SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: The reverse-appropriation of “methodical,” and a six-pack of 2017’s top columns.


Since Pat McLaughlin made the ill-advised decision to allow City Hall’s resident propagandist to insert the word “methodical” into the city council president’s mouth, I’ve been joyfully deploying it as a term of opprobrium.

“I want to highlight and emphasize that the city did not rush to make a decision on the finalization of the conversion project. Instead, the city took its time and was methodical. The City also was not afraid to compromise and modify the plan as needed, especially when it came to changes prompted by the feedback received from residents. This project exemplifies how local government, community members, and contractors can come together to design the best plan for their city,” stated City Council President Patrick McLaughlin.

Strictly speaking, there’s nothing necessarily bad about being methodical — unless one’s devotion to systematic orderliness becomes a delaying mechanism, preventing needed action from occurring.

Remember, I’m referring to a city official in support of a mayor who proposes an anchor as the ideal symbol of progress.

[muh-thod-i-kuh l]

1. performed, disposed, or acting in a systematic way; systematic; orderly: a methodical person.
2. painstaking, especially slow and careful; deliberate.

Origin of methodical
1560-70; methodic (< Latin methodic(us) < Greek methodikós; see method, -ic) + -al

It’s interesting that “methodical” is an example in Wikipedia’s otherwise troubled article on reappropriation (or, to appropriate something pejorative and make it positive).

Another example can be found in the origins of Methodism; early members were originally mocked for their “methodical” and rule-driven religious devotion, founder John Wesley embraced the term for his movement.

In McLaughlin’s case, I’ve reverse-reappropriated “methodical” for my own polemical intent, and it is my aim not to let anyone forget it. Granted, he might counter by pointing to the ghost writer who chose this word in the first place.

Why do we have propagandists, anyway?

While you’re contemplating this most imponderable of questions, here are the top six SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS columns of 2017, in ascending order of page views as quantified by Blogger’s inscrutable metric.


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: “The shouts of the New Albanians rent the air for the return of sweet daylight.”

today, thanks to local physician and city council member Al Knable, there is definitive proof that the use of the term New Albanian to describe a resident of this city extends at least as far back into the life and times of the settlement on the flood plain as the Eclipse of 1869.


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: “Narcissists, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Egomaniacs.”

In the end, we’ve little choice but to fall back on the words of Justice Potter Stewart, paraphrased: I know them when I see them, so here are ten visual examples plucked at random from the blog archives. Can you even imagine what it would be like to work for a narcissist or an egomaniac — or both?

The mind fairly boggles.


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Palliative, hospice, and the care offered by Hosparus.

Consequently, as of today mom is a Hosparus patient. She will remain at Silvercrest, with Hosparus staff coming to her. Visitors are welcome, and should inquire at the front desk as to her current location, because she’ll soon be moved from the rehabilitation floor to a different room, and the destination isn’t yet known. She has good days and bad. It’s the way this works. She’s asleep a lot, and has no pain.


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Clara Smith, Mr. Mitchell and the hazy etymology of poontang.

Unfortunately, the author’s research was inconclusive. There are several likely candidates for the origin of the word poontang, but still nothing to explain why it’s something “a man has” in the 1927 song, when otherwise associated with a woman.


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: “If something’s execrable, it’s really and truly, unbelievably, absolutely the worst.”


SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Of misogyny, misandry, and misanthropy.

But first, a shout out to LT for reminding me about misandry, which I don’t recall seeing mentioned in the “Collected Spasms of Herr Trump,” although misogyny is another story.