Favorite

Skosh and soda, mud in your eye ... 

Stanley Johnson's interest was piqued by a newspaper's use of the word "scoch" in referring to a unit of measurement.

"I know that it means 'a small amount,' " Johnson writes, "but I don't know that I've ever seen the word in print. 'Scoch' doesn't look right. I would have guessed 'scoche' or maybe even 'scauche,' because I'm sure if it's really a word, it's probably some debased French thing."

It's not French, debased or upstanding, although it rhymes with gauche. Skosh is a slang term for "a bit, a little." It was derived from the Japanese sukoshi, but it may have come to America by way of Korea. One source suggests that the Japanese word was adapted into pidgin Korean as "skoshi," and that American servicemen who'd been stationed in Korea brought the word to America as skosh. Paul Dickson's "War Slang" says the term came into its own in this country "in an ad for blue jeans that featured 'a skosh more room' for the postadolescent customer."

"Still, the two most rightward judges on the 11th Circuit ... gave the foes of the law what they needed, a victory of some sort, even a pyrrhic one."

Stuart Jay Silverman of Hot Springs writes: "Apparently, Spell Check and the editors both missed the error in [Name Withheld]'s Aug. 17 column. The p in 'Pyrrhic' should always be capitalized."

A couple of specialized uses of pyrrhic don't require a capital, but Mr. Sherman is correct that the Pyrrhic of Pyrrhic victory is always capitalized, being derived from the name of the Greek general Pyrrhus, who said after a costly victory over the Romans that one more such and he would be undone.

It's a poor workman that blames his tools. I'm fairly sure that [Name Withheld] will eventually come forward, admit his mistake in public, and stop trying to blame Spell Check and editors. If he's reading this, a round for the house would not be out of order.

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.
  • Facing closure, Wilson Elementary families deliver angry message to school leaders

    "Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied.
  • 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 Viewed

  • 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?

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • You signed yourself "silly," and you surely are.

    • on January 23, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Lyons doesn't have an ex-wife, silly.

    • on January 23, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • What? That was all made up? Oh my. Well, let's hope he gets busy on…

    • on January 22, 2017
 

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