Notwords Live: Plutoed Joins the Club

A group meeting nearby where I live has decided that “to pluto” or in past tense “plutoed,” meaning to be devalued in character or substance, is the Word of the Year in 2006.  Now that’s interesting.  I would call this a case of elevating a Notword (Notverb?) to legitimacy.  Hmmm…. Sky’s the limit for the American […]

Notwords and Pidgin English

I guess some would call “Pidgin” English “Pigeon” English, just as some would call Welsh “Rarebit” Welsh “Rabbit,” but that’s okay. My experience with Pidgin English dates to the 1970s and several months I spent in Hawaii editing a publication on the fly.  Here’s what happened to our happy little band of writers and editors […]

l’Academie de l’Anglais?

The French resist every onslaught of a foreign word (sacre bleu! especially an American word or phrase) into their language through the French Academy, official arbiter of all French language usage.  However, they usually don’t succeed; the words creep in anyway: “Je voudrais une hamburger.” I’m with the French but on the right side of the […]

Rush to Judgment Confession

Oops, guess I blew it with my Wall Street Journal woe story.  As it turns out, even as the size of the paper has shrunk, the content has been expanded in accordance with a couple of years of planning.  Welcome to “Journal 3.0” (one step ahead of Web 2.0, I guess), editors and others announced […]

Writing Is on the Wall (Street)

The venerable Wall Street Journal, which has struck to the traditional broadsheet long past most other newspapers in the country, today appeared on my doorstep a bit midgetized.  Instead of six columns, the front page sported just five with a narrower width to match.  What’s going on?  I didn’t see any announcement of the rationale.