“This hashtag-heavy era of puffery places marketing weight on Anderson’s claim to commandeer the fastest team in the country, but nobody would accuse any of his three squads to date of playing with much composure.”

If Anderson hijacked a bus carrying the Florida Gators, and at gunpoint forced these student-athletes to play while wearing Razorback uniforms, then he could say he’d commandeered a team. To commandeer something is to seize it, to arbitrarily gain control. Maybe he should do that, but he hasn’t yet. He has instead “commanded” three squads at Fayetteville — that is, he has directed them, with specific authority to do so.

“Hostilities have flared along the border on several occasions, although the exchanges of fire have generally been brief and very limited in scope. Despite protestations from Syria, there was little indication either side wanted the confrontation to escalate.”

“Protestation” is just a fancy word for “protest.” Simpler is usually better.


Richard W. Chapman writes:

“In Sunday’s edition of our statewide paper an article about a proposed tax to support Pulaski Tech included this comment from the school’s president: ‘It’s a respectful amount.’ Shouldn’t the phrase be ‘It’s a respectable amount’? Seems to me that ‘respectful’ means ‘full of respect.’ An amount can’t have respect … it’s just a number. ‘Respectable’ means ‘able to be respected’ and this works for a number or any other concept, object or animate being.”


Mr. Chapman has earned our respect.

“Today’s Democrat-Gazette has Matt DeCample quoting Gov. Beebe: ‘Beebe “worries that [deadline] pretty much abdicates the entire future of the private option to the feds and bases it on whether or not those waivers occur … .” Dr. Douglas E. Young writes, “I expect he means abrogates instead of abdicates.”

Probably so, although this is a closer call. To abdicate is “to relinquish formally, to leave the position of being a king or queen.” To abrogate is “to abolish by authoritative action, to do away with.”

Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England, he didn’t abolish it.