Thursday, February 14, 2008

Words I Don't Know How to Use


1. trifling; worthless 2. not operative; invalid -- Webster's New World College Dictionary


Temperance said...

“Nugatory” sounds so labored. I’m having a hard time envisioning it comfortably in a sentence.

I’ve heard “serious as cancer” as well as “serious as a heart attack.” The nature of colloquial sayings seems inherently to trivialize cancer and heart attacks in those instances. On a somewhat related note, I really hate non-literal uses of the word “rape.” It bugs me even when it’s done with the best of intentions (e.g. “Evil corporations rape the environment.”)

Did you read the semicolon article in today’s New York Times? Why do you think Allan M. Siegal think the sentence (“Please put it in a trash can; that’s good news for everyone.”) would be more sophisticated with a colon? Am I missing something?

Temperance said...

This is the article I was referring to earlier:


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