“ent” and “ant”

A39D4C26-BC49-4184-824A-35D019E749E7Today’s one-word prompt from Sheryl at Your Daily Word Prompt is “dependant.” The problem with that word is that my spell checker keeps highlighting it and my autocorrect keeps changing it to “dependent.” That’s because I have my spell-checker and autocorrect set to US (American) English. And in American English, dependant is a misspelling.

According to my exhaustive research, in British English, “dependant” can also be spelled “dependent.” In British English, dependent is an adjective, and dependant is a noun. “Dependent” is the adjective meaning needing something or someone else for support: Many adults are dependent upon coffee to help them wake up in the morning. “Dependant” is a noun used for a person (such as a child) who relies upon others for care: The parents must sign for a dependant to be able to have the surgery.

But for those who use American English, the word “dependent” is used for both meanings. There is no word “dependant.”

Interestingly, the word “defendant” rhymes with the word “dependent,” but the former ends in “ant” while the latter end in “ent.” This is just another example about how screwy the English language is. And that doesn’t even include the myriad other spelling differences between American and British English.

And don’t even get me started on the differences between how punctuation relative to quotation marks is different between American and British English, which I whined about here.

Let’s Go to the Video Tape

A7AF2E70-5A5A-41A0-B0E5-67D130FE7F01When I thought about the word I came up with for my one-word challenge for today, “video,” I was transported back to my distant past, and to the Washington, DC area where I was raised.

Most TV sportscasters back then gave the scores in a listless manner. Being a sportscaster for a local station seemed to be a filler job for on-air personalities awaiting their opportunity to report the “real” news. They were all pretty much singing the same, old, boring tune.

And then, in 1965, something happened that forever changed local sports reporting. The local CBS affiliate hired this young guy named Warner Wolf. He was animated, exciting, and so much fun to watch. He became known for catchphrases like “Boo of the Week,” “Change the Rules,” “Play of the Day” (and week, month, or year), “Give Me a Break,” and my personal favorite, “Let’s Go to the Video Tape.”

Wolf quickly became the top sportscaster in the DC area and I never missed his nightly sports reports. He dominated the sports reporting scene in DC until 1976, when he left for a job with ABC Sports and with the local ABC affiliate in New York City.

Wolf, now 81, is retired, but he left his imprint on sports reporting.

Written for these daily one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (video), Ragtag Daily Prompt (past), Word of the Day Challenge (listless), and Scotts Daily Prompt (tune).

Sex is a Dirty Word

546881D0-E338-4979-AE1D-C5F776C3B257You may have already heard that there is a proposal being floated at the U.S. State Department that could prohibit American diplomats from using the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education.”

Instead of “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education,” the proposal is that U.S. officials would be instructed to use phrases like “reproduction and the related health services” in official communications.

This proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies. Abandoning the use of the word “sex” would be a symbolic move that aligns with other Trump administration efforts to reduce funding for, and focus on, women’s reproductive issues — especially anything related to abortion.

The problem appears to be that saying “sex” makes Trump’s far-right Republican supporters feel all sad and uncomfortable inside.

I guess that for the 2020 election, Trump is going to change his #MAGA hashtag to #MAPA, for Make America Puritan Again.


FFfAW — Greasing the Skids

82C27BC6-29B2-40A3-B15E-A95DA59D0254Hank walked into Milton’s office, shut the door behind him, and sat down in the chair opposite Milton’s desk. “Would you mind telling me what’s going on, Hank?” Milton said. It was less of a question than an order. “I went out to the construction site this morning and no one was there. What the hell, Hank? You’re my operations manager.”

“Sorry boss,” Hank said, “but the EPA shut us down. Something about toxic chemicals in the soil. I’ll look into it.”

“I’ll handle this, Hank,” Milton said. “Tell your guys to be ready tomorrow.”


The next day Hank returned to Milton’s office. “Boss,” we just got clearance to start working at the site again. How’d you get that done?”

“It’s not what you know, Hank, it’s who you know,” Milton said. “I gotta guy at the EPA who’s going through a tough time, you know. So I greased the skids a little.”

“A payoff, boss?”

Milton got a smug look on his face. “Hank, always remember this. Money talks, bullshit walks.”

(175 words)

Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: wildverbs.