or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Monday, January 15, 2007


Here's an awful sentence from an awful Newsweek Online story, about the double-murderer O.J. Simpson and his theoretically theoretical confessional book:

Galanter, Simpson's attorney, said last week that the rights to the book have already or will soon revert to the former football great (a spokesman for HarperCollins, of which ReganBooks was a part, declined to comment on any aspect of this story).

So the editors at Newsweek no longer know anything about subject-verb agreement when changing tenses? The clause in question ought to have read "...the rights to the book have already reverted, or will soon revert, to...." (The commas are optional. I like them.)

But let's put this ugliness behind us. Here's a great word I'd never heard before, in this sentence from a Slate.com story about tampon advertising:

Elkinton can talk for hours about "tapered applicator barrels" and "a finger grip with flared grooves" and a "unique, double-layer, folded pledget."

"Pledget". How about that! It means a small flat pad of cotton used to dress a wound. Like the inside of a Band-Aid! Dictionary.com doesn't know where it came from: neither does the OED, though that source is willing to make a few inconclusive guesses: the "-et" ending suggests a Romance language, and there's a chance it may be related to the word "plug" somehow. But for once, I don't even care, because it's just a terrific word.


Post a Comment

<< Home