Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 23, 2013

LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Grammar that'll drive you to drink

Niagara Gazette — Dear Mainland Imbibers — Old Saddlesoap has recanted. You could have knocked Doug down with a swizzle stick. It was just last Saturday that we ranted about how higher-ups planned to water down Doug’s favorite nightcap, justifying the dilution with a cock-and-bull yarn about shortages.

As a courtesy, he cc’d Old Saddlesoap management. By Sunday, the company told him it had changed its mind. Power of the press! (Now if we could just get people to yield at the Three Stooges Memorial Roundabout.) Even Jay Leno joked about it Tuesday night, but never mentioned our vital role. Ah, well, who needs fame when our whiskey (Maker’s Mark, actually) holds at 90 proof.

Even the experts were staggered. Bourbonologist Chuck Chowdry had blogged, “There will be a hew and cry for a few days, and then it will be forgotten.” Which brings us, then, to our quarterly lurch down Grammar Alley. It’s “hue and cry,” from a 16th Century English legal practice concerning the pursuit of felons, presumably including distillers of watery hooch. “Hue” derives from an antique French word for “yell.” A few more hues and cries ...

• “If your driverless car does get in an accident, whom is to blame, you or the software developer?” asked Froma Harrop of Creators Syndicate. Froma, a fine writer, needs to recalculate here. A car gets “into an accident,” and it’s “who is to blame.”

• To “Sad,” Dear Abby advised – “Your husband should try to convince his parents to get counseling.” In obitting a-bomb pioneer Donald Hornig, The Week magazine said “He declined (the job) until the president of Harvard University called and convinced him to take it.” In both instances, the subjects were “persuaded,” not “convinced.” We persuade people to act (even some distillers) and convince them of facts or opinions.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Wegmans call warns of bad fruit I was humming to myself the other day, getting ready for work on a lovely summer morning, when I decided to check my messages on the house phone. I hit the play button and heard a message from Wegmans warning me about some fruit that I had bought at their store. As quick as that, a message with the scary potential to change my life or the life of someone I love.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Ortt jumps on drive to repeal the SAFE Act It was a no-brainer for North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, a Republican candidate for the 62nd Senate District seat, to join the forces to repeal the state's SAFE Act.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verplank: Turn back the clock at the Porter Cup

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page