Favorite

Words, Dec. 27 

A convicted murderer wrote in his clemency application that he wanted freedom in order to achieve “closure to a bad decision I made at age 20 for the victim's family as well as my family. To put this behind us and move on.” The word closure would never get clemency from me, but I'm more concerned with the use of bad decision. Not plugging the parking meter is a bad decision. Clubbing an 84-year-old man to death while robbing his grocery store needs stronger language.

Bad decision reminds me of “The Euphemism Hall of Fame” by Mark Peters, published in Funny Times. The Hall includes badly sourced, used by errant journalists to describe their articles. It means “false,” but it suggests that the sources are at fault, not the reporter who put the falsehoods in print. He just made a bad decision. Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) is there too. “The Flight Safety Foundation writes that ‘CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft under the control of the flight crew is flown unintentionally into terrain, obstacles or water, usually with no prior awareness by the crew.' According to my secret decoder ring, that's a plane crash.” And subterranean strengths. “Name expert Maryanna Korwitts says people named Natalie have subterranean strengths — this might be the faintest, most backhanded praise of my lifetime. Roughly translated, ‘Your daughter has subterranean strengths' means ‘This kid has good points that are so hard to find, you need an oil drill the size of a dinosaur.' ”

How excellent are they?

Two hundred and forty Arkansans will lose their jobs because a plant in Blytheville is being closed, its functions moved to China. A newspaper article quoted a management representative: “Peterson said Tuesday that employees will receive excellent benefits, including early retirement packages, severance and outplacement services.”

Excellent benefits are like minor surgery — they're what the other fellow has. Our own unemployment benefits are nowhere near what we need and deserve, our surgery is the most major on record.

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 »

More by Paul Peterson

  • That’s the spirit

    ‘Simple Christmas’ sticks it to critics.
    • Jan 14, 2010
  • Holiday blend

    take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got the essence of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
    • Dec 19, 2009
  • Holiday blend

    Take equal parts arena rock and classical, fuse with Christmas carols and serve rock opera style. Then sprinkle with violins, 14 vocalists, two narrators, state-of-the-art pyro and lasers and you've about got it.
    • Dec 18, 2009
  • More »

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

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

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

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

  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • Investigator, you must share with us how you know what i am thinking and why…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • In fact, Runner, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2.7 million and counting, just…

    • on December 10, 2016
  • Re: Reality TV prez

    • So what are you saying - that the country should be governed only by those…

    • on December 10, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation