Favorite

Words 

A Kentucky Derby winner deserves respect:

“The chestnut son of Smart Strike scored his spectacular come-from-behind victory in the Preakness and will not be facing Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense after that colt’s owner and trainer, Jim Tafel and Karl Nafzger respectfully, opted not to enter into the Belmont Stakes.”

 J. W. Roge writes: “I have noticed that people here in Little Rock, lawyers included, say ‘suh-peeny’ for the word ‘subpoena.’ Shouldn’t that be ‘suh-peenah’?”

It should, and I’ve tried to get the bar association to do something about this. But the president says they’re too busy suing, and anyway there’s an old rule in the law game, “It’s not whether you know pronunciation, it’s whether you know the judge.”

 “It looked like he ramshackled the apartment. The furniture was all torn up. It looked like he threw a fit.”

First time I’ve seen ramshackle used as a verb. Random House and the spellchecker don’t recognize it either, but that doesn’t mean they won’t, eventually. I doubt that the person quoted in the article is the first to use the word that way.

The adjective means “loosely made or held together; rickety; shaky: a ramshackle house.” It has nothing to do with shackling a ram — although an unshackled ram could do considerable damage to an apartment, I imagine — but is related to ransack (“to search through to commit robbery: plunder”).

 “Jerry Falwell, pastor, founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University and kingpin for making the Religious Right a political force in American politics, died May 15.”

I tend to think of kingpin as having an unsavory connotation, since it’s so often used in regard to criminals — drug kingpin, etc. — but really it doesn’t. Merriam-Webster says that a kingpin is “the chief person in a group or undertaking.” It’s similar to kingfish — “an undisputed master in an area or group.” Huey Long, the dynamic governor of and senator from Louisiana in the 1920s and ’30s, was known as the kingfish. So was a fictional character on the old Amos and Andy radio show.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

  |  

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

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

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 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