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Words May 5 

Molly Ivins collected some of President Bush’s more startling comments for publication in The Progressive magazine, including this one: “Free societies are hopeful societies. And free societies will be allies against these hateful few who have no conscience, who kill at the whim of a hat.” Of America’s enemies in Iraq, Bush said, “They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people and neither do we.” Karl Rove stays especially active. Jim Barnett writes, “I seem to increasingly see and hear the word ‘woken’ used for ‘waked.’ If I had been asked some years back, I would have said that ‘woken’ is not a word. What about it?” Most authorities say that the past participle of wake is either waked or woken. Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage says, “American English prefers waked; British English prefers woken.” “Anyone driving past the Dewdrop Inn can’t help but notice how beautiful the landscaping is. Hotel Owner Pansy Yokum loves to share her vision, so next time you have an inkling to tiptoe through her tulips, stop in and say hello.” An inkling is “a slight suggestion or indication; hint; intimation: They hadn’t given us an inkling of what was going to happen,” or “a vague idea or notion; slight understanding: They didn’t have an inkling of how the new invention worked.” It doesn’t seem to fit where the admirer of Pansy’s tulips has put it. “Next time you have an inclination (or urge or yen) to tiptoe through her tulips ” is better. “An undercover vice detective reportedly found a syringe, a glass pipe and suspected crack cocaine in the car of a man whom police say was looking for sex in a Little Rock park Thursday.” … “Penny Lane, whom Jones’ family members said owned the trailer, declined to comment Thursday … ” When unsure about who or whom, turn the sentence around. “Police say he [not him] was looking for sex …” He equals who, not whom. “Jones’ family members said she [not her] owned the trailer … ” Same thing.
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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
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