Columns » Words

Words, May 22



 It's not always fare weather:

“A building Jones owns next door, which he was renting to a certified public accountant and Dresden Home Health Care, faired much worse and will need to be completely rebuilt, he said.”


 Conjecture  is the new reality:

 Tim Russert is unclear on the “reality” concept. The newsletter of FAIR, a media watchdog group, quotes the commentator's exchange with a presidential candidate.

Tim Russert: If this scenario plays out and the Americans get out in total and Al-Qaeda resurges and Iraq goes to hell, do you hold the right, in your mind as American president, to re-invade, to go back into Iraq to stabilize it?

“Hillary Clinton: You know, Tim, you ask a lot of hypotheticals. And I believe that what's –

“Russert: But this is reality.”


Precious memories indeed:

“Local obituaries (furnished largely by funeral homes) often say that the deceased ‘leaves behind to cherish her or his memories' certain named persons,” William B. Brady of Little Rock writes. “How do we know, and cherish, another person's memories? How do we divine his thoughts and recollections? Do we think that we can perceive by our intuition or insight what the deceased's memories were?” I believe those questions are rhetorical. It's the deceased person's memory — that is, other people's recollection of her or him — that should be cherished.



 “From 1990 to 2000, North said he managed the Thomas County child-support enforcement unit, quadrupling the amount of child-support payments during that time.”

Ten years is a long time to say “I managed the Thomas County child-support enforcement unit.” I'll bet people got tired of hearing it, too. Maybe somebody hit him and that's why he stopped.

The sentence could be corrected just by putting a comma after “said” — “From 1990 to 2000, North said, he managed the Thomas County, etc.” But that's awkward even though technically correct. Rearranging the order would be better: “North said he managed the Thomas County child-support enforcement unit from 1990 to 2000 … ”  


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