John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
But I’ve always disliked the use of that word because of its association with fraternity initiations. Naming a Cabinet officer or federal judge ought to involve more dignity that being invited to join Rho Rho Rho.
Now — thank you, Bill Walsh, for your tweet crediting @edzaf — I have an additional reason to dislike this “unfortunate headline verb in reference to a female nominee, given the prevalent slang meaning.”
No prizes for guessing what that “prevalent slang meaning” is.