Favorite

Queens and usurpers 

Usurp, mesurp:

"Despite the help, Mustain couldn't usurp Barkley, and when Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks, new coach Lane Kiffin stuck with the incumbent." To usurp is "To seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by power or without legal right." One usurps things — thrones, for example — not people.

Our boys will outshine tonight:

"Jean Segura produced a memorable piece of baserunning that outshined Ryan Braun's three-run home run."

"We were particularly smitten by the grilled pork chop plate ($23). The pork loin itself was remarkable — tender and flavorful. But it was the bed of pillowy goat-cheese grits that really took our breath away. ... Rarely is pork so completely outshined on a single plate."

I would have used outshone in both of the examples above, but according to the Random House, either outshone or outshined is acceptable.

Don't bother to curtsy:

Last week, while discussing the "loaded" language of political debate, we mentioned that it was Ronald Reagan who popularized the word entitlements as a derisive term for the benefits that Americans receive from programs like Social Security and Medicare. I've since been reminded by an article in Harper's magazine that Reagan also "coined the phrase 'welfare queen' in his 1976 presidential bid." The man had a talent for saying mean things without seeming mean himself.

When do you use ohsure?

The headline said, "UA System lets insured go to former counselors," and the lead sentence said "The University of Arkansas System will ensure its employees remain covered for counseling appointments while it continues investigating whether a new third-party administrator is offering enough mental health-care providers as well as accurate provider listings, a UA official said Monday."

Did the headline writer and the reporter disagree on the spelling of insure/ensure? No, they followed the Associated Press Stylebook, which says:

"Use ensure to mean guarantee: Steps were taken to ensure accuracy.

"Use insure for references to insurance: The policy insures his life."

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

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

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

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

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

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

  • Not leaders

    As soon as I saw the Notre Dame graduates walking out of their own commencement ceremony as Vice President Mike Pence began to speak, I thought, "Oh no, here we go again."
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • .... and having a beer with Gene Lyons, who gave the cutest clumsy curtsy before…

    • on May 27, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • Are you saying Karl Marx has left the building? The New York Times denies it…

    • on May 27, 2017
  • Re: Conspiracy theorists

    • Yes, Lyon's thinks it is Fox Network that promotes the lies that the West has…

    • on May 26, 2017
 

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