Thursday, May 12, 2005

Front page story, guts and glory

I'm sure some Scrabble nerd at the CBC was just dying to use this headline: "Royal buss sparks protocol fuss." Now, I knew that 'buss' is a colloquialism for 'kiss,' but it's a remarkably peculiar choice of word; the OED dates its first use in English to George Turberville's 1570 "Ladie Venus," as does the non-subscription-walled (and identically acronymic) Online Etymology Dictionary. It's noted in the 1989 Second Edition as archaic, and restricted to use only in regional dialects. Perhaps some anonymous editor is showing off his vocabulary (in which case it's ivory-tower elitist snobbery), or 'cute' stories are now deemed to benefit from rhyming headlines (in which case the Mother Corp appears to have sunk to supermarket tabloid standards of non-journalism). Either way, what is that word doing showing up on the CBC?

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