Today is the 118th anniversary of the birth of aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Although she is perhaps most well-known today for her sudden disappearance while trying to fly around the world, she contributed so much more to aviation history in the four decades before she vanished:
Despite the association with what happens to any toilet on a regular basis, it is not unusual to see people “flush out an idea.” Some ideas certainly deserve such treatment, but the phrase is “flesh out an idea.” Or flesh out the details, story, plan, etc.
It’s an odd concept, to add flesh to something intangible, like an idea. Flesh as a verb is first recorded in the 16th century with various meanings related to giving your hunting bird a bit of the kill or plunging a sword into someone (“Don’t make me flesh you.”)
Saying that Caitlyn Jenner is in the news is a bit like saying that there are words in the dictionary. Regardless of what you think of the media storm, her very public story has opened up conversations about sexuality and gender identity like never before.
Spelling or usage distinctions sometimes become shibboleths for copyeditors and pedants, no longer useful and therefore no longer worth worrying about. Witness the Associated Press Stylebook’s abandonment last year of keeping over for spatial relationship and more than for quantities.
I’m giving a presentation tomorrow in Columbus, and the setup contract includes a “standing podium.” I knew that meant we’ll be getting a lectern on which to put our notes as we speak, and not a small stage or a soap box to stand on.
A few intriguing items for you this week: eavesdropping on writers, reading writers’ minds, invisible nautical terms brought to light, and the thrilling conclusion to a mystery. Plus, an intriguing bonus item ...