Non Sequitur

Definition: 1. a conclusion or inference which does not follow from the premise    2. a remark having no bearing on what has just been said  (latin -- it does not follow) 

A perfect place for odd facts and bits of trivial information I've heard. Most of it is related to language and writing.

10/02     I've heard that Webster's dictionary ( has decided to add the words, hottie and bootilicious (or bootylicious, I still have to check the spelling)  to the dictionary this year. I often wonder how and when it is decided that certain words will become a permanent part of the language landscape. Neither of these words come up often in my conversations (I am not sure if I should be flattered or not), so I am curious about their actual per-annum usage. Even if this is not your experience and hottie and bootylicious (or bootilicious) are frequent parts of your vocabulary, I would not recommend using them in your academic work. Just because its in the dictionary, it doesn't mean it belongs in your paper.


10/02    A memo has been circulated by a CNN executive who recommends that on-air reporters and anchors use more slang in their reports. This, supposedly, is attempt to appeal to a younger audience. (Perhaps, that's Webster's strategy, too!), but this is the CNN, not ESPN! I don't know, but if I were a segment of that young demographic, I'd be a little insulted that the network believes that I can't understand or relate to the news without a translation! (I know what you're thinking -- this from a woman who doesn't use hottie in a causal conversation.)


Pet Peeve: Will someone please explain to me how and why the word 'female' has come to replace girl or woman in our vocabulary, as in "I was out with this female last night" or  "Oh, there were two females in the car."  My question is female what? One might be referring to a bat or a gnat. Female is a generic term referring to any species able to produce children. Webster's defines female as 'designating or of the sex that produces ova and bears offspring.' It also states that this is 'the basic term applied to members of the sex distinguished from the male sex and is used of animals and plants as well as human beings.' So my point is the term 'female' seems to devalue women, reducing them to less than human and to a mere biological function that is applicable to both plants and animals. Before I am accused of over-reacting, note that I have never heard a man or boy referred to as anything other than that -- a man or boy. No one calls them male.  "Oh yeah, this male tried to borrow my phone."  Why? Think about it. Words are powerful and never forget it.