Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Catching up on reading

William Safire engages in guy talk in his latest On Language column. Want to make men OK with their erectile dysfunction? Call them guys. Not comfortable to black as a noun? Call him a black guy. Not comfortable with the hick-sounding y'all? Switch to you guys. (Bonus quote from Geoffrey Nunberg included.)

Safire also covers the verb to ankle -- to leave, exit, depart. It's a Variety favorite.

The Detroit Free Press has Barbara Wallraff answering some language questions. (Does anyone know if this is part of another feature? Is it the same as her Atlantic Monthly feature? I'd never seen her in the Freep before.) The topics: rendering up to and as little as meaningless and irregular verbs.

In Barry Wood's language column in the Rockford Register Star, I learned to origin of "moot," and learned of a separate definition meaning a point "hasn't been decided and is therefore an ideal candidate for dialogue and debate." Of course, as this isn't the way the word is commonly understood in the States, that definition is best avoided.


At 10:27 AM, October 12, 2005, Blogger Bill said...

Barbara has a syndicated newspaper column.

At 4:23 PM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Nicole said...

Good to know. Thanks.


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