Favorite

Words, Feb. 26 

Open machinations, openly arrived at:

“Obama made several moves aimed at creating what he called ‘a new standard of openness' about the behind-the-scenes machinations of his White House and those before it.”

There's a scientific term I can't remember at the moment that means, roughly, that something a scientist is observing can change merely because it's being observed. That explanation is even rougher than I intended, but maybe you get the point.

Something like that would happen, I think, if you opened up your machinations: They'd cease to be machinations.

Machinations are “crafty schemes, plots, intrigues.” Those things are always done in private. The first definition of the noun plot is “a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, especially a hostile, unlawful or evil purpose.”

I'd rather the new president eschewed machinations entirely.

 

Correct placement of the “he saids” and “she saids” in newspaper articles is becoming rarer. I don't know why. “No one was struck when police said Barcroft fired the shot from a car parked in a lot that belongs to nearby Siwash University.” Why should anybody be struck, and what would they be struck by, because of something a policeman said? The police said should be at the beginning or the end of the sentence, or, if left where it is, set off by commas before police and after said.

“A 10-year-old girl in a Christmas parade died after Texas police say she jumped off a float and was run over by a trailer.” She died after the police said she jumped off a float? Of what? Embarrassment?

“Fillmore's job as a lighting designer at Gacy Auditorium kept him away from home for many hours at a time. … In the 48 hours before first respondents found his mother, the auditorium manager said Fillmore had worked 41 hours.” It was probably Fillmore's mother who was found by first responders, not the manager's. And the manager must speak awfully slowly if it took him 48 hours to say how long Fillmore had worked.

    

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

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

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

« »

July

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

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • IBS, were you there in Benghazi to personally witness all of Hillary's blunders like you…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • If God felt it necessary to replace the ten commandments, he could do it like…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football for UA Little Rock

    • He's BSC. Students and tuition-paying parents should be VERY vocal that a football program won't…

    • on July 23, 2017
 

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