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Words

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 Buffalo chops a specialty:
A reader noticed an advertisement in the classifieds section of the daily paper: “HILLCREST RESTAURANT/Tapas Bar is hiring Sioux chef and pastry chef. For appointment call Chef *** ”
Reader writes:
“It could be, of course, that this Hillcrest restaurant desires ethnic diversity among its staff and is indeed seeking a chef of the Sioux tribe, though, and I hope I can say this without fear of reproach because I’m part Native American myself (Cherokee, my dad’s side), I don’t believe the Sioux were known for their culinary skills, bless them. The better explanation is that this creative spelling comes from whoever at the [Democrat-Gazette] took the ad, though it seems to me that ‘Sioux’ is even harder to spell than ‘sous.’ ”
Not long ago, a reporter wrote about a “soup chef.” A sous-chef is “the second in command in a kitchen; the person ranking next after the head chef.” “Sioux City Sue,” whom Gene Autry sang of, was someone else altogether.

 Gray may she wave:
Vic Fleming writes: “In your June 8 column, you correctly point out that the Arkansas Gazette was never known as the ‘gray lady.’ Seems to me that it would have been appropriate to note that ‘the Gray Lady’ has long been one of the nicknames for the New York Times. It is my understanding that this nickname is based on the notion that the newspaper traditionally offered many words and few pictures.”
Consider it noted. The New York Times is indeed called “the gray lady” on occasion, and my understanding of the origin is the same as Fleming’s.
By coincidence, shortly after receiving the Fleming letter I saw a headline on a column about friction between the New York Times and the White House: “Gray Lady is turning Bush yellow.”

 Six and two-tenths inning stretch:
“Nick Green pitched 6.2 strong innings …”
He pitched six and two-tenths, or one-fifth, of an inning? How do you tell when an inning is one-fifth over? I suspect the writer intended to say that Nick pitched six full innings and retired two batters in the seventh. That’s six and two-thirds innings, or 6.67 if you want to put it that way.
Speaking of baseball, I try to keep track of the best names that appear each season. So far this year, the leader is Boof Bonser. I’m sure the fans yell “Boof, Boof” when he takes the mound, and an announcer feels compelled to explain once again that “they’re not booing, they’re calling his name.” This happens with every player whose name sounds anything like “boo” — “Lou, Lou” or “Sue, Sue,” or whatever. “Sous, sous” if he cooks.

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