SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Laggard, though not to omit straggler, loiterer, lingerer, dawdler, sluggard, snail, idler and loafer.


Welcome to another installment of SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why all these newfangled words?

Why not the old, familiar, comforting words, like the ones you’re sure to hear when asking the city’s corporate attorney why the answers to my FOIA/public records request for Bicentennial commission finances, due to be handed over on July 8, still haven’t arrived on October 12?

Bicentennial commission financial trail? What’s two (yawn) weeks (shrug) after 463 days?

October 12 update: Make that 14 weeks since the FOIA record request’s due date and  546 days since I asked Bullet Bob Caesar to tell us how many coffee table books were left unsold, and how much the city’s 200-year “summer of love” fest actually cost us.

It’s because a healthy vocabulary isn’t about intimidation through erudition. Rather, it’s about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one’s pay grade or station in life.

Even these very same iniquitous, paving-bond-slush-engorged municipal corporate attorneys who customarily are handsomely remunerated to suppress information can benefit from this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, as we contemplate what they knew and when they knew it, all we have left is plenty of time — and the opportunity to learn something, if we’re so inclined.

Today’s word is laggard, including some of my favorite synonyms in the English language.




1. a person who makes slow progress and falls behind others: “there was no time for laggards”

synonyms: straggler, loiterer, lingerer, dawdler, sluggard, snail, idler, loafer


1. slower than desired or expected: “a bell to summon laggard children to school”

Here’s another example in a sentence, from August 26, 2007.

Redistricting: Grudgingly coming soon to a laggard city near you.

For more than a year, the single most hypocritical game in a city widely known for its jaw-dropping talent at self-deception has been the irony-free ability of its tub-thumping “law and order” advocates to be magically transformed into defenders of flagrant illegality when the topic turned to the city council’s abysmal failure to heed pertinent statutes and to redistrict.

In other words, the failure of the council to simply do its job.

The council later reneged on its agreement, and can you guess who led the way in thumbing his nose at the court ruling?

Jeff Gahan, that’s who. Is it any wonder his corporate attorney won’t honor a simple FOIA request?