O, hydrates

Nonchalant Jen requests:

Please banish “low carb.” I am sick of seeing it on every food item and restaurant menu. I am not on the Atkins diet, the Zone diet or any other miserable diet for that matter, so I don’t want to be looked at like some social pariah for eating a carrot or a piece of bread!

And are people so lazy that they cannot say “ohydrate”?

I’ll never give up my “carbs” or my “ohydrates.”

This denial needs an adverb

Carmen’s most hated news-media utterance:

categorically deny or categorically denied

What do they think they are implying, beyond regular old-fashioned denying? And have you noticed it is always politicians or their handlers who are doing this type of denying?

At the movies

James La Croix advises:

As a movie reviewer for a local weekly, I religiously avoid the following:

No comedy is ever “a non-stop laugh riot,” or “side-splitting.”

No thriller renders me “white knuckled,” puts me “on the edge of my seat,” is “spine-tingling,” or a “non-stop thrill ride.”

Even if it did, in print no melodrama “made me laugh and made me cry.”

And I never metaphorically use some meaningless verb to describe an actor’s performance (e.g. “Halle Berry soars…”).

Sport some originality, OK?

David Tom’s wish:

I guess sports broadcasters have a tough time being original from game to game, and have simply given up! I do wish, however, that they would have “the presence of mind“– like the athletes they are attempting to describe — to think of something else to say whenever some ball-bouncer or puck-slapper acts calmly in a “pressure situation.” “Pressure” is not an adjective!

And no more headlines from the sports section of the local newspaper (or any other), like “San Jose Sharks Take Bite Out of Avalanche, 5-1″ or conversely, “Avalanche Bury Sharks, 5-1.” While not exactly clichÈs, these cute plays-on-words are scowl-inducing, and are of course to be found in all sections of all papers (e.g. “Violinist Plays Second Fiddle to Gifted Son”…get it, get it? I don’t).

Be it resolved that…

Hi Tom,

The number one overused word today (at least in terms of politics) is “resolve.” I’d appreciate a mention of this nauseating term at your earliest convenience. Thanks.


Opinion rage


I cannot tolerate the use of the word “opined.” This generally appears in the news, E.G: “I imagine I’m stupid,” he opined.


Naming names

From Robin D. Best, news editor of the Henderson Daily News in Henderson, Texas:

There has been a recent evolution in sports news coverage and sports talk
show hosts.

In the last year, I have heard sports anchors begin giving commentary and
using single player’s names as if it represented an entire group or

“What the Dallas Cowboys are hoping to pick up is another Troy Aikman and maybe an Emmit Smith or at least a Barry Sanders…”


Thanks for letting me air this out…

Somebody call the orderly

Chris Pat suggests:

A very over-used and misused phrase is “in order to.

“In order to” really did have a meaning — to perform tasks in the order they were given, because to perform them out of order would not allow the operation to be a success.


  1. Open box.
  2. Remove radio.
  3. Insert batteries.
  4. Turn radio on.
  5. Tune to your favorite station.

These tasks must be performed “in order” or you cannot listen to your
favorite station. Technical manuals have many tasks that must have each
step performed in the correct order or the process cannot succeed.

However, it is used far too often now, and usually without any tasks that
must be performed in any particular order. Quite often, it is with one
task, and how can a single task be performed in order or out of order?

Also, it is redundant when used in a lead-in sentence to a numbered task.
The fact that the list is numbered rather than bulleted implies a numeric
order is required. Almost all can be written without the “in order” and the
meaning is still clear such as:

Go to the store in order to get milk.

Go to the store to get milk.

Perform the tasks in this list in order to configure the router.

Perform the tasks in this list to configure the router.