Favorite

Words, July 22 

Close, but not quite:

"He spent his formidable years in Paris in the 1920s." And then grew namby-pamby with age, I suppose. An all-too-familiar story.

"A new electoral panorama has been drawn." Paradigm, probably.

"Organizers soon tried to vanquish the reporters back into the 'media room' before guests returned downstairs for the awards ceremony." Banish, most likely. Not that there aren't people who'd like to vanquish reporters, once and for all.

Lewis MacMillan writes, "In point of fact was a favorite locution of Shelby Foote, the Civil War historian. I have always taken it as just a fancy way of saying in fact or as a matter of fact but have never been quite sure."

Be sure. Be terribly sure. Garner's Modern American Usage says of in point of fact, "This phrase is verbose for in fact or actually." We're all guilty of verbosity, on occasion, even Shelby Foote. Garner's also notes that while phrases such as in point of fact and fact of the matter should generally be avoided in writing, they're unobjectionable in speech.

Hard questions. Too hard:

Janet Hill asks, "Is one presented a medal or award, or is he presented with a medal or award?" I suspect you can get by with either one, as with graduated and graduated from. Ken Parker wants to know "When, how and why did photographs become images?" They're all pictures to me.

N.G. Allen writes, "Defining second cousin and cousin once removed might be a good entry in your words column." And it might not. But since you ask, N.G., the key point is whether you and your cousin share a set of grandparents. If you do, you're first cousins. If your closest common ancestors are great-grandparents, you're second cousins. Removed means being a generation apart. If your mother and Flotillah are first cousins, you and Flo are first cousins once removed. My mother told me once that we had a relative who was somebody's double cousin. I thought that excessive.

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

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 Viewed

  • The battle over Issue 1

    The odds are that the most spending in a statewide campaign in Arkansas this year will not be for a constitutional office, but instead in a battle over a proposed state constitutional amendment.
  • The cult of Trump

    Nearly 40 years ago our country was introduced to two major phenomena centering around cults: namely, the Moonies and the Shiite Muslims. There were others, as well, and I soon became fascinated with the dynamics of cults and cult leaders (both religious and secular) in general — leading me to read a number of books and articles, some even written by those who had been deprogrammed after spending time in a cult.
  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
  • Trump doctrine

    Let's face it: President Trump enjoys hurting and humiliating people, and that's the thing some of his loudest supporters like about him. Making women and children cry makes him feel manly and powerful. The more defenseless, the better. He particularly enjoys punishing racial minorities.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Him, again

    • That's why it is better to bag babes at the bigger libraries. You get a…

    • on June 20, 2018
  • Re: Legislative boodlers

    • The U6 unemployment rate is still at 8%, partly because they can get benefits and…

    • on June 19, 2018
  • Re: Him, again

    • Regardless of my success or lack of it, I've been way ahead of Trump all…

    • on June 19, 2018
 

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