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Words, Aug. 5



Warren Kelley Bass writes:

"A headline on 1B of today's Democrat-Gazette says 'Others wade in on state vehicles.' Is this some bastardization of 'weigh in'? I never heard 'wade in.' "

Both expressions have been around awhile. Oddly, my old Random House doesn't list weigh in in the sense of "express one's views," though it's in common use. RH acknowledges weigh in only as something that boxers and jockeys do as a requirement of competition. Exceed the weight limit and you're disqualified.

The on-line Merriam-Webster has the other weigh in, though: "to bring one's weight or influence to bear especially as a participant, contributor or mediator <weighed in with an opinion>."

Wade in is akin to weigh in, but more forceful. To wade in or into is "to begin energetically," or "to attack strongly." I waded in, and soon the Longhorn fans were in full flight.

Vote for Beebe King:

"Republican candidate for governor Jim Keet said Saturday that Arkansas is suffering from 'o-Beebe-besity.' ... He pointed to changes made since Mike Beebe took office as governor in 2007. He said the governor has expanded state government through the 2007 purchase of a $5 million airplane and the hiring of 4,000 new state employees."

There are worse things politicians could do than play on their opponents' names. Though perhaps irrelevant, these little jests may amuse. In August in Arkansas, we need amusement.

It's Beebe's turn to respond now, perhaps with an introduction on the desirability of keeping Jim Keet from ever being governor, followed by a punch line on the order of "Let's play Keetaway!" Either a Keet supporter or a Keet opponent might declare "I'm a Keetotaler!" to good effect, depending on which side got hold of it first.

Those are not very good, I admit, but they are just samples. I could do better, given free-market incentives.

"For $10,000 they'd bought an 18th century vampire 'kit' – presumably including a wooden steak ... " See, he'll break his fangs when he tries to eat the steak.

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