October 19th, 2005 § Comments off § permalink

According to the occasionally-reliable Wikipedia, an aptronym is “a name that is aptly suited to its owner.” I don’t know too many people whose names are aptronyms, but I do work with a city planner whose last name is a homophone for “charrette.”

Fortunately, Wikipedia also claims that “[t]here does not yet seem to be a standard terminology for this linguistic curiosity,” so perhaps there’s still time to replace the word “aptronym” with something that isn’t an overly precious neologism. Not that I’m particularly exercised about this issue, mind you.

I’ll be absurdly pedantic for you

December 12th, 2002 § Six comments § permalink

Part of the Friends theme song goes as follows:

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year

Shouldn’t the second line be “When it hasn’t been your year, your month, your week, or even your day”? The word “even” implies that the last item in the list entails the smallest amount of happiness.

I cannot believe I am actually posting this on my Web site.

Redefining English

July 4th, 2002 § Comments off § permalink

My landlord, Jack, and his boyfriend are playing Scrabble in the living room. Jack just tried to pass off “ashored” as a real word. “The past tense of the adverb ‘ashore’ is ‘ashored,’” he insisted.

Scrabble makes liars of the most honest of men.


June 18th, 2002 § One comment § permalink

You’ve probably heard the expression “put a spanner in the works” or “throw a monkey wrench in the works.” Either version creates a vivid image, but not a particularly disturbing one.

And then there’s the developer at my company who sometimes says that a problem has “thrown a monkey in the works.” Now that’s a metaphor.

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