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!”


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