Search found 8323 matches

by Erik_Kowal
Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:11 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: On a roll
Replies: 0
Views: 2569

On a roll

For twenty-five years, Mr. Bookman had arrived at his New York office each morning at exactly 9:00 a.m. He had never missed a day and was never late. One day, 9 a.m. passed without Bookman. There was consternation among his colleagues. All work slowed to a crawl, and the boss himself went out into t...
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:44 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Can't **** for toffee
Replies: 5
Views: 5024

Can't **** for toffee

Hers is a good example of a rather toffee-nosed remark, it seems to me.
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:43 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Do we 'make' or 'take' a decision?
Replies: 47
Views: 16544

Do we 'make' or 'take' a decision?

If one drinks one's bathwater, is one having it or taking it?
by Erik_Kowal
Fri Aug 05, 2005 1:16 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: A leap of faith
Replies: 0
Views: 2609

A leap of faith

A young Wall Street dealer loved living on Staten Island, but wasn't crazy about the ferry timetable. Missing the ferry back late at night meant spending the next hour or so wandering the deserted streets of lower Manhattan. One evening the dealer had been unable to leave his office at the usual tim...
by Erik_Kowal
Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:49 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Never too late
Replies: 0
Views: 2868

Never too late

Ninety-four-year-old Mrs Hatcher showed up at her lawyer's office one Monday morning and got straight to the point. "I would like you to start divorce proceedings on my behalf as soon as possible," she declared. The lawyer was utterly shocked. Regaining his composure some moments later, he said in a...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:51 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: moderate/moderator/moderation
Replies: 6
Views: 3815

moderate/moderator/moderation

I agree, Shelley, especially if everyone henceforth always elects to follow the dictum, "Moderation in all things".
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:25 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: chuffed
Replies: 12
Views: 4750

chuffed

Speaking as a Brit of some years' standing, I have only ever come across the adjective 'chuffed' in the sense of 'pleased' or 'delighted'. However, Chambers 20th Century Dictionary gives an additional meaning of 'disgruntled', with a derivation from Middle English 'chuffe', 'choffe' (meaning 'boor')...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:56 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: "oblige" versus "obligate"
Replies: 1
Views: 3262

"oblige" versus "obligate"

Jim, your surmise about the difference between US and non-US usage is correct, with 'obligate' being an Americanism and, according to my Chambers 20th Century Dictionary, a British archaism. Additionally, 'obligate' and 'oblige' are not exact synonyms, with some of the additional connotations of 'ob...
by Erik_Kowal
Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:17 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: A flesh start
Replies: 0
Views: 2673

A flesh start

A circus advertised for a new lion tamer. There were two applicants, a young woman and an older man. The circus owner decided to test their skills with the lion straightaway, so he first asked the woman to show him what she could do. She entered the cage and stripped down to her scanty bikini. Immed...
by Erik_Kowal
Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:21 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: A store story
Replies: 0
Views: 2896

A store story

In the supermarket aisle, a man passed a woman in whose cart a four-year-old girl was sitting. He heard the mother saying, "Take it easy, Natasha... won’t be long. There's just three more items on the list." A few minutes later he passed the same woman in another aisle. As the little girl looked at ...
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:31 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Old Dart
Replies: 9
Views: 4916

Old Dart

Ah, but we do; for instance, our stalwart contributor WoZ springs readily to mind.

If we take the diameter of the Earth to be 7926 miles, WoZ is 41,849,280 feet away on the other side of the globe from us; after death, he will be (41,849,280 - 6) = 41,849,274 feet away.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:18 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: brand name replacements, e.g., Kleenex = tissue
Replies: 7
Views: 5242

brand name replacements, e.g., Kleenex = tissue

Quite so. Losing the capital E would bring little ecstasy to Britain.
by Erik_Kowal
Mon Aug 01, 2005 4:36 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Democratic values
Replies: 0
Views: 2900

Democratic values

Two opposing county chairmen were sharing a rare moment together. The Democratic chairman said, "I never pass up a chance to promote the party. For example, whenever I take a cab, I give the driver a sizeable tip and say, 'Vote Democratic.'" His opponent said, "I have a better scheme, and it doesn't...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:02 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Symbols and Brand Names
Replies: 3
Views: 3003

Symbols and Brand Names

To which I would add that you are probably not thinking of 'gentrification' (which the online Merriam-Webster at m-w.com defines as 'the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces earlier usually poorer r...
by Erik_Kowal
Sun Jul 31, 2005 6:09 am
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: The varnished truth
Replies: 9
Views: 4114

The varnished truth

A man told his doctor that he wasn't able to do all the things around the house that he used to do. When the examination was complete, he said, "Now, Doc, I can take it. Tell me in plain English what is wrong with me." "Well, in plain English," the doctor replied, "you're just lazy." "Fair enough," ...