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The Third Edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage (1996) puts it succinctly: "When used as an adj. (an everyday event, everyday clothes, etc.) meaning 'commonplace, usual; suitable for or used on ordinary days' everyday is written as one word. In contexts where it means 'each day' (she went shopping almost every day) two words (every day) are needed."

When we mix these words up it shows a lack of subtlety of thought — something none of us wants to exhibit.



Popular Culture

In a January essay about French philosopher Pierre Bourdieu, Washington Post writer Philip Kennicott asked readers to "consider the word 'thinker' and contrast it with 'pundit' or 'talking head.'" He didn't define the terms, but in his description of Bourdieu's (a thinker) work he tells us that the philosopher "questioned in a delightfully earnest way, why serious intellectuals would waste time talking to idiotic television journalists." This might put the journalists in the category of pundits, but let's hope we don't have to listen to too many talking heads.



Talk the Talk

Slate, an online magazine, has posted a glossary of some of the terms its editors use when they post their column "Today's Papers."

Most of these are familiar to all of us, but here are several that are not as commonly used as "op-ed" and "above the fold":

"Reefer: A brief front-page synopsis of a story that appears inside the paper.

Off-lead: The second most important news story of the day

Stuff (as a verb): To place a story inside the paper. Slighly derogatory …"

If you wish to see the other terms you can find them at slate.msn.com. When you get there search the site for "Today's Papers."



Let Rosie hear from you by telephone (804) 358-0825, by letter at Style Weekly, 1707 Summit Ave., Suite 201, Richmond, Va. 23230, or by e-mail, repps@styleweekly.com.

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