Blog Archives

Over time, derogatory labels such as nerd and queer warp, transform and become terms of pride.

Ian Simpson gave a very reasoned response to my recent blog entry about anti-intellectualism in mass culture.  His comment regarded the word, “nerd”: “The term ‘nerd’ is often worn as a badge of honor these days by a substantial subset

Posted in Words & Language

Call for nominations for OpEdge’s Ketchup Award, named after the condiment Reagan officials called a vegetable serving.

Many people act as if they really believe the first line to St. John’s gospel, “In the beginning was the word.”  They think by using a word or phrase they can create or deform the reality being described or make

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters, Social & Political Issues, Words & Language

The news media keeps busy covering celebrity worship and parents trying to game the educational system.

A while back I wrote about Parade’s use of the July Fourth celebration as a platform for worshipping celebrity culture.  As I said then, it’s the “modus operandi” (the way it works) in the mass media.  This past Sunday, Parade

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters, Social & Political Issues, Words & Language

Maureen Dowd speaks in code and everyone understands what she means.

Another low point in the endless and senseless coverage of a married professional golfer’s extramarital affairs was Maureen Dowd’s smarmy attempt to find a trend in the actions of Tiger Woods and White House social secretary Desiree Rogers who might

Posted in Social & Political Issues, Words & Language

Trust, but Verify Who Actually Said It.

Here are some of the more than one million pages of news media, books and websites on the Internet that cite Ronald Reagan as having said, “Trust, but verify.” Many of the citers are writing about politics or foreign policy,

Posted in Words & Language

Speaking of the Devil “They”

No sooner did I post a rant about syntactical mistakes that editors (and teachers) hate to see, in yesterday’s blog on ways to get the media to toss away a news release, when low and behold—I pull from my mailbox

Posted in Business Matters, Words & Language

Wake Up the Copy Editors

The New York Times may be going a little too far in trying to make its Tuesday “Science Times” section accessible to the mythical average Joe-and-Jane.  I’m sure many of my (perhaps mythical) readers know the section I’m talking about: It’s

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters, Words & Language

Tar Sand in the Eyes

Michael Lynch, a so-called energy consultant who used to be involved in energy research at MIT’s Center for International Studies, has a silly little piece of specious reasoning in today’s New York Times. The point of Lynch’s article is that

Posted in Social & Political Issues, Words & Language