Sandie shapes chicer sheik site; Y2K's AHD4 a Gold-Anvil winner. (Wood On Words).Atripartite e-mail from Sandie Osborne, who is senior proposal manager at the Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, Hawaii, presents these noteworthy items:
The alternative weekly newspaper reviewed the nearby college radio station's web site, describing it as a "surprisingly sheik site." No help from the spell checker on this properly formed though inappropriate word that should have been spelt chic. (Relevant here is a line from the 9/12 Wall Street Journal in which staff reporter Ten Agins quotes a fashion maven as saying of a new sleeveless black wool shift, "What could be chicer than that?" All proper desk dictionaries show adverb adverb: see part of speech; adjective. chicly and noun chicness, but only brand-new American Heritage 4 displays awkward adjectives chicer and chicest. Now, might one address Bob Mackie as "Your royal Chicness"?)
Osborne's second solecism comes out of the same barn. The 1999 annual report of the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) is an international center for research and education in biology and ecology. Founded in 1888, the MBL is the oldest independent marine laboratory in the Americas, taking advantage of a coastal setting in the Cape Cod village of Woods Hole, allows a new executive to declare, "I have... taken over the reigns...." The spell checker stands mute yet again; like a doting dote
intr.v. dot·ed, dot·ing, dotes
To show excessive fondness or love: parents who dote on their only child.
[Middle English doten. parent, it loves both needed reins and dead-wrong reigns...judging neither.
The third gaffe appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser obit on a well-known lifeguard who "was credited with developing a strict training regiment for lifeguards." Our correspondent chimes in, "Even the Baywatch Hawaii team isn't THAT military. Spell checker? Copy editor? That would be regimen."
My thanks to Sandie and to think-tank editor Kathleen Much, Stanford, Calif., who e-mailed the following news: "Spied in Publishers Weekly, 10/2/2000, p. 26: Seattle author Paisley Rekdal's upcoming book of poetry, 'A Crash of Rhinos,' was mistakenly introduced as 'A Crash of Winos' at Powell's City of Books' Celebration of Authors." We may have the makings of a new collective noun here....
* Two lexical events of high interest to business writers preface our segue into 2001. "Merriam-Webster's 10th Collegiate Dictionary" and the "M-W M-W Merriam Webster Dictionary Collegiate Thesaurus" now reside uncut in one CD-ROM CD-ROM: see compact disc.
in full compact disc read-only memory
Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). with 21 search options and instant access into the user's hard drive. The investment of US$24.95 buys 215,000 definitions plus more than 340,000 synonyms and antonyms and hundreds of audio pronunciations. The useful date-of-first-use feature is included.
"The New American Heritage Dictionary" (4th edition) now includes 4,000 full-color illustrations to augment its 200,000 definitions. Ten thousand new words appear: domain name, work fare, wuss, false-memory syndrome, reverse mortgage, in-your-face, zine, among these. New biographical entries include Yo-Yo Ma, Oprah, William Henry Gates Noun 1. William Henry Gates - United States computer entrepreneur whose software company made him the youngest multi-billionaire in the history of the United States (born in 1955)
Bill Gates, Gates , and Patsy Cline. Hundreds of Word Histories -- hex and ditto are but two -- expand meanings across the book's 2000+ pages.
A strong new player is the series of notes called Our Living Language, which illustrate how social factors such as age, ethnicity, and social class influence the way certain speakers use and shape the language. For instance, the editors call downsize Downsize
Reducing the size of a company by eliminating workers and/or divisions within the company.
When a company downsizes, it is attempting to find ways to improve efficiency and increase profitability.
It is sometimes referred to as trimming the fat. "a recent example of a euphemism that found broad acceptance in the language and is not particularly thought of as a deceptive attempt to smooth over the pain of large-scale firings. But the search for less harmful terms goes on and on." The note also discusses terms like reengineered, right sized, nonessential non·es·sen·tial
Being a substance required for normal functioning but not needed in the diet because the body can synthesize it. , and jobs that are "no longer going forward." The Note makes reference to "human resources and public relations," pointing out that these terms are "euphemisms themselves."
The Houghton Mifflin lexicon bears the year 2000 copyright date. To buy the 8 1/2" x 11" x 2 1/2" hardcover version bring US$60.00 with you; bundling the CD-ROM with it will cost $74.95; the disk alone goes for $24.95.
* An item attributed to the New York Post The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and the oldest to have been published continually as a daily. Since 1976, it has been owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and is one of the 10 on October 23 commented on the number of people "trying to wrangle an invite to Hugh Hefner's Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion...."
Wrangle -- with its main meaning "to quarrel noisily or angrily; bicker" -- lacks the finer-tuned force of wangle: "1. To make, achieve, or get by contrivance: wangled a job for which she had no training. 2. To manipulate or juggle, especially fraudulently." These views of the words are from Y2K's AHD AHD Ahead
AHD American Heritage Dictionary
AHD Australian Height Datum
AHD Academic Honors Diploma
AHD Alveolar Hydatid Disease
AHD Advanced Help Desk
AHD Atherosclerotic Heart Disease 4.
PRWEEK of October 2, reporting on the fuss about the Dr. Laura tele-talk show, said her "publicists have attempted to douse douse 1 also dowse
v. doused also dowsed, dous·ing also dows·ing, dous·es also dows·es
1. To plunge into liquid; immerse. See Synonyms at dip.
2. water on the flames...." Getting close counts only with horseshoes and hand grenades: One would douse the flames by dashing water on them.
* Here is a pretty turn of word I read in an ad paid for by Karats and Facets, Inc., a Miami-based maker of jewelry: "We buy gems directly from abroad and smith the gold in our own workshops...." They smith the gold. Cool. Also brave, because verb smith, which shows up only in anvil-weight dictionaries, means to fashion by forging, i.e., heating and hammering on an anvil anvil
Iron block on which metal is placed for shaping, originally by hand with a hammer. The blacksmith's anvil is usually of wrought iron (sometimes of cast iron), with a smooth working surface of hardened steel. . But this short and lyrical leap from the smithy's to the mall is merely delightful, and I'll assay the coinage at 24K.
Alden Wood, APR APR
See: Annual Percentage Rate , lecturer on editorial procedures at Simmons College, Boston, Mass., writes and lectures on language usage. He is a retired insurance industry vice president of advertising and public relations.