Columns » Words

Snookie lies out

by

comment

Stanley Johnson writes, "I heard on the 'news' that Snookie Whatever-her-name-is, one of the 'Jersey Shore' bimboes, is pregnant and proudly plodding around showing off. I made a remark about needing to revive the old practice of lying in and was met by puzzlement from my companion, a well-read gentleman who is actually older than I am. I was kind of surprised he'd never heard of it. Surprised and saddened. The Good Old Days are apparently farther gone than I thought."

Lying in is still in the Random House, though: "To be confined to bed in childbirth."

Michael Klossner also is looking back fondly, after seeing this item in the newspaper: "A final steel beam was lifted Monday atop a new World Trade Center skyscraper — the first expected to open at the site next year since the twin towers were decimated on 9/11."

Klossner writes: "Decimate used to refer to the practice of punishing Roman soldiers for mutiny by requiring them to choose and kill one man in ten. In Wiktionary, it means 'To reduce by one-tenth' or 'to severely reduce, to destroy almost completely.' Now apparently it means to destroy totally. I wish it hadn't expanded so that the original meaning gets lost."

"Boy Scouts sticks with ban of gays." I'd use a singular verb with "Boy Scouts of America," the official name of an organization. But when you hear "Boy Scouts," you think of a bunch of individual boys. Make it "stick."

Glory holelujah:

Jerry Jones, the former Arkansas Razorback now reduced to owning the Dallas Cowboys, caused a stir at a press conference when he said: "I've been here 23 years. I've been here when it was glory hole days and I've been here when it wasn't. And so, having said that, I want me some glory hole."

Jones apparently was thinking of an expression from the oil and gas business, where he made his first fortune. A quite different, quite unsavory meaning of the term "glory hole" is more common today. It's in the Urban Dictionary on-line. Be prepared.

Add a comment

Clicky