A metaphor I was amused by: “The $64,000 question is: How do we put socks on this octopus?” —Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, in a telephone town hall this evening. (A quick web search suggests that the socks/octopus thing is a relatively common phrase, but I hadn’t heard it before.)
From the Madam & Eve files
Don't ask an architect, I'm more curious how you use it.
I recently came across the phrase somehow or rather. I initially assumed that it was a typo for somehow or other, but I got curious and did a web search and found that lots of people have used the phrase online. I assume that it’s an eggcorn, but if so, it seems to be a […]
A piece of spam email that got past my spam filters the other day included a link to a web page that had the filename macrodactylous_misarchism.html. I suspect that the filename was generated by software that took two random words and strung them together; sadly, there don’t seem to be any web pages that are […]
“BBEG is an [abbreviation] for Big Bad Evil Guy[:] a climactic villain in an action-adventure setting.”
I just came across the word medakdek (which is also spelled medakdeik and m'dakdeik), a Hebrew word (מדקדק) that means something like precise or exact or careful. I infer that in yeshivish (heavily jargonized English as used at US yeshivas and among their alumni) there is a connotation of fussiness, of being overly picky about […]
I recently saw the word weblog in a Bruce Sterling story (“Black Swan”) that was published in 2009. Which surprised me, because even I, who disliked the word blog for a long time, was writing blog casually by 2002, and I think of Sterling as having been usually somewhere near the cutting edge of the […]
Sadly, it seems unlikely that there will be any phony subatomic particles more amusingly named than the "real" ones.
According to Wikipedia: BLUF (bottom line up front) […] is a paragraph where the conclusions and recommendations are placed at the beginning of the text, rather than the end, in order to facilitate rapid decision making. Which seems to me to be pretty much the same approach that a lot of people take by writing […]