Browsing Month April, 2006

Where there’s a small lie, there’s a big one

Now this is the kind of fact-checking I like to see. Patrick Nielsen Hayden exposes liars lying about book sales. One of the main themes Patrick and his wife Teresa always seem to be exploring on their blog could be called the broken window theory of politics: where there’s a small lie, there’s almost always more…

Sentenced to be slanged until dead, dead, dead

A slang word is on its last legs, gasping for air when someone over the age of 35 seriously uses it in a sentence, then does a little smirk after they say it like, “Hey, look at me, I just said a word the kids use, aren’t I cute?” It’s the end of my career: more…

Double-Tongued Design Refresh

I refreshed the design of Double-Tongued this week. I haven’t been completely happy with the look since August, so I’ve been slowly working on changes since October. I like it much better now, but it could have been better with some professional help. In fact, several months ago I put out a request for proposals more…

The Dictionary

An apropos illustration from Toothpaste for Dinner, forwarded to me by Steve Kleinedler, who is a part of the editorial team of such works as the American Heritage Dictionary at Houghton Mifflin.

Opposites collapse and extend

I like that the verbs to telescope and to concertina are synonyms and antonyms of each other. At least, they are in my vocabulary. To concertina means “to extend, contract, or compress in the manner of a concertina organ.” Every dictionary I checked says to telescope means “to contract, slide, or collapse (into itself) in more…

Dropped in a real live melting pot

I’m not going to quote it for fear of ruining its beauty, but check out this awesome satire of the current immigration/documentation/guest worker debate. It’s cracking me up.

Crying Wolof about beer

Here’s a real howler: The word “booze” comes from the Nubian “boosa,” a type of strong beer. No, it doesn’t, no matter how many unreliable sources perpetuate it. The Middle English Dictionary dates the verb booze to ca1325. The Oxford English Dictionary concurs and marks it as apparently from Middle Dutch. There’s a German verb, more…

Darling buds

Gail Armstrong observes les enfants éclosants (blooming children; I like the French verb éclore because it applies to blooms and bees alike and it doesn’t have an obvious English cognate, so I used its present participle, instead of the too-familiar adjective bourgeonnant, budding.

The Bus Plunge

Yay! Obsessive looking-into of why buses always seem to “plunge” in news reports.

Owner evicted, thousands of books thrown out at Gaithersburg shop

“I won’t let my children watch,” Stepanov said, pointing to her toddler son, facing the opposite way in the back seat of her car. ‘‘It is horrible. It’s like Hitler.” (via Maud Newton.)