let it be (acknowledging a word that shouldn’t be)

FROM TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES (August 31, 2013) comes this headline on page B1: “wwi N. Korea Disinvites U.S. Envoy Seeking To Free Bae.” Disinvites?!!? Wow! Did I cringe when reading that: what an ugly mangling of prefix and base. Unfortunately, Merriam-Webster Online verifies disinvite as a word: its definition is obvious and its first known use goes back to 1580. So, I cannot correct a grammatical gaffe today.

Fortunately, not only am I not acknowledging a word such as this, I am personally rejecting the word! So, I hereby swear NEVER to use disinvite in my writing except for satirical purposes. Like I would use another word that I love to loathe, ‘deplane.’

(If getting off of an airplane is deplaning, is getting onto an airplane planing? Is that a rhetorical question? What is a rhetorical question? See my next posting here at Strunkandwhiten It!)

Of course, if I disown the word disinvite, shouldn’t I disown the word disown? Rats! This is not how I wanted to start my typing day. I’ll just let it be by acknowledging a word that shouldn’t be!



HEADER IMAGE: The first time I flew I was scared spitless and E had to watch me down significant quantities of Jack Daniels just to board and once in my seat I was such a pain that a steward (apparently from de Bronx) came over and said, “Hey! Sit down in de seat or got off de plane!”


William Strunk Jr’s original edition of The Elements Of Style (1919) was all of fifty-three pages long. In 1959, it was revised and expanded by one of his students, the famous children’s book author E.B. White. It is one of the best selling and most influential grammar and punctuation books ever published. I have used the authors’ names for one of the categories of this site: Strunkandwhiten It! For more information, refer to “On William Strunk and Elements of Style.”

Comments, suggestions, additions, and arguments welcome!