Favorite

Mittster Charisma 

"Mitt Romney Glittered at Minnesota Rally"

When I saw the headline, I thought the candidate must have been at the top of his game in Minnesota, showing off the charm and wit that have caused The Onion to declare "Mittomania is sweeping the nation."

But no. It turned out someone at the rally had thrown glittery confetti on him, and not in a friendly fashion. I'd never seen glitter used this way. Neither has the on-line Merriam-Webster, which says the verb glitter means "to shine by reflection with many small flashes of brilliant light"; "to shine with strong emotion," and "to be brilliantly attractive, lavish or spectacular."

However, M-W does list for the noun glitter, "small glittering objects used for ornamentation." Nouns sometimes get verbed, like it or not. A recent newspaper item mentioned a man who was arrested at the airport after he forced his way through "an alarmed door." If the door was spooked, what were the passengers like? In this case, the door was not itself frightened, it was equipped with an alarm.

"Equally he resisted a movement inspired by the Evangelicals to enforce the suppression of the slave trade more rigorously. 'It is impossible,' he remarked, 'not to feel and to expect that religion, morality, law, eloquence, cruisers, will all be ineffectual when opposed to a profit of a cent per cent and more.' "

A cent per cent is another usage new to me, and to most Americans, I suspect. But it's found in British English, where it means "100 percent." The passage I quoted was from a book by a British author, published in 1940. Modest research suggests that cent per cent is uncommon even in Britain today, but is still used in India and Pakistan, once under British rule.

An on-line commentator explains: "The meaning of 'per cent' is 'per 100,' the 'cent' part meaning '100.' Thus, a direct but incorrect translation of '100 per 100' would be 'cent per cent,' but native speakers of American English never use 'cent' to mean '100.' In the USA, 'cent' is used most commonly and almost exclusively to mean 'penny,' the smallest denomination of coinage, meaning 1/100th of a dollar."

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Pork and more

    Some notes on disparate topics before I take a vacation break.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Words

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Weakening NATO, the military alliance that has brought stability and prosperity to the west since…

    • on January 21, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Good one, Al. Hell hath no fury, and all that happy horse-shit. I hope Gene…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Make that "old hack."

    • on January 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation