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The leisure of her company



" 'The Library is exceeding expectations in pretty much every area,' Barr said. 'I'm very, very proud of that, and that has been under Edna's leadership.' "

"Thordown has served at the leisure of the board since 2009, when members unanimously voted to hire her as executive director."

Leisure can be a pleasure, but the words are not exactly the same. Thordown is serving at the pleasure of the board.

Stanley Johnson of Little Rock asks about certain "geographic puzzles." His question would be better addressed to almost anyone else. I can get lost between the living room and the bathroom. But we'll proceed.

"The daily paper persists in calling the capital of Maharashtra state in India 'Bombay.' Shouldn't that be 'Mumbai' now? And did 'Myanmar' revert to its old name? Everyone seems to be calling it 'Burma' again."

Politics is mixed up in both these puzzles, and fairly recent politics at that. My old Random House from the late '80s lists neither Mumbai nor Myanmar.

But the up-to-date Merriam-Webster on-line says that Myanmar is the "official" name of the Southeast Asian country now, and Burma is "unofficial." The dictionary acknowledges both Bombay and Mumbai, but lists Bombay first. It's still more common among English speakers, I suspect, while re-garded by some Indians as an unhappy relic of British colonial rule.

" 'If you go through with this, you're opening Pandora's box,' he hollered before deputies led him out of the courtroom."

I see holler in the paper frequently these days. I didn't used to.

Holler is one of many variations of a word that means "a shout to attract attention," or "a call of greeting" — words like hello, halloo, and so on. But holler isn't listed with those other words in a 1940s dictionary, and a 1957 Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage says that holler, unlike the other versions, is "commonly regarded as dialectal or nonstandard." I think reporters wrote "yelled" or "shouted" back then, but holler is accepted as standard by contemporary dictionaries.

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