"I'm throwing a big dinner party for a bunch of people from Conway and I want to send a note about it to the society editor. My problem is I don't know what to call a bunch of people from Conway. Please advise." – Hallie Towsis

Had Hallie sent her plea a little earlier, I would have been hard-pressed to help. (That sentence sounds like it could have come from "My Fair Lady": " 'ad 'allie sent 'er plea a little earlier, I would 'ave been 'ard-pressed to 'elp.") But thanks to Gerard Matthews, writing in the March 2 Arkansas Times, I now know the answer:

"The Conway Post, as it will be called when it launches in May, will serve as an alternative news site for Conwegians ..." I might have guessed Conwayans or Conwayers, but those are too pedestrian for the Athens of Faulkner County.

n The daily paper quoted a rock singer replying to criticism on his website:

"I know there are people who drove here from Memphis and Oklahoma, been in there cars all day driving and dealing with this s***** weather, the same as me and my band have the whole tour. You so called 'fans' on my website b****in and moanin and saying i'm greedy can go f*** yourselves, plain and simple."

I assume it was the newspaper and not the singer that put the asterisks in. In the case of bitch, there was no need to. While son of a bitch is still considered "vulgar" or "taboo" by mainstream authorities, bitch as a verb meaning "gripe, complain" has long been considered acceptable – slang, but not offensive.

I heard son of a gun, a euphemism for son of a bitch, in an old movie on TV recently. It's been many years since I heard it in real life. Euphemisms have declined in popularity.

P.S. Last week, I noted a news release from the secretary of state's office that was rife with misspellings. I'm now told they got the name of a worker wrong too.



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