Sunday, April 15, 2007

Safire: Rain delay

I won't get to Safire's new column until tonight or tomorrow, but thanks to Erin McKean, here's something even better: An old Onion column on Safire.
William Safire Orders Two Whoppers Junior
September 20, 2000 | Issue 36•33

NEW YORK–Stopping for lunch at a Manhattan Burger King, New York Times 'On Language' columnist William Safire ordered two "Whoppers Junior" Monday. "A majority of Burger King patrons operate under the fallacious assumption that the plural is 'Whopper Juniors,'" Safire told a woman standing in line behind him. "This, of course, is a grievous grammatical blunder, akin to saying 'passerbys' or, worse yet, the dreaded 'attorney generals.'" Last week, Safire patronized a midtown Taco Bell, ordering "two Big Beef Burritos Supreme."
In the meantime, we'll fry up the rest of the pan fish with some eggs, finish off those last few cans of Leinie's and be home before you can say "nominal compounding".

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Erin McKean is reading this blog. That's cool.

After rereading that old Safire column, I think you have to figure this Onion writer has some kind of linguistics background, right?

Kathryn said...

Another fish to fry: Until yesterday I had never heard the term "panfish," and now today I hear it again. Now I am somewhat familiar with fishing, having fished as a kid for bass and bluegills (panfish) in my grandma's pond and stayed up late as a grad student netting smelt in spring run offs (runs off?). So, when I heard "panfish" I thought it must be a regional name for some local kind of fish, turns out (with a little help from the OED) that panfish is any "fish suitable for cooking whole in a frying pan, esp. one caught by an angler rather than bought," including bluegill, yellow perch, crappies...

Mr. Verb said...

Ummm, I get hungry just reading that ... . Yeah, that fits with my definition of panfish.

Kind of interesting, though, that smelt (herring, anchovies, etc.) aren't panfish, at least not for me, even though you can catch them yourself and they definitely fit in a pan.