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Springer Ate My Baby

October 3rd, 2001 - 2:53 p.m.

I'm Currently Avoiding:

Look! It's an afternoon entry. Those are rare...you should gawk at it now. Isn't that what you do to things that are rare? Stare at them in open-mouthed wonder? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Do you remember how I was bitching about how cold it was in my room and how cheap this place is, and that they never fix anything? I'm sure I must've complained about it Some time last winter, although maybe I just bitched to actual people rather than in my diary. Anyway, my ceiling leaked last year, it's leaking again this year (they never fixed it). And as further proof that this place is a huge cheapskate when it comes to things like repairs, heating/cooling, and laundry machines, I'll submit evidence exhibit 2,407a for the defense.

Word to the People!

catachresis (n. kat-uh-KREE-suss)

1 : use of the wrong word for the context

2 : use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of


As you might have guessed, catachresis is a word favored by grammarians. It can sometimes be used merely as a fancy label of disparagement for uses the grammarian finds unacceptable -- as when Henry Fowler insisted in 1926 that mutual in our mutual friend was a catachresis. (Fowler preferred common, but mutual does have an established sense which is correct in that context.) The first recorded use of catachresis dates to 1553, and it has been used to describe (or decry) misuses of a word ever since. Catachresis comes to us by way of Latin from the Greek word katachresis, which means misuse. A word whose meaning is very close to that of catachresis is malapropism, which usually refers to an unintentionally humorous misuse of a word.

Yes, exhibit 2,407a is that word. No, I'm kidding. Actually, the real evidence was this article I was reading in that rag optimistically termed the school newspaper today at lunch while I was bored and had nothing better to do. The article was basically about how the highrises had no heat, in fact, they had air conditioning, all weekend when it was in the 50's, and how they didn't like it. Further evidence that it was cold is the fact that when I was in the bookstore (which oddly enough probably has just as many items which *aren't* books, as the do books), and there were no more portable heaters left in stock. They were probably all bought by people busy freezing their asses off in the high rises.

Speaking of the bookstore, (nice segue, yeah, that's what I thought) when I was in there the other day, I sat down and read a book. That's nothing terribly unusual, but I sat in a chair that had a bookcase in front of it full of mass media/communications books, and then poli-sci books starting in the middle section of the bookcase. I kept looking for a book on, "The Appeal of Springer", but alas! no such title was to be found. I was devastated. So I looked at titles like, "The Act of War" coupled with selections from the media section like, "I watched a hog EAT my baby!" Personally, I think if you actually stood around and *watched* something eat your child, you *really* don't deserve to be a parent. In fact, you should be locked away for something or other. And on that cheerful and friendly note, I'm going to go read something for 15 minutes or so until I have to leave. Sometimes this diary really is helpful for things like staying awake or procrastinating. Glad I got *some* use out of this at least.

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