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Words Feb. 23

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If there’s no mammon in heaven, Republicans won’t go:

A right-wing pundit is caught in mid-howl by Chris Barrier:
“The close sequencing of the John Roberts and Samuel Alito nominations must have come as mammon from heaven for Lincoln and Pryor because it permitted having their cake and eating it, too; of voting for the first and against the second while reminding Arkansans that they have supported a majority of President Bush’s other nominees.”
Barrier comments: “First, he uses two of the most worn clichés from the polemicist’s lexicon (‘manna from heaven’ and ‘having your cake’) in a single short paragraph. Second, intentionally or otherwise, he equates gifts from god (manna) with decadent materialism (mammon) — that is, he referred to ‘mammon from heaven.’ ”

 John Brummett writes: “The sheriff in Corpus Christi issued a statement saying the shot guy ‘collaborated’ Dick Cheney’s statement about how Cheney came to shoot him in the face. To collaborate is to cooperate. Did the shot guy really talk with Cheney in the process of formulating his answers? Or, did the sheriff mean corroborate [“confirm”], and, if so, was his error Freudian or illiterate?”
Maybe both. Who knows what error lurks in the minds of Texas sheriffs? But I’ll bet Tom DeLay had something to do with it.

 “Sitting in a small roadside restaurant in this town north of Dumas, Willis, 57, hones in on a group of men discussing the day’s events.”
To hone is “to sharpen.” There is no such thing as “hone in.” What the writer intended was home in — “to proceed toward a specified target.”

 A Lady Razorback was quoted on the sports page: “We do some things like play P.I.G. [a shooting game] and sort of joke around with it after practice and before games … ” Jim Harris tells me that PIG is more or less the same game that we old-timers called HORSE, except it’s shorter. He says that good shooters play HORSE, poor shooters play PIG and really good shooters play HIPPOPOTAMUS.


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