Favorite

Hurry up with that dagger, we’re behind schedule:

“Secret Service Agent Rex Bennett battles Nazi operatives in wartime North Africa through 15 clock-and-dagger episodes …”

The adjective that pertains to espionage or intrigue is cloak-and-dagger. When the phrase was invented, around 1840, people thought of spies as wearing cloaks and carrying daggers. In the post-Bond era, we know that spies wear evening clothes and carry Berettas.

Cloak-and-sword is an adjective pertaining to books and plays about the customs and romance of bygone times. You can probably guess what the characters in these works wear.

Cloak-and-suiter is a noun, a name for a manufacturer or seller of clothing.

“There’s people in this and every market that would like a lighter presentation of the news.” Where there are smoke, there are fire.

“Next: Our heroes face the menace of the skanky blonde pundette.” A skank is “a woman of low or sleazy character.” One authority says that a skank is sluttish in appearance, too — not really attractive but thinks that she is. Pundette is obviously a feminized form of pundit. A skanky blonde pundette — who could that be?

“Until the needs of this state are met, we should use new monies coming to the Game and Fish through gas sales … to meet the needs of this state.” An editorialist responded to the above statement by saying that “lawyers and legislators have this unfortunate tendency to think money has a plural …” Monies is indeed too fancy (though technically permissible, according to Random House), but apparently we’ll have to get used to it. Everything gets pluralized these days. On page one of the editorialist’s newspaper, we find, “Kelis, 27, the singer … was arrested in Miami Beach, Fla., after authorities said she tried to disrupt an undercover police operation by screaming racial profanities …” It’s enough to interfere with the pursuit of happinesses.

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 Max Brantley

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

  • A heart in this house

    Since Election Day, I have been at a loss as to how to direct my energy. I am spinning in circles.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: A heart in this house

    • The elections woke people up, a good thing and caused some people to feel insecure…

    • on January 20, 2017
  • Re: A heart in this house

    • Arkansas needs You.

    • on January 19, 2017
  • Re: A heart in this house

    • Autumn Tolbert, thank You. I met Rev. Barbour in Selma two years ago. A new…

    • on January 19, 2017
 

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