don't talk like that at the coffee shop" column.

Effete to be tied

Any of you know what "effete" really means? I searched Google News for a hint that anybody writing about politics today has a clue:

  •  "As an issue it's nothing, but it shows him as the effete, academic liberal." Nope. That's Charles Krauthammer, for pete's sake, and he seems to think it means aloof and elitist.


As I hauled my creaky bones out of bed this morning, I decided there needed to be a new word for people like me, and here it it is: "Crippie," meaning crippled-up old hippie. The folks at the Urban Dictionary have a different definition, but what do they know? Come to think of it, there could be some connection there . . .