VOCABULARY: OWI (Opining While Ignorant)

Friday, March 8, 2019


Famed economist Murray Rothbard touched on the answer: “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” — Murray Rothbard

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VOCABULARY: finger of honour — doigt d’honneur in French

Saturday, March 31, 2018


French driver faces jail time for “disrespecting” a speed camera. Hint: He disrespected in the classic way, which I now learn the French call the “digit of honor.” Must adopt that phrase.

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French driver faces prison for giving middle finger to speed cameras
The Local
22 March 2018
10:49 CET+01:00

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A 46-year-old motorist in the Loire department of central France has been warned he faces two to four months in jail after sticking his middle finger up to two speed cameras back in May 2015.

However while the driver accepted that he was speeding and paid his fines, he denied giving the one-finger salute, known as the doigt d’honneur in French (finger of honour), to two speed cameras at Saint-Forgeux-Lespinasse and Bessay-sur-Allier.

“At that moment, I was talking to my girlfriend, and I was upset because she was talking about her ex-boyfriend. The finger was intended for her,” he said. 

The public prosecutor’s office said that even though the driver had already paid his fines for speeding they pressed charges against him for “insulting a person tasked with a public service mission”.

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VOCABULARY: “FISK” — a point by point refutation

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fisk | Define Fisk at Dictionary.com

/fɪsk/ verb. (slang) to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point. C21: after the use of this technique by Robert Fisk (born 1946), British journalist, to criticize articles. Word Origin and History for Fisk.

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VOCABULARY: “backronym” — the word was picked first, then an acronym written to fit it

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


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The USA PATRIOT Act stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (seriously). Linguists call this a “backronym”—the word “Patriot” was likely picked first, then an acronym written to fit it.

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VOCABULARY: Fiancé vs. Fiancée?

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Fiancé vs. Fiancée
June 24, 2015 by: Dictionary.com

Much debate and change surrounds the terms fiancé and fiancée in the recent past. English speakers borrowed these gendered terms from the French in the mid-19th century, importing both the masculine (fiancé) and feminine (fiancée). This term ultimately derives from Latin, fidare literally meaning “to trust,” combined with the suffix -ance, which is used to form nouns from existing verbs.

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I became aware of this “controversy” when I tried to put “fiancée” in the “accented words” folder of my TextExpander utility. It wouldn’t even let me make my own. Hence I investigate this “error”.

So I am a “fiancé” and AMH is my “fiancée”.


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Saturday, July 8, 2017


I found this in “Bugle Blast”. Never heard of it before. I’d call it CYA.

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VOCABULARY: “doublethink”

Friday, July 7, 2017

Dictionary.com Word of the Day  JUNE 25, 2017 

doublethink [duhb-uh l-thingk] 1. the acceptance of two contradictory ideas or beliefs at the same time.


Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies …

— George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four, 1949


Doublesthink comes from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-four (also 1984), published in 1949. It appears alongside Orwell’s other neologisms thoughtcrime and duckspeak. Doublethink, has a more sinister meaning than the relatively innocuous doubletalk, which appeared in the late 1930s and referred at first to the kind of speech that Casey Stengel (1891–1975) was famous for, and later to jargon or pompous language. Doublethink entered English in the second half of the 20th century.

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Hard to imagine that this is possible but we see it today in both “politics” and the “media”.

Current example is the D’s complaining to the TV about the R’s “secret healthcare plan”, while “conveniently forgetting” that they did the same thing to pass Obamacare!


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