Favorite

Words Nov. 11 

Euphemism of the week: “Citing the early results, Greenberg said he would use the coming term to crack down on unnecessary spending by the quorum court. ‘I’m going to do my best to be a spokesman for ethics and values,’ he said. ‘I’m willing to be the frog in the punch bowl.’ ” Frogs, we could tolerate. Speaking of euphemisms, Robert Kuttner writes on faith-based in The American Prospect magazine: “The treacly phrase ‘faith-based’ was coined by the right as a warm and fuzzy euphemism to camouflage the effort to enlist the state in the army of God. It diverts attention from the real debate about the proper nexus between government and religion … [S]ome on the religious left see those on the religious right as sometime allies in a shared struggle to resist creeping secularism. But there’s an iron law of religious zealotry: Breach the church-state wall and a zealot whose beliefs are more dogmatic and dangerous than yours will seize the opening.” Scots and soda, mud in your eye … Larry Onstott writes, “I have been wondering about the usage of Scots vs. Scotch. Which is correct?” According to Random House: “The natives of Scotland refer to themselves as Scots or, in the singular, Scot, Scotsman, or Scotswoman. The related adjectives are Scottish or, less commonly, Scots. Scotch as a noun or adjective is objected to except when used of whisky and in established phrases like Scotch egg and Scotch pine. In the United States, Scotch is often used where the Scots themselves, or some Americans of Scottish descent, would prefer Scottish or Scots. The term Scotch-Irish is standard for persons of Scottish descent in Northern Ireland or of mixed Scottish and Irish descent, especially in the United States.” n Scots love freedom, especially under their kilts, but the scot in scot-free (“completely free from harm, punishment or obligation”) has nothing to do with Scotland. Scot is an old word for “payment” or “charge.” We never use it anymore except in scot-free.
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 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

    • 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
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Oh dear - It is me, E.E.W - I'll confess - but not so much…

    • on January 20, 2017
 

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