Favorite

Prevalent offers 

Prevalent means "widespread; in general use or acceptance" and "having the superiority or ascendancy." Is your personal information generally accepted? Maybe, and maybe not. Is it superior to my personal information? Probably, but I think the writer here meant prominent, not prevalent.

A high school football player, when asked about colleges that might give him an athletic scholarship:

"Arkansas and Florida State are probably the two schools that's been sending me the most personable mail, handwritten letters, besides the four schools that have offered me." To whom are they offering him, and who gave them ownership, anyway? This use of offer, common on the sports page, hasn't made it into standard English, where the scholarship and not the athlete is offered. In the non-sports world, if we're soliciting a bid, we say "Make me an offer," not "Offer me."

I also wonder if it was the player or the reporter who described his mail as personable, rather than personal.

"He said he deflated the canoe and drug it with one hand, pulling the bucket with the other." Michael Klossner asks, "Is 'drug' as a verb OK in a news article?".

The propriety of drug is warmly debated. I know a judge who insists on drug in his court. When I objected (I practice a little personal-injury law as a hobby), he said "Be quiet or I'll have you drug out of here." I considered an appeal, but there's no telling where the Scalia court would have you drug off to. Someplace with waterboarding, I imagine.

In standard English, dragged is still the only past tense for drag, according to most authorities, including Random House. But a lot of people say drug, and seem surprised to find that it's considered irregular. Some of these people, like the judge, are high-placed and supposedly well-informed. Garner's Modern American Usage quotes President Bill Clinton using drug in a 1996 debate with Bob Dole.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

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

  • Hutchinson lobbyist moves to Teacher Retirement System

    Rett Hatcher, director of legislative affairs for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has left the governor's staff to go to work Wednesday as deputy director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.
  • Obamascare

    Republicans at long last may be about to see their most fervent wishes and wildest predictions materialize — millions of people losing their medical and hospital coverage, unaffordable insurance, lost jobs, a Medicare financial crisis, mushrooming federal budget deficits and fiscal crises across state governments.
  • Megyn vs. Alex

    As vigorously hyped broadcast events go, Megyn Kelly's televised confrontation with internet conspiracy cultist Alex Jones proved something of a dud.
  • Monkey wrenches

    Junior is 17 now, and shows no interest in driving, or even taking the driving test. It's got his Old Man a little concerned, and not just because we're running a car service for one these days.

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 »

Event Calendar

« »

June

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  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Megyn vs. Alex

    • But I do agree with him about the interview - Megyn Kelly rocked. Ridicule works.

    • on June 23, 2017
  • Re: Megyn vs. Alex

    • Good point. Your ratios don't make much sense, but a good point. I was not…

    • on June 23, 2017
  • Re: Megyn vs. Alex

    • @ investigator's, " I wonder why Lyons didn't also mention the absurd allegation that Donald…

    • on June 23, 2017
 

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