Sunday, July 13, 2008

S.O.S. -- Bade, Bonehead

Although we don't often make use of some of these older words, some are currently used in modern speech and we should be careful.

: "He was bade to do it." No, "...he was bidden to do it."

Between you and I
is a common slip of speech. Between being a preposition requires that a pronoun in the objective case be used -- "between you and me"

bolt from a clear sky
. Bolt as here used stands for thunderbolt, but the phrase means " a sudden or unexpected catastrophe," and a bolt is the electric discharge of lightening when it strikes.

is a vulgarism for numskull or blockhead. Don't use it it proper circles.

breathlese silence is the silence of death, for only the death are breathless. A momentary silence is to be preferred.

bulldoze is a vulgarism for intimidate, that is to compel to compliance by threat.

bum is a vulgarism and stamps those who use it as preferring vulgarity or decency in language. Avoid, "He is a bum," "You are a bum guesser," and Quit your bumming around," as wanting in refinement and offensive to good taste.

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