See you tomorrow, over the radio

Kai Ryssdal hosts the public radio (listener supported) program Marketplace on a daily basis Monday through Friday.

He signs off the program saying,

See you tomorrow, everybody.

Am I the only one whose radio doesn’t come with a camera? Can Ryssdal see me through his website?

Stick that in your tea and drink it.

Gourmet vanilla extract

McCormick  markets gourmet premium pure organic vanilla extract. They tout its quality by telling us that the hand-picked vanilla beans “are left on the vine for up to 9 months to ensure vanilla flavor the way it was intended to be.”

So then, what does “up to 9 months” on the vine mean? Does it mean that some of the beans stay on the vine for only one month? Does it in fact mean that only a token number of beans remain on the vine for a full nine months?

My curmudgeonly take on writing hardened by reading American journalist Theodore M. Bernstein (1904–1979). He was the assistant managing editor of The New York Times from 1951 to 1969.

Among his several books, he wrote Watch Your Language: A Lively, Informal Guide to Better Writing, Emanating from the News Room of the New York Times  (1958). (My copy is still boxed up from my move ten months ago.)

So how am I doing in the writing department? Do I write better after hot tea with sugar? Of course, you wouldn’t know.

________

See Theodore M. Bernstein papers, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library.

Word salad spinner, II

I received the following comment. Apparently, the author ran his/her comment through a translation application. I wonder what the original language was.

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Word salad spinner, I

I received the following comment. Apparently, the author ran his/her comment through a translation application. I wonder what the original language was.

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Both eyes working

The Paul Manafort verdict was in and was to be announced on August 21, 2018.

In watching TV reports, Trump campaign operatives were somber.

Everyone seemed to be working or chatting with one eye while keeping the other fixed on the television.

Luckily, they weren’t chatting with both eyes.

from: Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie. Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2018, p. 239.

‘The whole nine yards’

We commonly use the expression “the whole nine yards” to mean absolutely everything. The origin of this expression stems from the military. As Alan Axelrod writes,

The length of a complete standard .50-mm machine gun ammo belt: twenty-seven feet.
To feed the gunner the entire belt was to give him (or the enemy target) “the whole nine yards”; hence the popular expression for giving, getting, or doing absolutely everything.

from – Alan Axelrod, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: the Real Language of the Modern American Military. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2013, p. 205.