Jeopardy Writers Get It Wrong Again

Even though the Oxford English Dictionary is listed as one of their references, the Jeopardy writers occasionally write a clue without checking it. On December 19, 2017, one of the categories was “More than one meaning.” The clue was: “A coffin, or the gloomy feeling that comes upon you as it’s being carried. The expected answer…

Agreeing with Trump on “mike”

At last, something I can agree with Trump about! The other night in his monologue, Stephen Colbert ragged on President Trump’s tweet about Senator Jeff Flake, which included the following sentence: Sen. Jeff Flake(y), who is unelectable in the Great State of Arizona (quit race, anemic polls) was caught (purposely) on “mike” saying bad things…

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The Pronunciation of “gerrymandering”

A word much in the news of late is gerrymandering. The term refers to the manipulation of voting district maps to favor one political party over another. The word is a portmanteau as well as an eponym. It combines the name of Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), who was governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812, and salamander,…

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New Problem with “lay” and “lie”

After writing numerous posts on the correct use of the verbs lay and lie, I’m ready to concede that getting everyone to use them “correctly” is a losing battle. Even if English teachers are teaching the concept, students are not listening. So many people tell their dogs to “lay down” and describe bodies as “laying…

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