Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Apr 12 17:34:40 UTC 2009

At the time when there was only one "battleship" near the lifeboat, I
heard (or possibly read) a report that the U.S. Navy had surrounded it.


At 4/12/2009 01:27 PM, Dave Wilton wrote:
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>Yes, the AP in particular seems to have gotten sloppy with their
>usage. (Maybe they could actually get advertising revenue and not
>have to restrict their content if they improved the quality of their
>reporting. Here's an idea: hire reporters and editors who know what
>they're writing about instead of hacks out of journalism school.)
>Today, Reuters made the mistake, referring to US warships off
>Somalia as "battleships"
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
>Behalf Of James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at>
>Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2009 8:13 AM
>Subject: battleship
>Is it my imagination or has the press taken to referring to any
>naval fighting ship larger than a patrol boat as a "battleship"?
>Early press reports on the North Korean missile launch stated that
>the US Navy had sent two battleships to the area.  Later reports
>clarified this to read the *destroyers* Bainbridge and McCain (the
>latter, I believe, named after the Senator's
>grandfather).  Similarly, another press report referred to Vietnam
>sending a battleship to some point in the South China Sea, which if
>true means a major change in the balance of power in East Asia.
>OT: a pun is the *meaningful* substitution of one similar-sounding
>word or phrase for another, as in "he married two women just to
>break the monogamy".  A malaprop is the substitution of a
>non-meaningful similar-sounding word or phrase, as in "an allegation
>by the banks of the Nile".  "Allegation" gets its humor from the
>surprise and incongruity of the word, but there is nothing
>meaningful between allegation and alligator, unless the teller has
>built up a situation in which someone charges someone else with
>stealing an animal from a zoo on the Nile River.
>OT for Wilson Gray:  from
>I will never stage Macbeth entirely in freestyle rap.
>Failing this, I will absolutely not have the first act staged
>normally and the second act in rap -- the contrast will be
>immediately obvious and the "out damn spot" scene does not work when
>Lady Macbeth is clearly sane enouugh to talk in perfect rhythm, if
>not sane enough to turn down the part.
>Failing both of the above I will at least not attempt this with a
>class of middle-school, middle-class, white Jewish students who
>wouldn't know rap if it bit them on the ass and who have only
>fourteen days of rehearsal time. Total.
>            James A. Landau
>            test engineer
>            Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
>            8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
>            West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA
>Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.
>The American Dialect Society -
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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