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Preview: The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing

The Word Guy - ArcaMax Publishing

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Copyright: Copyright 2018 ArcaMax Publishing

And the Cow 'Flu' Over the 'Immune'


This winter just "flu" by, didn't it? My own bout began a week ago when invading forces apparently flanked the Maginot line of my flu shot. They've now settled in for a grim siege of my 'Flem'ish fields. (Don't worry. By the time you read this, ...

These Are Peeves You Don't Want To Pet


Every so often I let slip the dogs of words and allow my readers' pet peeves to roam ravenously through my column. Grrrrrr... Elizabeth Ryan of Pittsburgh says she's infuriated by the rampant substitution of "myself" for "me" and even "I," e.g....

The Most Dangerous Words in America


Product warning labels can sometimes be hilarious: "Remove child before washing" on a pair of kids' overalls, "May cause drowsiness" on a package of sleeping pills, "This costume does not enable flight" on a Superman costume. My all-time ...

Dictionary Dive Hits a Brick Wall


An occupational hazard of writing this column is distraction. No, I don't mean being interrupted by robocalls or the cat who suddenly vaults onto my desk. I mean getting sidetracked, such as looking up the word "effulgent" in the dictionary and...

Let's Play Whack-a-Blunder!


Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and try your hand at Whack-a-Blunder! Can you find 25 usage errors in this story about a literary contest gone horribly wrong? Don't be shy! It's first come, first serve ... er, first served. Wilky Winkerby ...

Here's the 411 on 'the 405'


Take [the] Five: Have you ever wondered why Southern Californians always insert "the" before the number of an interstate highway, e.g., "Take the 5 to the 134"? Nathan Masters, the producer and host of the public TV series "Lost LA" recently ...

Exploration of 'Lorn' Yields Bonanza


Dear Mr. Lonelywords, Ever since my boyfriend left me, I've been wondering what the "lorn" in "lovelorn" means. Is it derived from the title character in the novel "Lorna Doone," who suffers heartbreak? Or perhaps from the actor Lorne Greene, ...

Legal 'Dispositive' Enters Common 'Par'lance


Two dispatches from the Word Front . . . -- Snowy Disposition: at the height of a recent blizzard, a reporter asked Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy whether he would impose a travel ban if neighboring Rhode Island did so. "That would not be ...

'Out of Pocket' Produces Loose Change


For most of us, "out of pocket" has always referred to incidental expenditures paid directly from someone's pocket. (Remember that boss who never reimbursed you for your tolls on the sales trip to Elmira?) About 10 years ago, however, trendy ...

Should You Clutch Possessives With Both Hands?


Q. I've long been bothered by the use of the possessive when yoked with "of," e.g., "Rob is a friend of Amy's." Why wouldn't we just say, "Rob is a friend of Amy"? Or even better: "Rob is Amy's friend." -- Amy Robinson, Hartford A. Rob is ...