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Words, Dec. 10

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Let's get that economy housebroken:

“Bass Pro is to be the anchor for the $150 million Shoppes at North Hills open-air retail center, a project primarily hindered by two federal lawsuits challenging the mega-center being built in the Dark Hollow wetlands, and by the fledgling economy.”

Doug Coppock of Conway writes, “I know there have been some economic problems, but I hardly believe it is because the system is young. In fact, the problems may be due more to the system's old age.”

A fledgling is “a young bird just fledged” – that is, a bird that has just acquired the feathers necessary for flight. As an adjective, fledgling means “young, new or inexperienced.” The American economy ought to be fully feathered and flight-worthy by now. That it's not soaring suggests the Bush administration clipped its wings with those massive tax cuts for the super-rich few. As Adam Smith said: “Give all the money to a handful of people, and  nobody else can buy anything. Then folks start losing their jobs, and you've just got a mess.” But the Bushers were ignorant of classical economics.

 

What once was resonant is now transformative:

Transformative seems to be the hot new word of the day.

“David Catania, who has backed the same-sex marriage bill and is one of two openly homosexual D.C. Council members, called the bill ‘transformative' and ‘American.' ” …

“Senator Lincoln has a lot of work to do if she's going to be remembered as a transformative political figure in Arkansas.” …

“Under a full moon, Larry Talbot became a transformative presence in the English countryside.” …

There are movies and TV shows and toys based on fictional characters called Transformers. Maybe they're having a Transformative effect on the language.

 

Restoration Blues:

“He said that Huckabee, a preacher and former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, placed too much faith in ‘restorative justice' … ” We won't be hearing much more about restorative justice, I suspect.

 

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