QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language


+ Bill Wade, a Chicago reader, regarding a Minneapolis reader who wondered when “”contact” became “reach out to” and asked when we could have “contact” back, writes:
“I’m recalling that ‘Reach Out and Touch Someone’ was a an advertising line for the old AT&T–and that until recently, ‘contact’ was a noun, not a verb.”
+ K.R., a Baltimore reader, writes:
“As you probably know, Rex Stout barred the use of ‘contact’ as a verb.”
QT knows.
QT will admit it has read a few dozen of Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries.
It was Wolfe who burned a copy of Webster’s Third International Dictionary in his fireplace because it allowed “infer” and ‘imply” to be used interchangeably.
As for his response to visitors who used “contact” as a verb:
“Contact is not a verb under this roof.”
Then Wolfe opened another beer. . . .
 
WRITE TO QT:  qt@zaysmith.com

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From Poor QT’s Almanack


On this day in history 205 years ago occurred the third in a series of earthquakes in the Middle West’s New Madrid Fault, changing the course of the Mississippi River and toppling chimneys as far away as Maine, but rest assured that a sixfold increase in tremors in recent years has not affected the geological estimate that there is only a 10 percent chance of any major quakes in the next 50 years, which includes any moment now.

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From the QT police blotter


News Headline:
“House Republicans vote to expand gun access for the mentally impaired.”
QT Abridged Too Far Dictionary of the English Language:
depraved indifference noun 1. A legal definition of’ conduct so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, as to warrant criminal liability. 2. Meanwhile, in other House GOP news. . . .

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