Sunday, February 05, 2006


I know you get really, really antsy when you've gone a couple of hours without a new self-righteous post about the response to the Danish Muhammad cartoons (and yes, everyone should denounce the violence and the calls for violence). But it really isn't appropriate for someone who grew up in New Jersey to tell (primarily) Britons, Australians, and Indians how to use an expression that's part of their damn language and really isn't used here in America:


Have you noticed how international newspapers and television stations are doing their best to downplay the global conflagration over the Cartoon Jihad? ...

A "row" is a quarrel. Married couples have "rows" over laundry and finances. Friends have "rows" over football game wagers. Neighbors have "rows" over unclipped trees and unruly pets....

Yes, headlines at the BBC, the Melbourne Herald Sun, Webindia, and elsewhere call this a "row." And yes, it is a "row" -- not unlike these "rows":

Man stabbed to death in city row


...Justyn was shot dead on April 13, 2004, in a row that spilled out of Bagel King in Walworth Road....

...The stabbing followed a row at Whitecliff Parade, Ballymurphy, at around 4pm....

--RTE, Ireland

Shoe row leads to murder

--News24, South Africa

Rows? Sometimes they're very, very nasty.

You're not stupid, Michelle. You know this. You're just seizing on the violence and unrest that's going on now as a golden opportunity for you to generate boob bait in bulk.

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