Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am NOT a martinet...

Word to watch: Martinet — Main Entry: mar·ti·net
Pronunciation: \ˌmär-tə-ˈnet\
Function: noun
Etymology: Jean Martinet, 17th century French army officer, Date: 1737

1 : a strict disciplinarian 2 : a person who stresses a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods
Every time I watch the 1948 movie "Fort Apache" (John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Ward Bond), it always strikes me as funny when Fonda's Colonel Owen Thursday declares "I am NOT a martinet!" But then he declares how they will adhere to dress codes, etc.

Col. Thursday was the dictionary definition of a martinet. I loved many of Fonda's characters, particularly Mr. Roberts and his character opposite Jimmy Stewart in "The Cheyenne Social Club," but I hated Col. Thursday. Perhaps it was meant to be so. What a jerk ... got his men (and himself) killed.

More whom vs. who: I'm still picking on the NY Times. This was found yesterday: Whom did the Giants pick with the choices netted in the Shockey trade? Maybe it's just me, but, to my ear, Who did the Giants pick works better.

Play on words: I just found a web site for the Boston Red Sox called BoSox Injection. Obviously a play on botox injection. Meaningless, but I like it.

A better read: I just found this online — "I grew to love it,” Sullivan, of Andover, Mass., said. That reads better as, "I grew to love it,” said Sullivan, of Andover, Mass. It's cleaner, easier to read.


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Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

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