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Rosie Right


What color are you?

Question: If someone were to call you green, should you be insulted or pleased?

Answer: Until a few years ago, you'd probably be insulted, since you probably don't consider yourself green with envy of anyone; or sick; or naive; or like "putrid meat from long keeping with reference to the green surface which it acquires"(Oxford English Dictionary).

You'd need to go to the 11th meaning in the Oxford Dictionary to find the definition that most of us -- and now, it seems, all corporations — want to have applied to us.:

"11. Of, pertaining to, or supporting environmentalism (esp. as a political issue); that belongs to or supports an ecological party; loosely, environmentalist, ecological. ...

"The association of the colour green with the environmentalist lobby, esp. in Europe, dates from the early 1970s in West Germany, notably with the Grüne Aktion Zukunft Green Campaign for the Future, and the grüne Listen green lists (of ecological election candidates), both of which emerged mainly from campaigns against nuclear power stations."

Now everyone is green:

MSNBC has a story on the Web titled "Green car dealerships popping up around the U.S." British Petroleum is trying to convince the world that it is "Green" (ecologically careful). The New York Times (Nov. 15) has introduced a story with this pullout: "Frito-Lay's venture joins the rush to be green."

Try to avoid the word green in the press and it's a good bet you won't succeed. Indeed, my own magazine is sponsoring a search for "green heroes."

Talk the Talk

Gorgeois is a neologism to express newfound appreciation for things once considered conventional or bourgeois, like the various Palms (Beach, Springs). Source: The New York Times article "The Talk."

Full Ginsberg — appearing on the same day on all the major Sunday talk shows. According to Frank Rich, writing in the Sept. 7 New York Times, "It was first achieved by William Ginsberg, Monica Lewinsky's lawyer, in 1998."

Let Rosie hear from you by phone (804)300-2385, e-mail epps.rozanne@gmail.com or by mail 1707 Summit Ave., Richmond, VA 23230.

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