“Come into my parlor, your royal triteness”

        Sometimes as I read the local newspaper wherever I am living or visiting, I feel somewhat like the spider in the old children’s tale.  Or perhaps like the male bowerbird, you know the fellow who dresses up his parlor, or more like his bedroom, so as to attract the female bowerbird he’d give half his plumage to if she’d swoon and surrender to his blandishments.

      In any event, I seem sometimes like a copy editor who might, reading the story he or she had edited the evening before,  “Dammees! How did I miss that?”

      Well, so here ’tis my latest pet peeve in language usage, and it has been found twice in the last couple of weeks.  I will burden you only with one example.

      I’d like to ask you why my hackles rose when I saw this sentence in a story one Wednesday about a young man who had come out of a prison environment to become a happy, successful chef.  The story of this chef mentions his having written two books, one of which is projected to become a movie starring Will Smith. In talking to the local reporter, Chef Jeff says, “I don’t want to sound cliche [there should be an “accent grave” over the e in this word: I don’t know how in “WordPress” to capture accents and other such sophistications], but like Obama, it’s about change and hope.”

Who can explain to me what is wrong with one word in this sentence?  Secondly, what word ought to have been used?  And why?

 First in gets a candy cane from Santa Claus.

RJR

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5 Responses to ““Come into my parlor, your royal triteness””

  1. Forest Crump Says:

    “I don’t want to sound cliche but like Obama, it’s (I’m) about change and hope.”

    If you use Word cliche becomes cliché and then you can copy and paste. As a former student of yours, I hope I got that correct—not to worry I only eked out a ‘D’.

  2. Marshall Faircloth Says:

    An “accent grave” points the wrong way. One needs an “accent acute”, n’est ce pas?

  3. Raymond Rundus Says:

    Dang, Forest Crump,
    I have “Word” (1997 edition) available, but I’m still too much of a “WordPerfect” man. However, I will soon be installing “Office Suite 2007,” which includes the latest of “Word.” I appeciate the tip! Accent marks are important in a number of languages; I am most familiar with French and German words that display such.
    “Useful is as useful does,” as your cousin used to say.

    Good hearing from you!
    RJR

  4. Raymond Rundus Says:

    And Marshall is, as I realized not long after posting this blog, correct about the differences between the “accent grave” and the “accent acute.”

    RJR

  5. Robert MacLeay Says:

    Mr. Crump, we need your d; the proper usage is clichéd, if one must use that word. (Am I being trite?)

    Did you notice? I used a semicolon, as Mr. Rundus should have.

    I have made the accent grave error myself; blame it on W.C. Fields’ neighbors.

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