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Tag Archive for ‘words’ at Three Roads Blog
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Tag Archive for 'words'

“Douchespeak”

Please join me in welcoming Douchespeak.com to the internet. The blog’s inaugural post on the (soul-crushing) word leverage is an instant classic.

I expect great things from this site.

Telescopic text

Similar in their simplicity and cleverness, telescopictext.com and barackobamaisyournewbicycle.com are perhaps the two best web sites to grace the internets in the past 12 months.

Hat tip: Errata

Hardcore dictionaries

I don’t consider myself one of those stridently leftist Fox-News-bashing bloggers, but I do take a certain amount of joy in pointing out the following goof from our favorite fair and balanced cable news network.

“Hardcore dictionaries”

Via Language Log

P.S. At (an estimated) 8.6 lbs., my Webster’s Unabridged is pretty hardcore.

It’s a movie, OK?

I GET SLIGHTLY NAUSEATED when someone calls a movie a “film.” I get downright queasy when some calls a movie a “picture.”

There, I said it.

[Late addition: If someone within earshot speaks of a passion for "the cinema," I will most likely vomit.]

Spoonalogism

worseleth.jpgMariah was tired the other night. Trying to convey the extent of her fatigue and its effect on her overall functioning, she said, “I’m pretty worseleth.”

Of course, she meant to say worthless, but she transposed—spoonerism-style—two parts of the word, producing a pretty awesome neologism, one that was way more descriptive of her current state than worthless.

We were both a little slap-happy at that moment, and worseleth threw us into hysterical laughter.

Moistest

moistest.jpg

 

A lot of people have problems with the word moist. I’m not a fan, although it doesn’t elicit nausea like the word sofa does. (Don’t ask me why.)

But moistest—that’s a pretty beastly word, one that should never be used to describe food, particularly if the objective is entice someone to eat it.

What’s wrong with moist? For one thing, it sounds like some other unfortunate words: soil (as in, “I soiled my slacks”), ointment, boil (I’m thinking skin ailment), toil, oink, and roil (“This discussion has my stomach roiling”) just to name a few.

The problem is lack of alternatives. Damp leaves a lot to be desired and it isn’t always as accurate as moist, and there’s issue of the negative connotations.

moist.jpg

Here are some others, none of which is much better, particularly when used to describe cake:

  • Humid
  • Soggy
  • Clammy

Humid is weird. Soggy is gross. Clammy is just silly.

In a perfect world we’d have gender-neutral pronoun and a positive word to describe a cake that is not dry.

Yay for adverbs!

I love it when really smart people take down other smart people for acting like snobs.

Here’s Language Log’s Geoffrey Pullum embracing adverbs and shunning their snooty detractors:

A beautiful Valentine’s Day to all our readers. For my philosopher partner I managed to find a card which had the words passionately, devotedly, fervently, completely, utterly, and absolutely on the front (with the first person singular pronoun as subject and adore you as the predicate). It seemed ideal. When a grammarian loves you, you should expect adverbs. Lots and lots of adverbs.Adverbs do have enemies; Stephen King has said (in his On Writing) that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs”, and his hostility to them follows in a long tradition. A long tradition of pontificating fools who should shut up and write rather than telling us how (nearly all of them unwittingly use adverbs in the very paragraphs in which they condemn them; on this, see chapter 2 of Ben Yagoda’s lovely little book If You Catch An Adjective, Kill It, published in 2006). There were adverbs, daffodils, morning tea, and breakfast in bed this morning. And a kiss, of course. When a grammarian kisses you, you stay kissed.

I admire Stephen King and can even understand (though not agree with) his distaste for adverbs, but I can never forgive him for his mean-spirited dig at, Nicholson Baker, one of my favorite writers, who is twice the writer that Stephen—Pontificating Fool—King is.