Favorite

Words, Nov. 19 

Wring out the old, wring in the new:

“The judge reminded jurors of their oath not to discuss the case, suggesting they focus more on the prospects of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks over the weekend. ‘We've all been through the ringer,' he said. ‘You've had a long week.' ”

Fearing a contempt citation, I won't even hint that His Honor was at fault here. Rather, let's blame it on the reporter. Reporters are accustomed to blame. And it is in fact more likely that a comparatively young reporter or copy editor was unfamiliar with the wringer that was used in washing clothes way back.

The wringer was a couple of rollers that you fed wet clothing through to squeeze out water. Women were often cautioned against getting part of their own body caught in the wringer. This literal wringer gave rise to the figurative “been through the wringer” to describe any painful or difficult experience.

Somebody said that people of my own generation wouldn't have known what an anvil was if not for movie cartoons that showed anvils falling on heads. Today's young people don't have that sort of assistance. There are no more cartoons at the movies, let alone cartoons showing a washerwoman caught in a wringer.

 

This sounds like something that should be addressed by the Game and Fish Commission:

“The partisan rift in the Environment and Public Works Committee laid bear the sharp divisions in the Senate over how to address global warming … ”

 

Bick Satterfield writes:

“Is it better to say ‘in regard to' or ‘in regards to'? The plural never has sounded correct to me.” Nor to Random House. The dictionary says, “In regards to and with regards to are widely rejected as errors.”

 

The report that Sarah Palin is coming to Fayetteville reminded me that her husband, Todd, was credited with coining the phrase “first dude” when she was governor of Alaska. Let's hope he never gets to take that title to Washington. We'll all be for the wringer.

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

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

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Event Calendar

« »

February

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  

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas voters know what they want

    With a surprisingly strong vote, 53 percent of Arkansas's voters said last Nov. 8 that they wanted to bring medical marijuana to the state.
  • Trump and Russia

    If you think about it, no wonder Donald Trump prefers the imaginative stylings of Fox News to the presidential daily briefing. He's pretty much the network's target demographic: a daffy old-timer with time on his hands.
  • Stand up for Little Rock

    If Little Rock deteriorates because of substandard schools, there will be blame aplenty to share. But some elected leaders deserve special mention.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Trump and Russia

    • By the by - two days after Trump talked about Sweden having problems - there…

    • on February 23, 2017
  • Re: Hating the media

    • I believe in a free press. And I always believed that the mainstream media was…

    • on February 23, 2017
  • Re: Trump and Russia

    • Well, I'm certainly glad that Gene Lyons finally describer himself perfectly: "a daffy old-timer with…

    • on February 23, 2017
 

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