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First things first 

Rosie Right

Apparently, when one becomes a word maven, that interest takes precedence over almost everything else. Rosie was reminded of this while she was reading "The Last Campaign," by Zachary Karabell. This story of the Truman-Dewey campaign included a recounting of a press conference that Henry Wallace held when he was trying to start a powerful third party. H.L. Mencken, an accomplished political reporter and the author of "The American Language," was present, as was "Wallace's obsessive nemesis Westbrook Pegler.

"Pegler asked Wallace to comment on the Guru letters [letters Wallace wrote to a spiritual leader], but Wallace wouldn't bite. 'I never discuss anything with Westbrook Pegler,' he said again, as he had said before. Another reporter rose to Pegler's defense and asked the same question. 'I never discuss anything with stooges for Westbrook Pegler,' replied an icy, angry Wallace. Mencken then rose to ask the candidate to define stooge."

Now there's a word-lover.



Stylish Language
In an April 10 New York Times article about the hard time young women in Silicon Valley have meeting men they want to date, writer Evelyn Nieves wrote:

"Indeed, an urban legend is growing in Silicon Valley about women flocking here in search of geek gods with all the right assets, at least on paper."



Powerful Words:
Brill's Content magazine tells us that sports reporters are enthusiastic in their use of battle terms to describe the action on the playing field. From the column of statistics in the May 2000 issue:

"5 [is the] number of times per hour of sports commentary that announcers use such war terms as battle, kill, ammunition, weapons, professional sniper, taking aim, fighting, detonate, squeezes the trigger, exploded, and blitz to describe the action."



Talk the Talk
MOP — millionaire on paper. source: New York Times

mooch line and Mabel —- source: "All Things Considered" interview segment about FBI volunteers fighting telemarketing fraud:

Reporter Nancy Updike: "This woman's name is classified. Just picture an unassuming 60-year-old ... In the last few years she has helped convict at least a dozen people. She did it with something called a mooch line."

Special Agent Mike Havertts (FBI): "We call these mooch lines because a mooch in the telemarketing industry — that's mooch as a kind of a name for a sucker ..."

Updike: "Mabel is the generic name telemarketers use for whomever they're calling, as in I can't go to lunch now. I've got to call Mabel. ..."



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