Monday, March 26, 2012

You said it, Inigo

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

How often I have quoted this great movie line! The world is filled with Vizzinis using words with reckless abandon. There's the blogger who reports that a diet book author “was able to beat a chronic health issue in his life by using the strategies implored in The Perfect Health Diet.”

I find most diet books bark orders. Imploring might work better for me. 

Then there's the columnist who wrote: "If you like his over-the-top enthusiasm for public-employee union collective-bargaining rights at the municipal and state levels, why not urge him to get consistent and signify for unionized federal-employee collective-bargaining rights, as well?"

I think that sentence signifies the need for a dictionary.

You say the big media outlets never fall into such weird word usage? Here's the Washington Post: “Since 2004, earthquake scientists have been caught off guard, or to some extent consternated, by huge killer earthquakes in the Indian Ocean, Haiti, China, Japan and New Zealand.”

They have been caught consternated? Aren't there over-the-counter remedies for that?

But for sheer confusion, I nominate this offering from the OMG Facts Web site: “American soldiers found one of Cher Ami's decapitated legs with a message!” 

Cher Ami, apparently, was a messenger pigeon during World War I* and didn't live to tell the grandkids war stories. Decapitated legs! Inconceivable!

*N.B. This has been corrected per Don's comment. 


  1. One of my favorite movies. But Cher Ami was of the doughboy generation; a slip of the pen, I'm sure.

  2. More like a slip of the synapses, an all-too-frequent occurrence. Thanks!