or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, March 24, 2005

This just in

A brief parenthesis from today's Salon.com:

"(vinyl records fit snuggly in the large version of the bag)".

I'm betting they don't, unless the writer is taking a quick detour into world of children's writing and means to say "(vinyl records fit, all snuggly and cozy, in the large version of the bag)". No, the adverb "snugly" is clearly what's called for here, and Salon, much as I love it, could really use a copy editor or two. (A couple of weeks ago, an article referred to "poet laureate John Betcheman". Perhaps other people wrote shocked letters to Salon; I know I did, and within a few hours the correction to "Betjeman" was made. It was clear from the context that the writer had simply typed out phonetically what the interviewee had said, never bothering to look for the name's spelling. I can hardly believe that someone hadn't heard of Betjeman, or rather had never encountered his name in print, but such seems to be par for the course these days.)

From today's Slate.com:

"she posed nude and lathered with body paint".

No. Just no. "Lathered" specifically refers to something soapy and foamy. Someone can't be lathered with body paint, unless it's that soap-based stuff you can use to trick kids into getting clean in the bathtub. The word the writer was presumably reaching for is "slathered", and even that's wrong, since "slather" refers to the application of a thick coat of something; you can slather yourself with moisturizer, for example. The coat of paint in question was thin, depicting as it did a business suit, pinstripes and all--certainly not a slathering.


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