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."


Unknown 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."