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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Words and all that

Hyphen-aided prose

So maybe we should ask The Journal Gazette, in its now hyphenless incarnation, to become The JournalGazette:

About 16,000 words have succumbed to pressures of the Internet age and lost their hyphens in a new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

Madly burning

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!' "

Happy 50th anniversary, "On the Road."


If you have both gigantic and enormous available to describe really big things, why would you need to create "ginormous" out of the two of them? But enough people have used it that Merriam-Webster has included it on the list of 100 new words in this year's edition. Also making the cut were Bollywood, sudoko, speed dating, IED, crunk, DVR and telenovela. Not everyone is impressed:

Today's quiz

If your self-esteem hasn't been damaged enough by "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?" further humiliate yourself with "100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know." Try these 10 on for size: abjure, abstemious, enervate, inculcate, jejune, lugubrious, moiety, obsequious, quotidian, tautology.

Your going to like this

Spiffy up you're writing, if its not looking too good, by turning yourself lose on this site showing you 10 grammar mistakes that make you look stupid. Their good advice that will greatly effect how you write, e.g. make you better.

Today's quiz

What is the preantepenultimate word in this sentence?

Hint: "Penultimate" does not mean "ultimate, only more so."


Word of the year from the American Dialect Society:

To "pluto" is "to demote or devalue someone or something," much like what happened to the former planet last year when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto didn't meet its definition of a planet.

Changing the oil

Your curmudgeonly language nitpicker reporting for duty.

Ways and means

Today's language lesson from the curmudgeonly nitpicker: "Via" means "by way of," as in, "We flew from Indianapolis to San Antonio via Dallas/Fort Worth." It does NOT mean "by means of," as in, "I talked to Aunt Betty via telephone" or, "Uncle Sam informed me of my draft status via letter." OK?

Nouning off

Would you have the time -- I know you're a busy person this year -- to show me the way to make my day go better? I know that's not the thing a man of the world wants to spend his life doing. But, come on, give me a hand.

Ha -- those were the top 10, in order. Anybody want to take the next 10?