Browsing Month January, 2006

Ugg: How a minnow put the boot into a fashion giant

The word “ugg” as in “ugg boot” is no longer trademarked in Australia. “How did a quintessentially Australian product end up being hijacked by a corporation based in Santa Barbara, California? To understand it, you have to go back 35 years.”

E-40? Back 40

All due respect to E-40 for his skills, but he’s trippin on this: “Creative terminology like ‘pop ya collar,’ ‘it’s all good,’ ‘fo’ shezzy, fo’ shizzle’ and ‘what’s up pimpin’’ all came from E-40.” I know that’s just a Warner Bros. press release, but for years he’s been making claims like this. Give it a more…

Copulatin’ Blues

This is the kind of stuff I get to listen to in the making of a slang dictionary: Copulatin’ Blues. The linked site is not quite right as it seems to intermingle songs from volumes one and two of the collection. The “Frankie and Johnny” clip there (from the second volume released in 1984) includes more…

I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue

While I do enjoy From Our Own Correspondent, the BBC Radio program I most want to have as a podcast is I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue which is a completely useless and hilarious half-hour of cutting up and nonsense. As it is, I set the computer to automatically record it to MP3 every Monday more…

What does “to coin a word” mean?

The meaning of “to coin (a word or phrase)” is changing and there’s a clear-cut need for some kind of disambiguation. The new meaning of the verb, supported by any number of news articles or blog entries, seems to be “to say, especially in a noteworthy fashion” and not the older “to create a unique more…

Dreck but no crotchfruit

To listen to the “decorum is declining daily” crowd, you’d think propriety had disappeared from the American media landscape. But it still has a foothold yet. Jan Freeman writes, “Even when Rosten first issued his caution, nearly 40 years ago, dreck was not truly taboo: The New York Times, which takes a tough line on more…

What about Craigslist?

How can anyone possibly write an article about job-hunting online and not mention Craigslist? It’s no longer the open secret it once was—Alexa says Craigslist is the 34th most-visited web site on the Internet (although Netcraft doesn’t concur)—so how does one explain the omission? Because it’s informal? Because it offers other services? Because the article more…

Samuel Johnson, creator of the OED

Glad to see that this review of Henry Hitching’s Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary on Bookslut was changed to this. Before it was changed, the first line contained the phrase “Samuel Johnson, creator of the Oxford English Dictionary.” Johnson was no such thing. Although the OED has used citations that more…

Sustaining cranky spell is hard work

“This is the first time I have come into the office in a long time. You should see all the people who work here. I wonder who they all are. None of them are wearing bathrobes, and all of them seem to be wearing real shoes. It is very odd.”

The Impeachment of George W. Bush

If he had any shame, he would apologize. If he had any honor, he would resign.