Feeling “badly”

Jay Nordlinger points out our Education Secretary don’t speak English real good: Arne Duncan, our illustrious education secretary, is all weepy over the young’uns in Texas. They don’t get no education, what with that mean Rick Perry in charge. Duncan said, “I feel very, very badly for the children there.” He feels badly, does he?…

A Plague on Words: Decimate, Disinterested, and Uninterested

A couple weeks ago, Ben Yagoda at Slate offered several examples of words and phrases whose original meanings seem to be fighting a losing battle against their incorrect contemporary meanings.  Some of the more surprising examples include “fortuitous” (it actually means “unplanned,” not “fortunate”), “presently” (meaning “shortly,” not “at present”), and “verbal” (meaning “in words,”…

Words to Retire: “Antediluvian”

The odds are pretty good that if you know what the word “antediluvian” means, you had to look it up.  And if you don’t know what it means, you would not likely be aided by the hint that it means the opposite of “postdiluvian.”  (Good grief, that’s an actual word.)  “Antediluvian” is just too obscure—not…