Archive for the ‘word is not the thing’ Category

Even dwarfs started bigoted

September 2014

Tweeted this but have to repeat: One of the best things I learned in my pass through journalism school was that you always die. You do not “pass away.” Otherwise, reporters soon find themselves saying chickens were “processed” for sandwiches. Also, too: Every obit that quoted the founder on how starting in poverty gave him his work ethic should have mentioned he appears to believe every employee should experience that misery forevermore. Good Christians do, of course, only have to observe the Lord’s Day, not the Lord’s rules.

Offal

November 2011

A very eloquent Occupy essay by a former poet laureate brought home how easily minds are warped by deliberately warped language: A baton sounds so much more delicate than a truncheon or a billy club. And a Facebook friend subsequently noted that pepper spray sounds less threatening than mace. She’s right — doesn’t everyone love sriracha, even when it’s atomized?

The dog blog made her do it

November 2009

Even sillier is the so-correct description of Martha’s special turkeys: vegetarian-fed. I mean, if you’re going to raise birds on human flesh, go for the meat eaters. More protein.

S.I. Hayakawa, your car’s here

October 2009

And a third hometown paper ran a good piece on the motherfucking cookbook but chose to quote two of the old-timers in the business on the realistic language. I have nothing but (unreciprocated) respect for Julia’s editor, but it was odd to see her dissing something she admitted she had not read. And of course hearing that Jane’s ex is appalled by all the F bombs is about as surprising as the fact that fucking seats at the fucking counter are fucking hard to come by. Cooking was never “the province of polite people.” That sort goes to Washington and resists uttering “Go fuck yourself” on the floor of Congress. Besides, haven’t recent studies shown that the best way to relieve pain from a grease burn is to shriek anything but “fudge”? If you can’t take the language, get out of the kitchen.