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Watching the river floe:

“Newport 1912: Bitterly cold temperatures had left the White River a mass of frozen, broken ice flows, impeding river navigation but providing a photo subject for this postcard.”


A reader who saw complected in print says she thought that complexioned was the correct word. “Which one should I use?”
You’re safer with complexioned. Success With Words says of complected, “This adjective means ‘having a certain color of complexion,’ as dark-complected; light-complected.” It is a back-formation from complexion. Although complected is a perfectly reasonable, even useful, word, it remains informal or dialectal and is not accepted in formal standard usage.”

“David Eisenhower — the namesake of Camp David — is director of the Institute for Public Service …” Random House says that namesake is “a person named after another” or “a person having the same name as another.” Assuming that namesake can be extended to places, Camp David would be the namesake of David Eisenhower, not the other way around. He wasn’t named for the camp, the camp was named for him.

“Daniels said he worked with the 39th Infantry Brigade to try to make sure no Arkansas soldier in Iraq was disenfranchised as a result of the lawsuit.”

What’s the difference between disenfranchised and disfranchised? There is none, except for the spelling. Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage says:

“Though disfranchise has long been favored, disenfranchise is now more than 20 times as common. It’s the standard term meaning ‘to deprive of the right to exercise a franchise or privilege, especially to vote.’ ”

An odd entry. The word that’s “favored” is used only one-twentieth as much as the other? I suppose Bryan A. Garner means that disfranchised has long been favored by usage authorities such as himself.

And certainly not in wilderness areas:

“German court says no to data mining.”

A wise decision. When all our data is exhausted, what will we do then?

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