Reporting on his investigation of Hillary Clinton's email use, F.B.I. Director James B. Comey mentioned several times that the F.B.I. engaged in up-classifying emails.  Continue reading...
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The language used by the National Pastime is wonderful and strange (and not all food-related) - there are things you can say in baseball that you wouldn't say anywhere anywhere else.  Continue reading...
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Captain America: Civil War is a hit film at the early summer box office, having recently surpassed 1 billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales. The film raises a lot of questions. A basic question can be answered well before that having to do with the language of the title: How can a War be Civil?  Continue reading...
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Speakers are prone to misinterpret an expression for various reasons and then incorporate the incorrect usage into their lexicons. When such misusages become widespread, the question that arises is whether the new and nominally incorrect version of an expression should be regarded as acceptable.  Continue reading...
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Garner's Modern English Usage, which just released its fourth edition, is potentially a damn useful thing to me. And after looking through Bryan A. Garner's latest, I can report that the potential is realized: this is an extremely useful and sensible guide. I don't know if I would sleep with it under my pillow, but I won't keep it far from my desk.  Continue reading...
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Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential candidate, briefly made headlines last month when it was announced that she'd signed a production deal for a TV "reality" show set in a courtroom. "She'll preside over the courtroom of common sense," according to Larry Lyttle, the man behind the deal. If the show materializes, it won't be the first time a politician has claimed "common sense" as a preeminent virtue.  Continue reading...
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Have we already seen the Euphemism of the Year? It's possible, euphemism enthusiasts: brace yourselves for a major-league, double-tongued, weapons-grade whopper of a doozy.  Continue reading...
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