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

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

  • Lights out

    I was taught to turn lights out when I was not using them. We pay extra for electricity to finance energy-saving programs that involve devices that turn lights out when not in use. Yet, the city of Little Rock recently sent an email advising citizens to combat crime by leaving outside lighting on all night. That is backward, ineffectual, potentially counterproductive and environmentally irresponsible advice.

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