Favorite

Words 

From a Canadian sports page: “With the offence sputtering it was once again up to the defence to keep a surprisingly spunky Tiger Cat team from gaining the upper hand.” The Canadians, the British and the Australians use the -ce ending for these words. Americans write offense and defense. The British and the Australians also write pretence instead of pretense.

The Cambridge Guide to English Usage suggests that the American system is superior, at least in one regard. “The –ce spellings commit British and Australian writers to inconsistencies such as defence/defensive, offence/offensive and pretence/pretension, which Americans are spared. Canadians labor with both systems, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, using the –ce spelling for defence/offence and –se for pretense. The spellings defense, offense and pretense are not only more straightforward, but just as old as the spellings with –ce.”

“Revelers are chased by a pack of fighting bulls on the third day of the running of the bulls during the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Monday.”

A reader asks: “Is a pack of bulls anything like a herd of wolves? A school of elephants? A flock of lions? A pride of sheep?” Or an outfield of flycatchers?

A popular Arkansas Times columnist (not that there are any unpopular Times columnists) unfortunately stepped into the bear trap recently. “We occasionally encounter someone who is downright scared of dogs. Dogs definitely alert on this fear and view it as a threat, which is why their natural instinct is to growl and bear their teeth.” Dog teeth are scary enough as is.

“ ‘If you think I’ll ignore nuttiness like that, then you’ve got another thing coming,’ he said.”

A reader says, “I always thought it was ‘If you think … , then you’ve got another think coming.’ But I googled the phrase, and people seem all over the map on this.” If so, a great many people are lost. The expression is definitely “another think coming.” I didn’t know it was being corrupted. Think makes sense; thing does not. What would the coming thing be? A cake? A wildcat? Peace on earth?

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

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

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

« »

September

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

Most Viewed

  • Can't afford to gut ACA

    The Affordable Care Act was passed into law with the promise that it would make insurance affordable. Because of bipartisan leadership in Arkansas, we continue to strive to achieve that goal. While rhetoric abounds, it is important to understand the Arkansas experience.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • I am very glad to see a lot of women running for government positions in…

    • on September 19, 2017
 

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