Columns » Words

A strange Peace

by

comment

Emergency-verbed:

"A pregnant woman was killed by her husband and her unborn child was life-flighted to a Little Rock hospital Tuesday, Fort Smith police said."

Wikipedia says that Life Flight is the name of a medical transport service that uses helicopters. Evidently, people who regularly deal with medical emergencies have turned the name into a verb.

Who's on first:

I don't follow professional basketball, but I look at the sports pages enough to know there's a player now calling himself Metta World Peace (having changed his name from Ron Artest) and that he's best known for committing acts of violence against fans and other players. Names like this used to be confined to professional wrestling; the Swedish Angel, you'll remember, was hardly angelic. Basketball players must be developing their own sense of irony.

According to Peace's publicist, "Metta" is a traditional Buddhist word that means "Loving kindness and friendliness towards all." "World" and "Peace" are English words that normally mean "World Peace," but that may not apply in basketball. Peace recently was suspended for seven games because he delivered an elbow — "viciously," USA Today said — to the head of an opposing player. Peace says he chose his new name to inspire young people, but to do what? It's probably for the better if they're not watching. Peace seems less metta than anti-metta.

Since the elbowing incident, Peace has refused to shake hands and make up with the player he KO'd, explaining that the other player is only a substitute, while Peace shakes hands only with first-teamers. He's gracious as well as peaceful.

A few years back, a football player in the old XFL called himself "He Hate Me." He may have been more victim than aggressor, as his name suggests. At least I don't remember Mr. Me being as belligerent as Mr. Peace.

Not a lot:

"Two Rivers Bridge draws crowd ... 'We knew the numbers were going to be excessive, but I think even we were a little shocked,' said the road and bridge director."

Michael Klossner writes: " 'Excessive' does not mean 'a lot.' It would have been an excessive number if it caused the bridge to collapse."

Add a comment

Clicky