anti-word of the day

January 3, 2007

Dear Sirs and/or “Madams” associated with the Oxford English Dictionary

You may consider this posting as an official letter of complaint. For the last few weeks I have been engaging in a bit of “lexiblography” (or, if you prefer, “wordblogging”), and I frequently use your dictionary in my research. Most of my posts have been philological in nature; I’m always trying to understand the development of meanings. I, like many a lad in this world, have a tender heart, and long for the return of obsolete and archaic nouns.

So it is with great difficulty that I write to you today to express my sorrow at your inclusion of the word, “bouncebackability” in your fine repository of words. This is perhaps the most idiotic neologism I have ever encountered. While I’m not surprised that Sportscasters have invented this bastard of a word, I’m shocked that as reputable a paper as the Economist would have cited it.

1991 Economist 5 Oct. 20/2 New York will again demonstrate its bouncebackability

For shame, Sir, for shame.

Do we really need such a compound ruining our language? Has English suddenly morphed into German? Does “ability to bounce back” reek of establishmentarianism?

I do hope that your dictionary will remove this odious draft entry, and focus on solving the logical inconsistency of its entry “poopy, adj.

In shallah,


i’ve been reading Theodore Herzl’s altneuland for a paper i’m writing about the literary construction of the Jewish state and its points of contact and departure with the outside world. imagine my surprise when i came across this snappy little bulletin:

“There, some way above the top of the palm trees, a large carriage was hurtling through the air, with passengers looking out of the windows. The carriage had wheels on its roof, by which it was suspended from a strong bridge-like steel structure.

‘That is the electric elevated,’ Litwak explained. ‘Surely you must have seen that in Europe….The elevated suspension railway is nothing new! There was one in Germany, between Elberfeld and Barmen, as early as the nineties of the nineteenth century! — We installed them right from the first in our cities, because mass traffic could more easily be managed that way–and besides, the construction is cheaper than that of trams or normal elevated railways.”

Herzl’s clearly talking about the Wuppertal Schwebbebahn, the only suspended urban rail in Europe. Did Theodore Herzl have monorail fever? Was Lyle Langley a proto-Zionist? all good questions. herzl’s pro-monorail arguments, by the way, are those still used by monorail enthusiasts.

but you know who else loves monorails? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. as mayor of tehran, Ahmadinejad built a monorail system in Tehran, and now plans on expanding the system. considering all of ahmadinejad’s crazy positions vis-a-vis Israel and Zionism, Herzl and Ahmadinejad’s mutual love of monorails is fascinating to say the least. coincidence? probably. still, both men are dreamers: one dreamt of a Jewish state…and the other, well, that’s a post for another time.

Breaking News

January 3, 2007

The Metra Electric line (nee gray line) has recently been integrated into


editorial note

January 3, 2007

long time readers (all three of them) have probably started noticing a few changes here at Yesterday’s Salad. the most obvious change is that we’re posting again. since i don’t trust myself to keep posting every day, i’ve enlisted some help for the site.

josh (notwithabangbutawhimper) has basically folded his irregularly published blog into mine. all those great drink recipes and pieces of mixological lore come from him. he’s working the booze beat around here, although we’ll all probably post in that category from time to time.

cody the destroyer (codyhess) is going to write the occasional book review. i hope he’ll do this once a week or so. long time readers know book reviews were a regular YS feature in the summer, and they’ve been missing around here.

d.h. lawrence and raymond chandler have decided to grace us with an ongoing exchange. look for that to start soon.

i’m also hoping to get an ’08 watch going. l.p. mandrake’s the guy at the point for that.

i like doing a word of the day post, but 7 words may be too many to work on anything else. i’d like to do some short blog posts in yiddish (grammatically incorrect, of course), and i’d like to keep doing literary analysis of american “low” culture. i’ve got some good annie swanson and spank rock material i’ve been working on.

and i welcome suggestions from viewers like you. i’ve gotten a lot of hits today, and i can’t tell why. maybe i have a regular readership now. stranger things have happened. if you are a regular reader, let your tastes be known.

josh’s posts are now tagged as notwithabangbutawhimper and i’ll add tags for the other guys when they start up. anything without a personal tag has been written by dailysalad. all mistakes are my own, except where i can blame them on society or zionism. these will be noted in the text.

until my next post (probably five minutes from now).