January 4th, 2021
The Fart of the Deal

Or at least (in Trump’s favorite formulation), some people are saying…

September 22nd, 2010
A Second Harvard Little Ick

Last week it was the Psych department chair’s triple negative.

This week it’s a dean’s … Well. Couple of things.

She’s responding to a reporter’s question about the man who committed suicide a few days ago on the steps of Memorial Church on Harvard’s quad.

“It’s really sad, it was horrible, and these kinds of incidents affect all of us really negatively,” Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds said in an interview yesterday. “This campus is situated in an urban context, and we can’t control these kinds of things.”

You tell me why there are Little Icks within Little Icks in these statements.

September 15th, 2010
Triple Negative

I would not think there is not a single professor at Harvard who is not ambitious, in the sense of intellectually ambitious,” [says Harvard] Psychology Department Chair Susan Carey.

February 11th, 2010
Some funny stuff from the…

… Georgetown University v. George Washington University snowball fight, in the Georgetown Voice.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm would, though, like to correct the following:

Once GWU began to flood the hill Georgetown students were standing on, the snowball fight digressed rapidly for the Hoyas.

Fights do not digress. People digress when they leave or lose the main point they were making in an argument. The writer might have meant deteriorated… ?

January 26th, 2010

Italy’s firefighters may “tame the flames” but they could have trouble extinguishing a Latin expert’s objections Tuesday to their new motto.

The motto, unveiled with great fanfare in a nationally televised ceremony last month, contains a grammatical error, the punctilious Giuliano Pisani told AFP.

The Latin motto reading “Flammas domamus donamus cordem” — literally, “We tame the flames, give the heart” — contains the masculine ending on the Latin word for heart — “cordem” — which is in fact neuter, he said…

Yes, yes, of course. This be the link.

October 26th, 2009

Jane Mendillo, chief executive of the Harvard Management Co., eluded to the sale of some of Harvard’s private equity investments in Harvard University’s financial report for fiscal 2009, which was released earlier this month.



Oh poo. They fixed it.

August 26th, 2009
Do you know how much a subscription to the Wall Street Journal costs?

And what are they doing with that money?

The paper’s headline for its Dominick Dunne obituary:



Update: They fixed it! Took about twelve hours.

August 20th, 2009
Double Little Ick Buried Inside Single Big Ick.

The single big ick is John Calipari, but UD ain’t gonna sully her pages with his latest thing.

What interests her is that a sports columnist writing about Calipari commits two little icks in a row.

Let’s take a look.

Now that Calipari has raised his hind leg and defacated all over the basketball program by causing Memphis to now have the unique distinction of having its Final Four appearance tossed in the trash — all before scampering off to Kentucky — what do Memphis fans and university backers think of him now?

Hm. Now that I look at it again, there are any number of icks in this sentence. But … When’s the last time your dog raised his hind leg to shit? Plus … If you can’t spell defecate, you should write shit, because that’s easier to spell.

May 6th, 2009
UD Keeps Seeing Writers Use …

weary when they mean wary, as in this headline in the Seattle University Spectator:

Professors weary of student Facebook friends

The article’s about how they’re cautious, not tired. It’s a strange mistake to make, if you ask me. Any theories?

May 2nd, 2009
Little Ick.

A student describes the images in Bowdoin College’s yearly Naked Art Show.

Students produce works of art in which they and/or their fellow students appear naked.

They are the bodies of college students invested in the future, determined to shatter the social coordinates of the privileged class’ modes of distinction in a highly choreographed way.

May 1st, 2009
We’re certainly learning a lot…

… about George Zinkhan. From an article in People magazine:

The shocking act of violence [is] alleged to have been committed by the endowed professor

February 23rd, 2009
A Merkin on a Penis

Ezra’s sister Daphne writes a Little Ick in an essay about penises:

Which is not to suggest that Lawrence didn’t, despite what is clearly a complicatedly ambivalent attitude toward women, manage to move the conversation more radically forward than most.

As always, UD leaves it up to her readers to explain why this is a Little Ick.

But here’s a hint. It’s a sentence George Orwell discusses in Politics and the English Language:

I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.

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