Favorite

Words, Oct. 2 

Woo verb, ptooie:

Jennifer Barnett Reed says “ptooie” to using task as a verb, as in I was tasked with rewriting the accounting software. And “double ptooie” to He gifted me with a box of chocolates. 

I'm inclined to agree, but people have been turning nouns into verbs for a long time, and they show no signs of stopping. A prominent educator wrote recently, “As we transition to new leadership … ”

When you're honchoing a state university, you say what you want, I thought. Then I found that Random House in fact acknowledges transition as a verb. But we don't have to. 

 

“Police and FBI agents captured an ex-convict suspected of killing eight people in two states as he smoked a cigarette outside of a southwestern Illinois bar Tuesday night.”

Nell Doyle asks, “Killing folk in two states while outside a bar in Illinois? How did he manage that?” A clearer version would be “An ex-convict suspected of killing eight people in two states was arrested by police and FBI agents as he smoked a cigarette outside a southwestern Illinois bar Tuesday night.”

And then there was “A second co-defendant has promised to testify against a North Little Rock man accused in the slaying of a mentally retarded North Little Rock man in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.” If prosecutors are reducing sentences for those who slay the mentally retarded, prosecutors are way out of line. This one could be fixed by turning it around: “In exchange for a reduced prison sentence, a second co-defendant has promised to testify against a North Little Rock man accused in the slaying of a mentally retarded North Little Rock man.”

 

With baseball season drawing to a close, we look elsewhere for  unusual names. The divorce filings, for example:  “Corinthians Jones v. Marcell Jones.” No word on which one is Corinthians.

The police report is another source. “Court records show that he twice shot his girlfriend, Diptheria Doe, at his home.” It's a pretty name if you don't think about the disease, which is spelled with one more “h.”

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

  • Pay attention

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

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

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Turn to baseball

    • Great column, and terrific response from Vanessa. Everyone has baseball memories. Here's mine, from a…

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Did I miss Bill Clinton's admission to sexual assault? @Investigator - can you help with…

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Turn to baseball

    • Go ahead and destroy the timelessness of baseball. It is in a zone by itself…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

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