Throwing shade

29 thoughts on “Throwing shade”

    1. I have mixed feelings about spell checkers. They are useful as a backup sort of thing, but you have to be very critical of their suggestions. I find the WP spellchecker particularly annoying because, while I can accept that it might not know a new word I’m using, it also won’t allow me to enter that word so it won’t bug me the next time I use it. Of course, if thousands of WP bloggers did that to the spellchecker that serves all of us, it would be a complete mess in no time.

      And for what it’s worth, I’d never seen acquihire before. So we’re two old farts.

  1. Publishing dictionaries is of course a business, albeit likely in decline because of the internet. When I mouse these new entries I note that an Oxford ad pops up with the answer. I suppose Merriam-Webster is their main competitor, one whom I settled on many years ago as the preferred source. I have their app on my iPad but interestingly they don’t seem to have one for my desk top. The one on my Mac shows a copy-write by Apple. Maybe that’s why. I wouldn’t have thought of them in that game.

    Language seems like school of anchovies, or a flock of starlings, with words as individual members. The mass moves like a living thing, but easily takes random directions, and there are always outliers at the edges of the mass. You can’t heard it anymore than rabbits, you just have to keep your eye on it and try not to get distracted by the outliers.

    Interesting additions, though. Some comments, FWIW. I don’t think “brick” will last long – technology moves too fast. Same for “hexacopter.” “Cotch” is too quirky and too British for this side of the pond. “Cray” might last – one syllable instead of two. “Mansplain” has legs – Shakespeare would embrace it, I think, because of its emotive content. Finally, there is “side boob”. I’m embarrassed – I had to look it up. WDYT?

    1. Obviously dictionaries benefit from online form, where their capacity is virtually limitless. If all dictionaries were still in print form, editors would have to be more selective and might not give space to some of these words.

      Love your language analogies. So poetic. And very apropos.

      I agree that brick and hexacopter will probably disappear when the devices referred to disappear. And mansplain is sort of cute, if a bit condescending to men. And if you haven’t heard side boob, you haven’t watched enough TV. 😉

  2. I apologize in advance for returning to this. It’s a pet peeve. Someone said “Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.” The original source is in dispute, and he should be glad, because the dope forgot to include change. That hopey-changey thing, as Sarah Palin called it.

    Things change, all the time, every day, 24/7/365 and they always have, and they always will, and anyone who thinks change is bad is a fool. If things didn’t change I would be eating raw meat in a cave tonight, and I would NOT be happy. You have to roll with the punches.

    1. The only constant is change. True. But just as not all change is bad, neither is it all good. I’d be the first to say our evolving language is a fascinating thing, and it’s wonderful the way it can adapt and accommodate anything. A love of language is one reason I ended up working in publishing in the first place. But it makes me unhappy to see inelegant, coarse, or crude slang and shortcuts making inroads and worse, being endorsed or legitimized by dictionaries and other authorities — a view probably expressed by elder generations for centuries.

      1. I think the people change the language and the dictionaries reflect the people’s changes. The only arbiters of “correctness”, if there is such a thing, in speech and text are the ones doing the communicating.

        I don’t know why this always has been a sticking point for me, but it started in grade school and never went away. Maybe I have a few drops of Navajo blood.

  3. (What a great line: “Language seems like school of anchovies” – had to laugh)
    With the internet/international capacities on line/ so many TV channels, casual conversational language is changing at warp speed -(it used to be about yearly with the school calendar? Seems like each fall we “updated”….and berated textbooks for attempting to be cool with trendy phrases that quickly become dated). Business language is slower to change and more standard (not IT companies/and a few others)
    Guess language depends on who’s talking to whom and what about.
    (And people laughed years ago when I said in the future you would probably be able to make money writing for others if you had a good precise vocabulary, understood mechanics, sentence structure – and how to write logically, and persuasively…. scribes may be making a comeback as the slide continues?
    Lots to think about in this post

  4. I just wish you damned Yankees would go back to spelling our (English) words correctly instead of following that nasty Mr. Webster, and whilst you’re at it foreign words that are used widely; the words from the metric system springing immediately to mind. It isn’t hard to spell metre or litre correctly.

    If I was to drink a liter of liter beer in the USA would I be drinking a litre of light beer or a lighter light beer, something of the strenght of lemonade?

    It really does make me grumpy. It’s almost as if you were thumbing your nose at the rest of the world; sad really! 🙁

    1. Well, we had to change those funny English (British) spellings because we couldn’t figure out how to pronounce them. More phonetic spellings made more sense to us. After all, litre and metre look like two-syllable words.

      As for the beer, I can’t speak from experience, but I understand German beers are the best. Microbreweries are all the rage in the US now, and I’ll bet one or more of them has the perfect beer for you. Me, I’ll have some of that lemonade, please.

      Oh, and if you’re unhappy about our not adopting the metric system … just imagine how you’d feel right now if someone said you had to adopt our system. I can’t speak for others, but I’m not thumbing my nose. I’m just lazy and set in my ways.

      1. We gave up your system some years back, we referred to it as the “Imperial System” 12 inches – 1 foot 22 foot (not feet) one chain 10 chain one furlong 8 furlongs one mile and they’re off and racing, I must admit that the Imperial system is great for racing but for anything else the metric is so much easier. That’s why we switched from pounds shillings and pence to the dollar. Which makes it hard to understand why you Yankees can’t adapt.

        You’ll probably remember some years ago NASA sent a space thingy to Mars and something went wrong and they lost the thingy. Apparently one group of NASA Boffins used metric and the other used Imperial. Seems like your rocket was miles/kilometres off course and got lost in space thereby providing TV with another silly show 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Geez. I’m really “without it.” The only word on that list I use, and thought I understood, is catfish. We once caught a few in streams and lakes near our family home. It’s a guess, but now it probably refers to a bottom feeding (beneath contempt) person, which makes some sense. But not much. Incidentally, despite their ugly appearance catfish are very good to eat.

    1. Nope, you’re still wrong about the newest definition of catfish (see the link). But hot, crispy fried catfish …. mmmmmmm! Add hushpuppies …. heaven!

      1. Basically they are deep-fried balls of cornmeal batter, usually with a bit of chopped onion in them. Plenty of recipes on the Internet, with photos.

        Funny video. Apparently there’s no end to what can be found on YouTube these days.

      2. Charlie Chaplin a comedic genius; but I think I’ll give deep fried cornmeal batter a miss,I have too much respect for my stomach to say nothing of my health I’m trying for 90. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Didn’t Elvis Presley die from eating some deep fried banana sandwiches or something equally as revolting?

      3. Right you are. Back in Army days, we made a big field trip from Fort Sill to the Red River. Caught a whole lot of “channel cats.” The Sergeant Major was an Oklahoma native; he knew just how to fry the fish and make great hushpuppies. I well remember those wonderful meals.

  6. I have no issue with language continuing to evolve, but I dislike clumsy tacky words that lead to imprecise and ugly language. Yes, I’m old too… I only knew five of those words, and like your other commenter one of those was wrong as I thought catfish was referring to the fish.

... and that's my two cents