Jan 25, 2013

The Curmudgeon Cometh . . . Again!

by Marsha Ward

He's out! And here's what he's complaining about:

I know a lovely lady who encourages Marsha to "flush things out." I do that a couple of times a day, and I hope my mistress does, too, but I don't think the term should be applied to her writing. She might "flesh things out," depending on if she needs to add more detail, but the other suggestion is a bit scatological for my taste.


Just the other day, I was trying to be quiet and read over my mistress's shoulder while she looked at a couple of blogs. But when I saw reference to "an exhausted list," I'm afraid I howled with rage, and got thrown back into the dungeon for my pains. Hell's Bells! Everyone knows the term is "an exhaustive list."

And that thing about something happening "on accident." Don't get me started! This misused construction has made me tear my hair out until I'm the poor old Bald Curmudgeon. People! It's "by accident!"

Maybe this will help: by design; by accident. See the correlation? Look at it again. By design. By accident. Okay. Once more:


Get it! Got it? GOOD!!!

Yeah, he's back in the dungeon. But I guess he did have reason to complain. Those misuses annoy me, too.


  1. Perhaps you can clear something up for me? I understand why we should say "by accident". I also see that it's probably because we do things "on purpose" and see the opposite as being "on accident" (even when that's not how it should be). So is "on purpose" correct? Why the difference?

    1. Good questions, Elizabeth. I'll have to ask the Curmudgeon for the answers.

  2. I'm rolling, flush instead of flesh, hysterical.


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