December 5, 1999 |
For the end of the 1900s--not the millennium (which ends Dec. 31, 2000), as so many people continue to get wrong--this could be an excellent time for all of us to mourn the loss of Things We Never Hear Anymore. The 1900s are fading fast. And with them, we say a fond farewell to words we no longer use, phrases that are more or less passe, products we no longer buy, even names of human beings that may be becoming extinct. (For example, the name "Myrtle."
January 20, 1993 |
Listen up. If you're not a narb (square) or an abb (abnormal), you'll want to speak the King's (oops, Monarch's) English in a politically correct, bias-free, po-mo (postmodern) way. You will not call your pooch a pet but an animal companion. You will not call Whoopi Goldberg an actress; she's an actor. You will not say master bedroom, master key, mastermind or master anything--these are sexist concepts.
April 20, 2002 |
Today is Saturday, April 20. Dude! Do you have any idea what that means? Brad Olsen does. For three years the 36-year-old entrepreneur has been trying to get today's date into alignment with his annual How Weird Street Faire, a celebration of, among other things, peace, music, tech, the counterculture and space aliens.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 1995 |
As the county bankruptcy approaches the one-year mark, its sweeping effects can be measured in layoffs, budget cuts and shattered political careers. But the financial crisis also has produced something more subtle: a colorful lexicon of buzzwords, euphemisms and catch phrases that players in the financial crisis use to promote their plans and perspectives.
January 29, 1999 |
Blindsided by the combustible mixture of race and politics, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams is under attack for accepting the resignation of a top aide for using the word "niggardly." David Howard, who headed the mayor's constituent services office, resigned Monday in the wake of complaints by other city officials who were offended by his use of the word that is synonymous with "stingy" or "miserly" and has no racial meaning.
July 10, 1993 |
The British Broadcasting Corp., purveyor of spoken English to the world, wants to purge its broadcasts of cliches, jargon, Americanisms and affronts to good taste and grammar. Phrases like "shot in the arm" and "last-ditch bid" are out. Short words and sentences are in. It's the Duchess of York and Princess Diana from now on--no more Fergie and Di. And please, no more of those Americanisms that jar the British ear--words like diaper, drugstore and sidewalk instead of nappy, chemist and pavement.
January 27, 1991
* Blitzkrieg : A German word meaning "lightning war." The term is popularly used to describe early German conquests in the war, especially the defeat of France. * Chaff or window : American and British names for strips of metal foil dropped from the air to create a false image on radar. * GI : A U.S. soldier, from "Government Issue." * Jeep : A derivative of the initials GP, meaning general-purpose vehicle.
April 29, 1996 |
New technology baffles everybody, including journalists, who sometimes can't even decide how to name the gadgets and concepts they write about. Lately, talk in Internet discussion groups frequented by journalists has centered on what to call the portion of the Internet known as the World Wide Web. Should it be "WWW" on second reference, some wondered, or "the Web"? Well, one journalist said it should be customized to accommodate regional accents. His suggestions: Chicago: Da Web.
December 13, 1992 |
She's a Valley Girl, and there is no cure . --from "Valley Girl"by Frank Zappa The printed word can't really do justice to my Valley Girl patois. Too bad I can't do this story on tape, so you could, like, hear it instead of see it. But if you just read this out loud asfastasyoupossiblycan, you'll get what I mean. No pausing between thoughts.