Friday, March 23, 2007

Say it!

I've had the new(ish) AP Stylebook on my desk for weeks, determined to think of something funny to write about it. Amazingly, no luck. But that's never stopped me before, so here are a few entries from a page picked at random:

drowned, was drowned.
If a person suffocates in water or other fluid [smacks forehead: other fluids!], the proper statement is that the individual drowned. To say that someone was drowned implies that another person caused the death by holding the victim's head under the water.
A fine distinction!

Dr Pepper. "A trademark (no period after the Dr) for a brand of soft drink."

drugs. "Because the word drugs has come to be used as a synonym for narcotics in recent years [recent years?], medicine is frequently the better word to specify that an individual is taking medication."

"Yes, Mother, I've been taking drugs, and I'm feeling much better." Does sound a little peculiar, doesn't it?

drunk, drunken, drunkenness. No explanation necessary.

duel. "Three people cannot duel."

I'd say that depends on the people involved, and how drunk or drunken they are.

duffel. "Not duffle."

Dumpster. "Trademark for a large metal trash bin. Use trash bin or trash container instead."

Drugs, drunkenness, duel, duffel, Dumpster. Story of my life in five words. Six if (as recommended) you substitute "trash container" for "Dumpster."

Dunkirk. "Use this spelling rather than Dunkerque, in keeping with widespread practice."

So widespread I've never seen it spelled Dunkerque. People who spell it Dunkerque also say Neek-ah-rah-wah. Sorry, I just love saying that: Neek-ah-rah-wah. Say it! Pretend you're Antonio Banderas! (That's fun to say too: Antonio Banderas.)

Dutch oven, Dutch treat, Dutch uncle. Antonio Banderas.

dyeing, dying. "Dyeing refers to changing colors. Dying refers to death."

People change colors when they die, too. Longer they're dead, the more colors they change.

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