In response to Anthony Stevens, pomposity is part of being a curmudgeon, so
I parade my ignorance proudly. Thank you for correcting me, since my dictionary is unable to do so. It shows only one meaning (with a few minor
variations) for "regime," and I mistakenly believed it.
In American English, the
meaning your dictionary offers is probably the most often-used.
From Bruce Yanoshek:
You say "It is spelled reneg or renegue. ", but I have never seen it spelled
other than renege, which is how my dictionary has it.
From Jeff Lee:
Glad to see you back again! I missed my weekly fix.
In "Words to the Wise" of Issue 137, you write:
No, this word does not have racist origins! It is spelled
reneg or renegue. We come across the former spelling in the U.S. and the latter is
Was the US spelling a typo? My dictionary doesn't list
reneg, but it
does have renege (which was how I was taught to spell it).
Reneg is an
alternative spelling, but the more popular spelling in the U.S. is, in
From Bob van der
I've been having some funny problems, and I finally figured out the
problem. Each time (week) I click on the 'spotlight' icon I get an old article. Hmmm,
well the reason is simple: the link under the 'spotlight' icon is for an
old article (TOW112), the one under the text 'Spotlight' is correct of the current issue.
Also, the icons for Curmudgeons' Corner and Sez You... don't have links at all. Oh, neither do
New and Book Store.
Hope this is new and helpful.
It was both! We've corrected those
problems. Thanks, Bob.
From Joseph Byrd:
Roaming through your back issues, I came upon the little verse on word
processor spell checkers. It occurred to me that mine has expanded its vocabulary and now includes proper names and even foreign words that are in
current use. So I started fiddling around (anything to avoid working), and
came up with an updated variation on the original. This is WordPerfect 8.
I halve myself ah spelt Czech
It came with my peace sea
It plane Leigh Marx firm eye revue
Missed stakes eye Cannes Nazi
Aye putt this poem threw it
Yule sure beak lad two no
Its vary polished in it's whey
My spelt Czech tolled miso
[Punctuation can make this seem almost coherent, but that's bending the
rules too far.]
Well done, Joseph!
From Jimmie Ellis:
Love your web site! It is GREAT!
I run Netscape 6 on Windows 98 and have experienced many of the problems mentioned. For the small, difficult to distinguish fonts, I
simply go to 'View' at the top of the page and tell it to give me a text
size of 120% or even 150% if my eyes are tired. The page two bugaboo was
irritating until I decided to ignore it.
Now, about the wl-
words [Issue 137, letters], I have checked two library-size
dictionaries, the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, and
Websters' Third New International Dictionary, as well as Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English (these
last two published in the UK), and the Microsoft Encarta College
Dictionary (thanks to TOWFI) and found no wl- words at all. I am
mightily curious about their pronunciation, as well as meaning. Are they
Welsh? Please enlighten me. Again, you guys are doing a super great job! Thank you.
Good guess of Welsh, but
they're not. They can be found in the all-encompassing Oxford
English Dictionary, and outside of that probably only in collections of
odd archaic words.
Just a quick one, WRT
[last] week's Curmudgeons' Corner:
"To cut off my nose despite my face."
Good one! There are
From Liz Crain:
OK, "doggie dog world" reminded me of this one:
A long time ago in high school, my Speech and Debate teacher told me that
his sister, a Kindergarten teacher, overheard one of her young students beginning the Pledge of Allegiance as follows: "I led the pigeons to the
flag...." Yeah, I know that technically it's not an example of a common misuse of
the language, but it sure is FUNNY!!!!
From Mark Lutton:
In newspapers I've seen a few "Web sights" among the "Web sites".
A word I haven't heard much of lately is "Malapropism". Too bad, because I've been hearing so many Malapropisms
lately. (Mrs. Malaprop was a character in Sheridan's play "The Rivals." She was the epistle of wrong-word usage;
they permanganated her speech.)
From Bruce Yanoshek:
I have recently seen "run rapid" for "run rampant" and frequently see "tow
the line" for "toe the line."
A certain call-in radio program's host frequently talks about "waxing
eloquently", apparently not quite knowing what the expression means.
From Dave Zecchini:
I love the "tact" vs. "tack" comment...I hear that one often.
The one that sends my teeth grinding is "for all intensive purposes". I can
take intents, and purposes, but I'm still not sure what to do about "intensive purposes"...
Aargh, make it stop!
From Mike and Melanie:
We checked with our
Cantonese-speaking friends regarding bonzer/bonza and
"good gold" (see last week's Words to the Wise) and they could
come up with nothing that might have been corrupted into bonza/bonzer.
Of course, that's not saying a whole lot. However, unless someone
comes up with some better evidence, the Cantonese connection is pure