Retro Baltimore: 50 things we miss

War and fruit

CNN has been caught out.

From Vivian Laxton:

I am a regular reader of your blog, as well as a recovering copy editor. I thought of you when I saw this paragraph on a CNN article online today:

NEW YORK (CNN) — Politicians. They're just like us, or at least, that's what they're desperate to have us believe, particularly during a campaign season in which the word "elitist" has been lobbed about like a lit hand grenade.

Now, I never served in the military, but I’m pretty sure that grenades haven’t had to be lighted for several centuries. …

Correct. The original grenades were explosive shells lit by fuses. The mechanically exploded grenade made its appearance during the First World War. Live hand grenade was probably meant.

The word grenade derives from the French pomme grenate or the Spanish granada, or pomegranate, the early grenades bearing a resemblance to the fruit. It came into common use in English during the late 17th century, when the soldiers who specialized in the use of grenades were called grenadiers. The modern hand grenade is familiarly called a pineapple.

An etymologically allied word is grenadine, the syrup made from pomegranates. Its effects, however, are not explosive.


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