Word peeve of the day

What’s the news across the nation?
We have got the information
in a way we hope will amuse… you…
We just love to give you our views — La da tee da!
Ladies and Gents, Laugh-In looks at the news!

— “Laugh-In”

A new feature, which will appear when I feel like it.

This is a minor one, a subtle one. It doesn’t bother me as much as some others. Still, it just seems… odd.

I saw it in a cutline today in The State, but I don’t mean to pick on my friends there; I see it everywhere…

It said that “The Force Awakens” will be “opening Friday around the country.”

Around the country? Why not across the country? Or even, perhaps, throughout the country?

Say “around the country” and I picture a path that runs through Canada, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf, Mexico and the Pacific.

“Around the world” makes sense. “Across the world” does not. But ours is a continental country, one that can be seen in its entirety from one side of the planet. One crosses it; one does not bypass it.

Yeah, I know — it’s not a big deal. And it can make sense, thought of a certain way. (You could argue that the film opens here and there all over the country, or around it, as opposed to following a single, straight line across it.) It’s just a peeve of mine, not because it’s necessarily wrong but because, most of the time, it fails to be the best word…





15 thoughts on “Word peeve of the day

  1. Karen Pearson

    I’m too busy being irritated by persons insistent upon modifying “unique” which, it seems, everyone across the country is doing!

  2. Bryan Caskey

    “Across the country” implies only the latitudinal direction is significant in geographical sense, with such abstractions being created by the Patriarchy in an effort to oppress minorities, and especially women, who are stereotyped by men as not being “good with directions”.

    “Around the country” is much more inclusive and welcoming, and not tied to any cis-normative geographical abstractions.

    Please do try and be respectful, or as least as much as any white, male can be.

  3. Bill

    when someone mentions, “Laugh-In” it reminds of the bee gees’ best song,’lemons never forget’;they’d made a video,and all-the song is lennonesque

  4. Mark Stewart

    How about “Cis” as your second word? I’m still at a loss as to what the flip this word is trying to say, or be.

    Then there is also PIN number. I could go on and on; I’ll stop now.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          And I suspect that Kathryn would like me to be less obtuse in the first sense. I will try.

          I did not mean to offend her, and if that’s what I did I am truly sorry…

  5. Dave Crockett

    OK. I’ll play.
    To Mark’s “PIN number,” I’ll add “ATM machine”.
    And then there’s the immutable “irregardless.”
    And I’ve never fully understood why a member of the lower chamber of the U.S. government is either a “representative” or a “congressman/person”. But a “senator” is only a “senator” (unless the person is bucking for “president”).
    I, too, could go on. But I’ll stop now, Mark. 😉

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