Favorite

The jury will verdict him:

“David has to accept full responsibility and the consequences of his actions as any other adult — and he is doing that. I make no excuses for him and would expect him to accept whatever penalties are given. It is the court’s responsibility to properly consequence him for a foolish act but his family’s responsibility to love him and temper our disappointment with our support.”

I hadn’t seen consequence used as a verb before, and I’d just as soon not see it again. But making verbs out of nouns is a popular pastime these days. We used to receive a gift, if we’d been good. Then gift began to appear as a verb: “I will gift her with this set of screwdrivers.” It’s still not standard, but it’s widely used.

Also becoming widely used is office as a verb: “I office in the Jarndyce building.”

Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage says the use of office as a verb “has become a commonplace expression among American businesspeople, but not among fastidious users of language.” And we know which side we’re on, don’t we? Leave the verb office to the guys at Enron and Halliburton.

“The last elected Democrat in Benton County is switching political parties, leading the Democratic faithful to wonder when they’ll ever regain a foothold in the state’s fastest-growing county. … The defection is ‘really a low blow’ to the Democratic Party, said the Democratic county chairman, Peg Omihart. ‘It’s really demoralizing,’ she said. ‘But it’s his decision. We can’t blame him.’ ”

Can’t blame somebody who gives us a low blow? Does that mean we have to forgive Dick Cheney? Of course not. Ms. Omihart apparently believes that any painful blow is a low blow. But a low blow is not only painful, it’s dirty, it’s a violation of the rules, it’s everything real Americans are taught not to do. (Cheney was born in Transylvania.) Low blow comes from the boxing ring, where it means an illegal blow, one struck below an opponent’s waist, where he’s most vulnerable. If Ms. Omihart were male, she’d have a better understanding of the term.

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

  • City ethics update; campaign limit was supposed to help the little guy

    Some more history on the Little Rock city ordinance that limits candidates for mayor and City Board to raising campaign funds to five months before the November 2018 election. It raises questions not only about Warwick Sabin's fund-raising tactics, but also Mayor Mark Stodola's carryover money.

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

« »

August

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  
 

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