You Don't Say

You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.
Plus ca change …

A.J. Liebling, writing in 1947:

“I think that anybody who talks often with people about newspapers nowadays must be impressed by the growing distrust of the information they contain. There is less of a disposition to accept what they say than to try to estimate the probable truth on the basis of what they say, like aiming a rifle that you know has a deviation to the right.

Read more
Permission to evacuate

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Atlantic coast of the United States, you may see cautions to avoid saying that people are being evacuated. The belief—it is utterly mistaken—is that only objects, such as buildings and cities, can be evacuated.

Read more
In a word: pusillanimous

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

PUSILLANIMOUS

Not everyone has the fortitude to rise up to a difficult situation; many, in fact, shrink from the occasion.

Read more
In a word: farouche

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

FAROUCHE

Among the words for difficult people, we have, from the French, farouche (pronounced fuh-ROOSH), which covers a spectrum of difficulty.

Read more
In a word: haberdasher

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

HABERDASHER

We have a curious word today, one of murky origins that has entirely different meanings in Britain and the United States, and which has largely fallen out of use here anyhow.

Read more
In a word: jocose

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary.

Read more
77°