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Through and done


Diane Robinson says she's hearing people use the phrases "on tomorrow" and "on yesterday," as in "I'll deliver the cookies on tomorrow."

"I use that construction when I'm naming a day ('on Wednesday') but not for 'tomorrow' or 'yesterday'," she writes: "Is usage changing?" It always is, though this particular change is one I haven't heard yet, and I have no idea what would cause it. Just as I have no idea why people have started saying and writing "Are you done?" when they used to say, "Are you through?" or "Are you finished?" A friend believes that "done" is a sort of Northern vulgarism that has worked its way into genteel Southern discourse through television, possibly aided by Midwestern retirees who've settled in Hot Springs Village and Bella Vista. I'm inclined to give the transplanted Northerners a break on this. For voting Republican, less so.

Speaking of Republicans, one of the more prominent has coined a fetching new word, according to the humor columnist Andy Borowitz:

"Telling a crowd of supporters that the separation of church and state 'makes me want to throw up,' GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum today proposed replacing church and state with a new entity he called 'sturch.' ... Mr. Santorum said that the combined entity would offer greater convenience to the American people than the separation of church and state currently does, since Americans would be able to get salvation and motor vehicle renewals at the same place every Sunday."

Having learned from the daily paper that a Taser is "a conducted-energy device," Stanley Johnson writes, "Like Vaseline is a petroleum jelly or Band-Aid is a plastic-coated bandage or Jell-O is a favored gelatin dessert ... There's a word for these words, I bet. Brand names that become the common word for what they are."

Here's a quote from Wikipedia: "A generic trademark, also known as a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym, is a trademark or brand name that has become the colloquial or generic description for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service ... "

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