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curmdgeon.GIF (1254 bytes) Curmudgeons' Corner

Malcolm Tent is holed up with a complaint

I was shocked and amazed to see the following term used in reference to five children in Idaho who had barricaded themselves inside their house after their father died a few weeks ago and their mother was recently arrested:  "they were holded up".  That's worse than spaded for spayed!   What the writer meant to say, of course, was holed up.  It is the past participle of hole up "hibernate in or as if in a hole; take refuge in or as if in a hideout".  Gee, if the writer thought the verb was hold up, you'd think he'd at least have chosen held up as the past participle!

Of course, the writer probably shouldn't have used the term at all as it is considered informal, and he was writing a news report, which, as far as I'm concerned, should be written with a minimum of informal language.  But I am, after all, a curmudgeon.

Is there something you read or hear that sends you up the wall?

Do tell us. 

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