Quoting “Mr. Dooley”; Quoting Will Rodgers; Quoting Yogi Berra; Quoting Boswell and/or Samuel Johnson (especially the stupid one about what is impressive about a walking dog is not that he walks well but that he walks at all); Quoting Shakespeare and/or calling Shakespeare “the Bard”Yes, especially Mr. Dooley. Especially the one about the Supreme Court: "''No matther whether th' constitution follows th' flag or not, th' supreme court follows th' iliction returns.'' Ugh! Dialect... so long after everyone's abandoned dialect humor. It's a thoroughly conventional idea, so don't repeat the most conventional way to say it. Find a new way, or shut up.
... Hey-presto!I've never heard anyone say "hey-presto!" but that's why I hate seeing it in writing.
journeyman; yeoman’s workYes, please stop saying yeoman's work. No one around now has a vivid mental picture of a yeoman working, so it's an image without an image.
nonpareil (having no equal; without compare)That annoys me by making me think of that candy I inexplicably enjoyed when I was a girl. You know what else is annoying? Young women getting nonpareils all over their lips. Somehow, I don't find it annoying in a guy. I'm more I don't know what that is, but I want one of those.
tony (as adjective, “The tony club in downtown Manhattan.”)Right, if it's actually a club for guys named Tony it would be kind of charming.
smudge-pot (something used in tort cases for first year law students)LOL. Love the appearance of law school on the list.
man of letters (“Edmund Wilson was a man of letters.” First, who the hell was Edmund Wilson? Second, what the hell is a man of letters?)LOL... to the point of tears. Maybe there's a problem with the whole format "[noun] of [noun]" in place of "[adjective][noun]." I'm about ready to make a blanket rule. Kinsella seems so easily annoyed that he might object to "blanket rule." What the hell is a "blanket rule"?
vouchsafe (to give by way of reply )That reminds me. Judges need to stop saying "cannot be gainsaid." And I'm delighted that if you Google that phrase, the #1 hit is this old post of mine.
worry a bone (a dog chewing/playing with a bone)Don't make us think, unnecessarily, of dogs. No, I don't want that as a blanket rule, because one of my favorite verbs is "dog." Not many animals get to be verbs -- bug, man, fish, cow, horse (around), monkey, ape...
let slip the dogs of war (“slip”?)
bids fair (“seems likely”, as in, “Kenneth Starr’s report bids fair to become a classic, bawdy epic.”)Had to include that, since it fits one of today's blog themes.
Kinsella also has a list of "cool terms."
epistemologyI wonder what if he likes "riot act," a term that definitely annoyed George Carlin:
“walking papers”--as in when your wife tells you if you screw up again she will sign your walking papers
It's like the Riot Act. The Riot Act. They always tell you they're gonna read that to you. Have you heard this thing at all? Like when you're a kid, they threaten you.Enough now. Your turn.
"You wait 'til your father gets home. He's gonna read you the riot act!"
"Tell him I already read it myself. And I didn't like it, either; I consider it wordy and poorly thought out. He wants to read me something, how about 'The Gentlemen's Guide to the Golden Age of Blowjobs'?"