Earmarks, passing lunch, street talk, shifting

Tectonic plates of the world

Tectonic plates of the world: shifty creatures

* Sen. Jim Demint (R-SC) against earmarks (a) because they are used to sell bills that wldn’t pass otherwise (true: he cites La. [Purchase] and Neb. [Cornhusker goodie] in health-overhall passing) and (b) they distract senators from their national responsibilities, making them hostage to new bridges and playgrounds.  Thus on Don & Roma on WLS-AM this morning.  [Earlier, on CBS, quotes]

* Mike Huckabee on Dem’s saying we will know what’s in the overhaul bill when we have passed it: Like knowing what I had for lunch after I passed it. !

* WLS-AM news reader Wendy Snyder, raspy of voice and superior (above-it-all) of tone: Something happened on “Madison Avenue.”  What a winner is this Wendy, pride of Brookfield IL, who should get to know the city.

* Chi Trib head about election results: “Titanic shift.”  Tectonic.  Yes, titanic is of great force or power, synonyms are big and large: above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent.

But rapid reader of headline thinks shift as tectonic: pertaining to the structure or movement of the earth’s crust, as in “tectonic plates” and “tectonic valleys” or of or pertaining to construction or architecture, synonym is architectonic

Which would be figurative in this context, yes.  But called for by the rapid reader, the kind who reads headlines.  If you’re going to use shift, I am arguing, don’t break ground with new idiom.  Am I alone in this?

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One thought on “Earmarks, passing lunch, street talk, shifting

  1. Re the Trib’s Titanic shift, try this 10/20/10 Trib sentence: “Founded by his late father more than 30 years ago, Giannoulias rose through the ranks at the bank from teller to loan officer….” Was the bank founded 30 years ago? No, the sentence says Giannoulias was founded 30 years ago!

    That misplaced modifier was authored by Deanna Bellandi who holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University where she was editor of the Daily Northwestern. She don’t need no stinking grammar book.

    See 23rd paragraph of http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/sns-bc-il–profile-giannoulias,0,4176267.story

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