I just overheard two guys at work discussing Tom DeLay’s resignation from Congress, and I must say, it’s hard to take such a conversation seriously when one of the guys keeps pronouncing indictment as in-'dikt-m&nt.



As if “blogosphere” weren’t already enough of an ugly and unnecessary word, Kurt Andersen now offers a coinage that makes life even less worth living: blogospherese.


Note to Gothamist, rest of world: Electrocution does not mean injury by electrical shock. It means death by electrical shock. If you don’t die, you haven’t been electrocuted.

This may seem like pedantry, but if bloggers want to claim to be journalists, they need to be able to distinguish clearly between death and non-death. Allowing readers to believe that dogs have been killed when they’ve merely been injured is inaccurate reporting.


Sometimes it seems like every college-degreed person in America, but me, is madly in love with this David Sedaris, who, frankly, I can’t stand. But that’s neither here nor there. Today’s Manhattan User’s Guide uses the word materteral, which–as is clear from the context below–is the “aunt” equivalent of “avuncular.”

In the old days, the voice of the holidays was the avuncular Burl Ives. Now, it’s the more materteral David Sedaris, which is progress in our book.

[The Mavens, on “materteral”]

Word-o-phile: Spanish Popeye

Spanish Popeye describes a loophole in New York City law regulating the adult-entertainment industry. The law permits a business to operate outside adult-entertainment zones if at least 60 percent of its merchandize is not X-rated. The Times explains that the term is a coinage of Robert Sacklow, a buildings inspector who once found eighteen thousand copies of Popeye cartoons dubbed into Spanish, in a sex shop with “only” twelve thousand porn videos.