Issue 125, page
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
there something you read or hear that sends you up the wall?
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Last Updated 08/18/01 06:46 PM