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Words, July 8 

I hope they weren't faint praises:

"Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore and City Attorney Tom Carpenter received praises from the mayor and the city Board of Directors on Wednesday during their annual performance evaluations." The fad of pluralizing where no plural is needed continues to flourish. Here's the new version of an old thought: "Now abideth faiths, hopes, charities, these three; but the greatest of these are charities." Another revised truism: "Imitations are the sincerest forms of flatteries."

Teeth-bearing and fur-bearing:

"Chihuahua Wins Ugliest Dog Title ... Sporting a gray, brown and black coat, Princess Abby Francis beat a rough-looking slate of candidates for the prize, including Pabst, a teeth-bearing boxer who won last year." A lot of human boxers wish they were still teeth-bearing.

"The task force, which was chaired by Northwest Arkansas megapastor Ronnie Floyd, shared Stetzer's concerns." I hadn't seen megapastor before, but I like the sound of it. I guess the preacher at a very small church would be a minipastor.

Mega gets a workout in the age of excess we're living in. I just saw a listing in the TV log for a movie called "Megashark vs. Giant Octopus." "Megapastor vs. Octomom" might make an interesting sequel. Or "Megashark vs. Megapastor." Most people would be pulling for the shark, I imagine.

Megapastor hasn't made it into my dictionary yet, but televangelist has. Televangelist first showed up in print in the mid-1980s, according to Random House. If there was money at stake, Megatelevangelist would defeat Megashark and Giant Octopus combined.

Bill O'Reilly "seemed impervious to reality" on his May 18 TV show, according to Extra! magazine. When a Latina journalist said that crime was down in Arizona, " 'Crime in Arizona is up,' O'Reilly insisted, counterfactually." The writer here is saying O'Reilly is misinformed — as usual — but that's not the meaning of the only counterfactual in the Random House. That counterfactual is "a conditional statement the first clause of which expresses something contrary to fact, as 'If I had known.' "

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