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Law taking a licking

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"Tim Errity, now 23, said he was riding in a car with his cousin, Tom Foolaree, when Foolaree asked him if he was ready to 'hit a lick' — slang for committing a robbery."

Having hit a few licks in my day — not many; I tire easily — I'm chagrined to learn that hit a lick has acquired a negative connotation. A couple of on-line slang dictionaries agree that to hit a lick is to rob someone. Another says that to hit a lick is to "Get a lot of money very quickly." Most of the ways to accomplish that end are illegal.

In a less larcenous age, to hit a lick was to do some work, if only for a brief period of time, usually on a specific project. The saying was derived from one meaning of the noun lick, "a brief, brisk burst of activity or energy." The person who hadn't hit a lick on the job before him was looked down on: "That lazy oaf hasn't hit a lick on the stopped-up toilet."

That hit a lick has acquired a new meaning may suggest that more people are robbing than working nowadays. It seems that way in Little Rock sometimes.

Ask not what your country can do for you, go step on those bugs:

"In Indochina, and in Thailand itself, America usually found it was on the side of the bad guys. Complex nations were grotesquely simplified for the voters back home and the boys sent to fight abroad. President Kennedy deliberately mispronounced Laos as 'Lay-os,' lest Americans think he wanted to go war with a small bug."

Wither traditional media?

"Google then sells ads to run alongside the list of stolen content, generating billions of dollars, while newspapers, publishing companies, the music industry, film studios, and other traditional media companies whither."

Try tightening your bandwidth:

"Al Ameaux is being named Deputy Content Editor, overseeing Federal/Politics/Economics, and the Investigative Team. This will give us more management bandwidth ... " More chiefs, that is. Not so many Indians.

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