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Words and all that

Stop. Read. This.

Question of the day

Today's headline in need of a second look by the copy editor:

Are migraines more common than thought?

Actually, I've discovered thought is a lot less common than I'd supposed it was.

Words up

"19 regional words all Americans should adopt immediately," including this one from my native state:

7. sneetered (v.), Kentucky
If you’ve ever been hoodwinked, duped, swindled, fleeced or scammed, you done been sneetered. The noun version, sniter, refers to that treacherous person responsible for your unfortunate sneetering. Also see snollygoster, a shameless, unscrupulous person, especially a politician.

This are not good

Wasn't hard to see this one coming, was it?

When Caren Berg told colleagues at a recent staff meeting, "There's new people you should meet," her boss Don Silver broke in, says Ms. Berg, a senior vice president at a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., marketing and crisis-communications company.

An interesting commatary

I like the clever play on words in this headline -- Fanfare for the Comma Man -- and the article is pretty interesting, too. The writer, a university of Delaware English professor, correctly notes that the use of punctuation evolves over time and that often what's used is a matter of personal preference as much as the rules of grammar. The evolution has been speeded up considerably by -- well, you know what:

He said, he said

Further proff, if anybody still needs it, that we live in a culture that sometimes values style over substance, the symbolic over the real, the aesthetic over the functional, appearances over meaning . . . well, you get the idea. After a prolonged controversy over an abbreviated quote on the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, the National Park Service has announced it will replace the abridgment ("I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness") with the full quote -- "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.

Are we clear on this?

So, Dummy, how'd you like the State of the Union speech? You can read all the political reactions in plenty of places and probably had already decided it was a good or bad speech before you even heard it. So, let's try a different angle:

President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address again rated at an 8th grade comprehension level, on the Flesch-Kincaid readability test — the third lowest score of any State of the Union address since 1934.

S- - - happens

This seems like a misguided protest, or at least a premature one:

LOS ANGELES — An anti-profanity crusader on Tuesday asked ABC to pull this week’s “Modern Family’’ episode in which a toddler appears to use a bleeped curse word.

Word play

Two really stupid language mistakes in two separate Associated Press dispatches in the same day. First, from Elkhart:

I order you to be responsible!

Geez Louise. After all the histrionics about reinventing government and making Washington less important, Mitt Romney is the best Republicans can do? But he's been around, put in his time, so it's his turn, and that's what the GOP does. Or maybe he does fit Bill Buckley's definition of "most electable conservative." Still, this is not exactly encouraging: