Favorite

Words Oct. 20 

 It isn’t reigning rain, you know, it’s reining violets:

Ruby Mettler of Hot Springs found this in the local paper — “When Dan Stuart and John Condon died, Louis Cella took the reigns, spearheading the return of live racing to the Oaklawn facility.”



 The Hot Springs paper’s Little Rock sister was reporting on a race between human competitors when it misquoted one of the runners: “First I caught them, and they kind of stayed on my heals, and when I passed [Rove] out of Pig Trail I told him, ‘There’s at least one on my heals.’ ”



 Nabobareebob:

“Plenty of oil left to tap, nabobs say.”

The nabobs of today’s headlines are a positive bunch, evidently. That wasn’t the case in 1970, when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew gave nabob more exposure than it had ever had before. The Vietnam war was raging; so were its critics. So too were Agnew and his speechThe phrase struck a chord in those hectic times. Some thought it apt; some amusing. James Reston of the New York Times called it “the worst example of alliteration in American history.”

The British got nabob from the Hindi title for the governor of an Indian province. In English, nabob was originally a scornful nickname for a man who returned to England with a huge fortune amassed in India. Today, it’s used for any man of wealth or power, but it still has a scornful connotation. Which is why Safire chose it.



 Mari B. Lee Cool stands out on Ms. Lee’s list. As a slang term meaning “excellent, attractive, socially adept, pleasing, etc.”, it’s been widely used since the ’50s. And yet it’s still cool to say cool. That’s amazing. Awesome too.




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 »

More by Max Brantley

Most Shared

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

« »

October

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

  • The casting couch

    Long ago and far away, I had an academic superior who enjoyed sexually humiliating younger men. There was unwanted touching — always in social situations — but mainly it was about making suggestive remarks, hinting that being a "hunk" was how I'd got hired.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The casting couch

    • sigh............ I would argue that the idea of 'freedom from fear' is part of the…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: Caution: government at work

    • As to the AR Chamber of Commerce-DO NOT FORGET it supports passage of SJR8, which…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: The casting couch

    • Freedom from fear is a human right.

    • on October 19, 2017
 

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