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December 18, 2013

Two tidbits on language

"Your CV: Is it Vita or Vitae?"

"Gimme the Ol' White Shoe".


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On spelling "noodge" -- clear example of descriptionist vs prescriptionist spelling I've seen. Given how ill my students spell and pronounce unfamiliar words I've become more of a descriptionist than previously.

As for "white-shoe", I can well remember my father [a rural small-town banker {*very* small bank-- 4 total employees}] speaking of "white-shoe, blue-sky salesmen" in the late '60s-early 70s. He meant the kind who were obviously in Music Man mode trying to sell preposterous things to the rubes. He was mostly amused, but assumed it must work in some places because they kept showing up at his bank.
I think they were usually 'selling' investments of some sort, so maybe they were the traveling version of Wall St brokers.

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