Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bits of Tid

  • George Stephanopoulos was never the White House press secretary, though he did handle many of the traditional duties of the job when Dee Dee Myers held the title under President Clinton. Note also that it's -poulos, not -polous.

  • Price club is not a generic term for a members-only warehouse store that specializes in volume discounting. Price Club was a pioneer in that retailing genre founded by a man named Sol Price. Its stores took the Costco name after a merger in the early 1990s.

  • It's risk-averse, not risk-adverse.

  • The term button-down shirt properly refers to a dress shirt with buttons to hold down the collar flaps, not a shirt with buttons down the front. Because there isn't really a good term for the latter, though, this is a distinction that is rapidly being lost.

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Save Your Apostrophes

    One meaning of round is "around." So there's no need for apostrophizin' in "round-the-clock service" or "shot heard round the world."

    Similarly, till is a word of its own, not a truncation of until. So don't go writin' 'til or 'till.

    Stalling Tactics?

    The guy's name is DeLay. Big L. Everybody knows this, and yet everybody writes Delay. I do a case-sensitive search-and-replace every time I get a story that mentions him. You should too.

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    Gator? It's a Croc!

    I was just reading a reference to the preppie-era popularity of "Izod shirts." That's technically correct, but it's like referring to Coca-Cola by the name of your local bottling company.

    Until the '90s, Izod had the U.S. contract to manufacture and distribute Lacoste shirts. Lacoste was and is the Coke; Izod was, uh, "the good guys at Kalil."

    Speaking of Lacoste myths, that animal on preppies' chests is no alligator. It's a crocodile. Rene Lacoste, the French tennis legend who founded the company, was nicknamed "Le Crocodile," and his nickname lives on on his shirts.