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middlesmith has looked up 11 words, created 6 lists, listed 48 words, written 32 comments, added 6 tags, and loved 3 words.

Comments by middlesmith

  • From dictionary.com:
    Inch·ma·ree clause
    Pronunciation: 'inch-m&-rE-
    Function: noun
    Etymology: after Inchmaree, a British steamer whose 1884 sinking in Liverpool harbor resulted in its formulation
    : a clause in a marine insurance policy that covers damage or loss caused by the negligence of a vessel's own captain or crew or by any defect in the ship's hull or machinery

    See? Boring.

    January 8, 2010

  • Enforced furlough. Like a vacation, but without pay. Laid aside rather than laid off.

    August 7, 2009

  • See "The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme," Gould and Lewontin, available here.

    July 15, 2009

  • If you say "bless you," does he burst into flame?

    June 2, 2009

  • Hydraulic fracturing, a method of natural gas mining that (who knew?) damages water tables. Also good for making baby Cylons.

    May 28, 2009

  • Sometimes only an a numbat will do.

    May 28, 2009

  • Thanks, that makes more sense. Not as fun for the Saxons, though.

    May 28, 2009

  • Vile. Liaise me and I will surveil your ass for a kicking-spot.

    May 28, 2009

  • I tell my dunderhead colleagues to use Germanic equivalents of these Latin guckwords. They never invite me to happy hour.

    May 28, 2009

  • More than leading edge. More than cutting edge. Our system is so advanced it may cause severe lacerations.

    May 28, 2009

  • This word is best spoken in a Jerry Lewis voice.

    May 28, 2009

  • Fascinating. I seem to remember examining an eighteenth-century book with a foolscap watermark. If the Rump Parliament ended (I reckon) around 1660 and took the foolscap mark with it, I guess I'm misremembering. Does anyone know whether paper makers kept using the watermark unofficially into the 1700's?

    May 28, 2009

  • WWII. He was an artilleryman all over Europe, which is all he's ever really told me about it. Everything else I've had to infer from the war junk box. Looking up this word made me realize what that thing really was.

    May 27, 2009

  • I've learned potato masher-as-grenade since then, but at the time I'd had plenty of experience with an actual wooden-handled potato masher (thanks to grandma). I don't think I wondered what a potato masher was doing in a box with medals, patches, knives, and such. Grandpa is an old pro at deflecting questions about the war, so I'm sure that's how he wanted it.

    May 27, 2009

  • A metal band now touring with Deathstütter.

    May 27, 2009

  • I looked this up and had two revelations:

    Grenade comes from the same root as pomegranate, which means you could translate this as "steel-seeded apple," which is something Byrhtnoth could have used against the Vikings.

    When I was nine and looking through some of my grandfather's "war junk," I held up a stick and asked what it was. "Handle from a potato masher." Boring enough that I never thought about it again. He had a bad war.

    May 27, 2009

  • I love this word. I won a $10 bet with a guy who thought it meant "good fire."

    May 27, 2009

  • Universities have begun using this word to describe a department's number of grads. At my old school, the philosophy department is suffering from low throughput and may get axed.

    May 26, 2009

  • My cousin Joanie loves tchotchkes.

    May 23, 2009

  • You can't have a complete discussion of Appalachian music or labor without this word. Here is a very brief history of coal company scrip with some very cool photos of bi-metal scrip coins.

    May 23, 2009

  • Great list. Takes me back to my spell-check crisis during a Beowulf seminar.

    May 23, 2009

  • Thanks chained_bear -- getting the hang of it. Plus I'm medicated.

    May 23, 2009

  • Used to describe my nephew's younger, cooler uncles from his mother's side, with their video games and electric guitars.

    May 23, 2009

  • A basis for action more substantial than a whim but without the decisiveness of a hunch.

    May 23, 2009

  • Process used for reducing a fifty-page document to ten pages three hours before deadline.

    May 23, 2009

  • Branding, as a marketing approach, seeks to eliminate critical thought among potential consumers. If you do it well, you get brand equity, the measure of how well your branding investment is paying off in consumer zombification.

    As a proposal writer, I'm supposed to adhere to the precise phrases and imagery that the company's product managers have developed carefully and expensively with consultants. Never mind who my audience is or the objectives it has specified in the RFP.

    The writer pursuing brand equity is encouraged to abandon persuasion, rhetoric, and creativity in favor of an approach designed for cattle. Yeah, it bugs me.

    May 22, 2009

  • "Our system is architected to meet or exceed your needs."

    A noun verbed then used in passive voice. Kills me every time I see it.

    May 22, 2009

  • When I saw this word recently in a business document, I had to put my head on my desk and breathe deeply.

    It triggered my allergies for apostrophe abuse and its/it's carelessness all at once.

    The person who used it pulls a six figure salary.

    May 22, 2009

  • I actually hate this verb more than I hate incentivize.

    May 22, 2009

  • This is how business-speak refers to the future without committing to it. I expect it to replace "til death do us part" in weddings before long.

    May 22, 2009

  • This phrase seems to be replacing on the same page in my company's conference calls. It certainly sounds more elegant, but conference call cliches are unpolishable turds.

    May 22, 2009

  • There are so many verbed nouns (and nouned verbs) in widespread use that we hardly notice them anymore. Architected and others I find in business communication give me a wallop every time. Does anyone know some similar offenders?

    May 22, 2009

Comments for middlesmith

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  • I like your lists--the coal mining terms are especially fun. Thanks!

    September 3, 2010