Change the noun

I’m as guilty of this as anyone, but I think we should stop calling non-cops “civilians.” It implies that law enforcement personnel are military; they are not. They are civilians just like those they’re supposed to protect. I propose that when we discuss uniformed law enforcement personnel we call them “police” and we call everyone …

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Please, O Internet Writers

Use a dictionary. Do not assume you know how to spell the word. It’s “straitjacket”, not “straightjacket.” It’s “backpedal”, not “backpeddle.” It’s “lose”, not “loose.” It’s “for all intents and purposes”, not “for intensive purposes.” It’s a “dog eat dog” world, not a “doggy dog” one. It’s “publicly”, not “publically.” This has been a Public …

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Evolution not always humanity’s friend

Oh boy. Some Prairie Rattlesnakes are losing their rattles, and there’s some thought it’s evolutionary. “Rattle and get killed” seems to be the lesson being learned by the critters. Isn’t that delightful? Hearing this story on All Things Considered this afternoon caused me to think up a new curse: “On the trail that is your …

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A riddle, it is

“Cut the mustard.” “To the nines.” “Up to snuff.” Phrase origins are often a rabbit hole down which one can fall, often with no end in reach. In these cases the exact origins have so far not surfaced. Ain’t the English language great?


Earlier today on Facebook I asked the following question: “When did the past tense of “shine” become “shined” rather than “shone,” and why was I not allowed an opportunity to rebut?” I provided an example in the comments: “I just know that when I read “that story shined a light on the evil and previously …

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