Monthly Archives: April 2009

Mascot names — what were they thinking?

flickr josephleenovak
flickr josephleenovak

Sports team’s mascots seem to intrigue me.  I did an earlier post on some I found that had an agriculture theme to them.

 Today, I will show you some high school mascots that will make you say, “What the ___ were they thinking?”

Genoa, IL must not be a hotbed of creativity.  Wouldn’t you have loved to be at the brainstorming session where they picked the team name?  The group of masterminds decided on COGS, as in GO COGS.  It stands for City of Genoa Schools.

 Sheldon, IA must have had a similar clog (oops) in their brains.  The team colors are orange and black—so far, so good.  So, they decided to call the team the Orabs, combining the two colors.

The town of Frankfort, ID (don’t get ahead of me) calls their athletes the Hot Dogs 

Freeport, IL had two major employers.  One made beer and the other pretzels. They threw out the name Brewers (it is high school after all) and went with Pretzels.  No lie.

In Madeira, VA, the track team must cringe when running with the word Snails emblazoned on their uniforms.

Got any more?  I have some for a future post on how confusing it got once the females got teams.   Hint: Lady Cowboys!   But that is for another day.

First SUVs, now NEVs


flickr beautifulcataya

flickr beautifulcataya

First, we called them off-road vehicles.  Then came the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle).  The design, size, power and use of SUVs vary greatly.  Some will never see anything other than a city street.

Watch for a new word that has just started creeping into the American lexicon.  The term is NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle).  Actually, a NEV is an enhanced electric golf cart.  It is made roadworthy by adding lights, turn signals, mirrors, etc.  They typically cannot exceed 35 mph.  Many feel it will be a good non-gasoline using mode of transportation for running errands around town.

Our neighboring community of Berthoud, CO is going to allow the NEVs on the streets.  It has been ruled that they can be used on the streets and can cross but not drive on state highways.

Loveland, CO where I live has had requests for making NEVs legal on its streets.  So far, this has not happened, and Loveland officials have ruled a NEV not only couldn’t drive on state roads, it cannot even cross them. 


Let’s see if they become more popular based on gasoline prices.


A company in Longmont, CO called Small Planet Earth has this type of vehicle plus other alternative transports.



Redundant words and phrases –Do you use them?

redundant-words-phrases1Redundancies are rampant in our language. Most use them without even thinking.

Definition: A word, words or phrases used in excess of those necessary for clarity. Actually, my post on exact same is a redundancy.

Check these out:

  • Complete opposite – can it be somewhat opposite?
  • ATM machine – The M in ATM is for machine.
  • HIV virus – HIV means Human Immunodeficiency Virus
  • PIN number – The N already stands for number
  • Armed gunman – come on journalists, quit using this
  • ER room – This one has been around forever. Emergency room room?
  • IRA account – It is not necessary to say account
  • Advanced notice – duh!
  • Free gift – What other kind is there?
  • 7 a.m. in the morning – This really bugs me.
  • Pair of twins – Isn’t that how they usually come?
  • Attached together – (not the twins)
  • Revert back – well, revert means to go back
  • Past history – as opposed to future history maybe?
  • How about final outcome and added bonus?

It really bothers me when someone says in his or her personal opinion. Closely tied to this is “a friend of mine.”

I will stop now. My spellchecker hates most of what I typed. Apparently, it does not like redundant words or phrases either. Do we have a consensus of opinion (oops) on this?

Give me some other examples, please.

4/22  Leonard McDonnell (distant relative?) in Melbourne, Australia offered tuna fish as a redundant phrase.  What other kind of tuna is there, he askes.

4/24  Phil Earnhardt, who was at the Fort Collins Tweetup, mentioned a phrase that bugs him.  It is close proximity. He says, ” I oppose close proximity; I’m constantly seeking distant proximity.”

4/26  Lori Evans  (femme_artiste on Twitter) said, “Pair of twins: Only works if you’re talking about 4 people!”  So true.

Transparent, translucent or opaque


flickr ctd20052

Ever wonder when you should use the word transparent, the words translucent or opaque? Sure, you have.

In recent weeks, we have heard a lot about our government having “transparency.” Are our politicians using the proper term? A quick Google search of the term government transparency shows 17,800,000 hits.

Transparent means  to have the property of transmitting light through its substance so the objects situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen.

It also means so sheer that light passes through it, or easily recognized or detected. (I guess this last part is what the government is referring to)

Translucent means permitting light to pass through but diffusing it. Persons or objects on the opposite side are not clearly visible.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says translucent means free from disguise or falseness.

Opaque is defined as transparent or translucent. If something is opaque, it doesn’t allow light to pass through.

It would appear we are starting to go around in circles since translucent is used in the definition of opaque. How confusing, even for us non-politicians.

This is not a statement about any government policy. It is just one more attempt to try to look at words in the English language.

Spellchecker—friend or foe? szlea szlea

Spellchecker is your friend—or not. As most know if they used spell check on their documents, it is not infallible. Many horror stories exist about gaffs when using it.

One of my worst spell checking goofs I made was when I worked at United Way. Unfortunately, united is an anagram for untied. I really had to watch not to send out anything from UNTIED WAY.

A recent article in the local paper showed how using spell checker and its “suggestions” for words can come back to bite you.

The Daily Universe, the Brigham Young student newspaper, recently ran an article and picture that caused them much embarrassment.

The wording used under the picture in questions identified leaders of the Mormon Church as apostates instead of apostles.

Why is this a problem, you ask? Apostate is person who has abandoned religious faith, principle or a cause. When the copy editor ran spell check, apostate was suggested as a replacement for a misspelling of apostle. Oops! The honest mistake caused the newspaper to do lots of scrambling to recover. In the end, they had to pull thousands of issues from newsstands.

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Peruse or read? Which do you do?




Flickr  Ramp Creative

Flickr Ramp Creative

In a prior post, I mentioned that I have been using the words anxious and eager incorrectly for years. I think, at times I have done the same with peruse.

When someone requested that I peruse something, I usually thought it mean to skim through it or scan it.  No, no.

The dictionary says peruse means to:

·         To read through with thoroughness and care

·         To survey or examine in detail

 The New Oxford Dictionary of English agrees, noting that it is sometimes mistakenly taken to mean, “read through quickly; glance over.” 

Therefore, when someone gives you a document, for you to peruse, you now know what to do with it.

I hope you peruse this and my other posts that appear in my blog. 




Anagrams – Famous names (Part 2)

Here are a few more people you know and what their scrambled names (anagram) comes out as.

In a previous post about mixed up names, I mentioned Elvis. (Elvis = Lives)
Here is another one on the King.  Elvis Aaron Presley = Seen alive? Sorry, pal

·         The next grouping is what I loosely call political name anagrams.

             Monica Lewinsky = Nice, silky woman   

                (Not sure if Slick Willie came up with that one)


             Camilla Parker Bowles =  Workable caramel lips.  

                 (No thanks, I’m good)


             Adolf Hitler = Do real filth or Heil, old fart   (Enuf said)

             Chairman Mao = I am on a march   (and he was)

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