I’m having fun with the stories about misused words, and I hope you are too. For instance:
Bess Stacy says, “My husband and I traveled to Katy, Texas, to attend our grandson’s senior night at the Taylor High School football game. After the Taylor High running back was tackled, the announcer proudly said he was taken down by a whole ‘sleuth’ of tacklers!”
Doug Lee says, “At Catholic High, my brother David Lee was on the track team, heaving the shot put. We were all very proud, but had to quickly correct my mother, Rosemarie Lee, when she was overheard telling her friends that David was shooting pot at school!”
From Myrna Bergeron: “Overheard the group seated next to us in a New Orleans restaurant talking about a trip to Rome when one of them said the visit to the ‘Sixteen Chapel’ was the highlight of the trip.”
From Laura Prosser: “One of my friends, who shall remain nameless, is the queen of malapropisms. She told me her mother had been diagnosed with ‘osteosupposis.’ ”
From Judy S. Collins: “My grandson Beau Collins, age 10, says, ‘Those people aren’t really singing the words, they are lip-singing.’ ”
Read it and weep
Bernard Cleary, of Metairie, has an example of a misused word that brings back memories of a once-great news service, United Press International.
When I entered the news business in the ’60s, UPI was in its glory days, giving The Associated Press a run for its money. Several of my LSU Journalism School buddies wound up there, some working with Bernard in the New Orleans bureau.
“Us old-timers worked hard ‘to get it first but first get it right,’ ” says Bernard, which was why a UPI story about the death of a former UPI photo editor caught his eye.
The story described Larry DeSantis this way: “Known as a hard-scrambled newsman with an eye for outstanding photography. … ”
Bernard says several UPI veterans responded to get the term corrected to ‘hard-scrabble.’ ”
Pat Alba, of Metairie, says, “Before Katrina, I owned a Creole cookbook which contained recipes from the 19th century. For gumbo, the directions were as follows: ‘Select a plump fowl. If you cannot afford one, a rump roast will do nicely.’ My, how times have changed!
“Another ‘lost’ recipe was: ‘Aunt Hattie’s Tuna Salad: First, put out the cat. …’ ”
Nice People Dept.
Eileen Turowski Taylor, of Walker, says going through chemotherapy involves some special care — for instance, she keeps a ball cap and scarf in her desk drawer at work to cover her nearly bald head, after forgetting to wear her wig one day.
She tells this story: “A friend recently took me to lunch in my mask and ‘lovely blue’ gloves, which reduce my chances of becoming infected. Las Palmas had barely opened when a very kind gentleman came in, walked to where we were seated and asked my friend if I was going through chemotherapy. He was visibly moved, and left money to pay for our lunch, then walked out of the restaurant.
“I get teary-eyed just relating the interaction. Thank you, and I will pay this forward.”
Special People Dept.
Earl Forstall celebrates his 96th birthday on Wednesday.
Bertha Methe, who recently moved to Covington after many years in River Ridge, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Wednesday.
Buddy and Gloria Mazzeno, of Metairie, celebrate their 71st anniversary on Wednesday.
Ronnie Stutes says, “I think puzzle fans would enjoy this sign that I saw on a merchandise display at a local grocery store, reading ‘&MX HOUSE ORG RST MD DCF GRD.’ The preprinted portion of the sign says ‘We make it simple!’ ”
(A photo of the sign indicates you can get 23 ounces of whatever it is for $3.)
Our mention of horse racing brought this recollection from Glenn Giro, of Denham Springs:
“Having spent more time than I should have at the Fairgrounds in the ’80s, I remember distinctly that there were two horses that never received any of my backing at the wager windows.
“One was named Sad News Buford, a horse with an extensively undistinguished track record. The other horse on which I never bet, for obvious reasons, was called Sava-U-Money. No further urging was required to keep my money in my pocket.”
I like this old story, from Shirley Fleniken:
A guy walks into a dentist’s office and flops right down on the couch. “Doc,” he says, “here’s the problem. I think I’m a moth.”
“Well,” says the doctor, “that certainly is a problem, but why did you come into a dentist’s office?”
“The light was on.”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.