Favorite

Words, May 13 

“WASHINGTON – The D.C. Council has passed a measure to legalize medical marijuana, sending the bill to Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, a Democrat. Under the measure passed Tuesday, the nation's capital would join 14 other states that allow medical marijuana.”

Both medical marijuana and medicinal marijuana appear in print, the former more often. I once thought that medicinal was preferable, because it was more closely related to medicine, and what we're talking about here is the use of marijuana as a medicine. But after checking the dictionary, I've come around. Medical is a broader term (“curative; medicinal; therapeutic”), but it covers medicinal. And medical marijuana is clearly the people's choice. It's also shorter, a consideration always important to newspaper editors. Not that there are many of those left.

Medicine
itself is not nearly so common as it used to be. The word, that is. The thing is more popular than ever. Medication originally meant “the use or application of medicine,” but it's come to mean also “a medicinal substance; medicament.”

Increasingly, we speak of being on medication, and taking my medication(s) – or meds, informally. Old expressions like Take your medicine (“Accept what you've got coming, you rascal”) and strong medicine (“might cure, might kill”) may be fading away.

Medicament is long gone.


From Extra!, a media review:

“The head of PBS's flagship New York station, WNET's Neal Shapiro, defended the choice of Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and former MTV and NPR host Alison Stewart to co-host PBS's forthcoming program ‘Need to Know,' which is replacing ‘Now' and the ‘Bill Moyers Journal': ‘They are both incredibly smart,' he told Broadcasting & Cable. ‘And I think, given their intellect, neither are people you can pigeonhole left or right.'

“Right, anyone who's smart is a centrist – not one of those pigeonhole-able dummies like Noam Chomsky or Milton Friedman.”

But are they smart enough to know that neither takes a singular verb?

Favorite

Sign up for the Daily Update email

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 »

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 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.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The cult of Trump

    • That isn't what I said, and you know that pretty well, Oaf. Just lies and…

    • on June 23, 2018
  • 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
 

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