Dept. of Urbane Affairs 

"One of the things I'd say Little Rock has is a much better climate than anywhere in Texas and great scenery. That's an asset the city should use. You don't want people to have to choose between an urbane setting and green space."

He was right about the climate and the scenery, but I suspect the speaker meant to refer to an urban setting. Urban means "of, pertaining to, or designating a city or town." Urbane is "suave, debonair." We usually think of people, not settings, as urbane.

"Arkansas's governor is more urbane than the rube in Austin."

"A renown New Orleans chef speaks at the Clinton School ... "

"Basketball coach Eddie Sutton built from nothing a nationally renown basketball program ... "

As Jan Cottingham points out, the adjective renowned ("famous") is what's needed here. Renown ("fame") is a noun. I wonder how many people remember Les Brown and His Band of Renown. About as many as remember "Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye," I suppose.

Excessive pluralization still on a rampage. Petrino was our last hope to stop it:

"Medicare, Medicaid and other insurances accepted." Will its never end?

We talked about "illegal aliens" vs. "undocumented aliens" last week. Here is Robert Jensen writing in Extra! magazine about "loaded" terminology, and the difficulty of avoiding it. "Neutrality is an illusion. ... Even the language we use conveys judgments; think of the difference between describing waterboarding as 'enhanced interrogation' or 'torture.' Neither term is neutral, nor is any other term. The use of language to describe the world always involves judgments."

"Bigfoot hunter finds a fine, not a creature ... At first they were very concerned that we were filming, that we were trying to get away with commercial filming without a permit. Once those concerns were satiated, there were other concerns." They'd probably wanted only simple satisfaction for their concerns, not satiation. Satiated is "satisfied to the point of boredom; gorged." Only creatures of lower intelligence, like the governor of Texas, go there. "Arkansas's Bigfoot is more urbane than the rube in Austin."


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

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 »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The cult of Trump

    • Rabbi, you probably don't know Steven. He's the head Kool-Aid taster for the Trump cult…

    • on June 22, 2018
  • Re: The cult of Trump

    • Those traits sound like most any politician in DC, mostly the Dims.

    • on June 22, 2018
  • Re: Hardened

    • Ronnie Floyd's scorn is a badge of honor, wear it with pride

    • on June 22, 2018

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation