Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oh, Boy

Webster's New World:

good old boy
[Informal] a man of the S U.S., variously characterized as easygoing, companionable, assertively masculine, and strongly identifying with his regional lifestyle

old boy
1 [sometimes O- B-] [Informal, Chiefly Brit.] an alumnus, esp. of a boys' preparatory school 2 a man belonging to a social, professional, etc. group regarded as prestigious or influential, whose members provide one another with assistance or preferential treatment

The confused use of "good old boys' network/club" to mean "old boys' network/club" is pretty common, but I still found it jarring to read it in a report from a government inspector general:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement "relies on five different sets of penalties for workers," the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general reported, "resulting in the perception that a 'good old boys' network still existed where certain infractions were simply made to go away."

2 comments:

Len said...

The members of the Good Old Boy network wear sheets and burn crosses. Or perhaps it's vice versa.

Mo said...

I thought that was called "The Nashville Network."