Advertising May Be Harmful to Your Spelling

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The United States has a government official called the Surgeon General who is the nation’s chief adviser in matters of health. One of the most famous to hold the job was Dr. C. Everett Koop, author of warning labels on cigarette packages.

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I Hate “Kids”

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No, I don’t hate children, young people, babies, infants, toddlers, adolescents, teenagers, or youth. I hate the universal use of the word “kid” or its plural to denote any and all of the categories of juvenile human beings.

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Beware of “Whom”

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I just read a mystery by Sue Grafton in which her character Kinsey Millhone mentally corrects a maid who responds to her phone call by asking “Who may I say is calling?”

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Let the Word Do the Work

When language-mutilator Yogi Berra said that something was “like ‘deja vu’ all over again,” everybody laughed. Lately I get the feeling that some people who say it don’t know it’s a joke. Yogi’s “belts and suspenders” approach to words seems to be on the increase. We’ve all seen ads that offer “a free gift.” Sometimes … Read more