In the valley of the shadow of debt

News Headline: “Bachmann’s ‘good news’: End of the world is near.”
Talk about shutdowns.

News Headline: “Where does dizziness come from? Researchers pinpoint a key area in the brain.”
And don’t think for a moment it was easy getting Michele Bachmann to hold still.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has directed that competing teams no longer shake hands after games, citing an increased risk of fighting among young athletes who show sportsmanship.

News Headline: “Can Big Business wrest control of the GOP back from the Tea Party?”
Human sacrifice. . .  dogs and cats living together. . . mass hysteria. . .  reasons suddenly existing to cheer for  Big Business. . . .

J.Z., an Evanston, Ill., reader, writes:
“The Republicans are right. We shouldn’t have to obey rules and stuff if we don’t like them. Signed, Johnny Smith, age 9.”
Or as President Obama should say to Capitol Hill Republicans:
“Don’t you make me come up there!”

News Headline: “Documentary: For years, NFL ignored concussion evidence.”
In other news, with CXV days to go until Super Bowl XLVII, this season’s NFL players have suffered XXXVI concussions.
Give or take I or II.

News Headline: “State lawmaker calls Obama ‘De Fuhrer.’ ”
News Headline: “Study claims U.S. adults dumber than rest of the world.”
Not all.
Just some.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
H.J., a Chicago reader, writes:
“I recall you had something to say months ago about the pronunciation of ‘gerrymander.’ I hear it a lot on TV these days, and no one seems to have it right–assuming you had it right.”
You are right that QT is right:
The news readers don’t have it right.
The word is taken from the name of Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry, who in the early 1800s showed unusual ways to redraw state senate districts.
He pronounced his name GARY, not JERRY.
So the word should be GARY-mander, not JERRY-mander.
We can always save the “J” sound for “gigabyte.”
Which should be JIG-uh-bite.
As long as we’re at it.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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