Bits o' BONG Bull No. 559!
Mime-Version: 1.0 (NeXT Mail 3.3 v118.2)
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 100 12:40:55 -0700
Subject: Bits o' BONG Bull No. 559!
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Excerpted-from: BONG Bull No. 559!
THE BURNED-OUT NEWSPAPERCREATURES GUILD'S NEWSLETTER
Copyright (c) 2000 by BONG. All rights reserved
TO SUBSCRIBE: Send a blank e-mail to email@example.com.
For April 20, 2000. Oh sure, Mr. McCain, NOW you tell us how you feel
about the Confederate flag, and leak the news to those yahoo rednecks
that they lost the war, scolds the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild,
and this is BONG Bull No. 559!
HOW TO RUN A BANANA REPUBLIC. Let's see if we have this right: Tweak
Washington's nose at every opportunity, check. Ignore law for a
momentary political rush, check. Tinhorn politicians issue silly edicts
for local PR, check. Seize and brainwash children, check. Produce
obvious propaganda tapes and photo ops, check. Fill the streets with
chanting yokels, check. Pop culture stars pump up the crowd with
Congratulations, Miami, you're a banana republic. Unfortunately, you
can't call it Cuba because the name's taken, even if most of its flags
are in Florida. But you sure learned a lot from Fidel Castro.
NOT EVEN ON THE EDITORIAL PAGES. The Vocabula Review
<http://www.vocabula.com/vocabulareview.htm> is quickly endearing itself
to the Blue Pencils Committee. This month Robert Hartwell Fiske, editor,
distinguishes Everyday English ("If a statesman trusts his friends and
allies, he should make it plain to the world at large.") from Elegant
English ("Whom a statesman trusts at all he should trust largely, not to
say unboundedly; and he should avow his trust to the world.").
Which is why, to pose a parallel in nonlinguistic terms, when one
visits the local garden center on a spring morning to acquire several
sacksful of garden fertilizer, a rusty pickup truck always seems to be a
better conveyance than the family Lincoln.
SO TELL US, WHAT DOES 'SOI-DISTANT' MEAN, ANYWAY? Doug Bevins of
Meriden, Conn., <firstname.lastname@example.org> reports, "How I discovered
what 'soi-disant' means."
He consulted the Hutchinson Dictionary of Difficult Words' A-Z index
of more than 13,900 difficult words. It's at
MARKET DEMAND. Gordy Thompson <email@example.com> brings news from
Charlie Robinson, the New York Times' Director of News Information
"Seems there's a book-weeding project under way here, in which
researchers are culling through access records to flag and remove the
less frequently retrieved tomes from the Times library (to make room
for, presumably, more frequently retrieved ones).
"They came across 'Dictionary of Words about Alcohol' and checked to
see if it had ever been signed out. It had -- once, by Tom Brew of the
'Pub' department. (Yes, there was such a person.)"
Definitely a keeper, the librarians decided. Gordy added that in
Times parlance, "Pub" stands for "publishing."
SEEN IN THE OTHER TIMES. Keith Bostic <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Dr. Alex Comfort, author of 'The Joy of Sex' has died, after a
series of strokes." -- From the Times, 28th March 2000.
© 2000 Peter Langston