Wednesday, March 09, 2005

[Yes, I know I still have the drafts to finish].

Mildly amusing, but mean, and cribbed from somewhere in Monday's Guardian, is a short piece about how inspirational the American skier Bode Miller finds the English rugby team. It ends with the [paraphrased by me] quote: "Anyone who can go downhill that fast deserves to have cowbells rung in their honour."

I know, armchair critic and all (although this chair has no arms), but still, quite funny.

[Due to the context, I assume the Miller quote is made up].

Elsewhere Language Log has a post on butt-cum-buck naked. Apparently they've been mulling over the divergence for a while, but I haven't been playing attention. Ok, so read, I haven't looked at their site in months, as there is just too much information, and the longer one leaves it, the worse the build-up gets.

So anyway, boredom and curiosity lead me there once more. Scanning the main page, I found one quote given in the buck/butt post which threw me. The quote ends with the line:
Though it has a different origin, I associate this also with the common "nip it in the butt."
[The quote is Mark Liberman, of LL, quoting Paul Brians].

Nip it in the butt?

But surely it normally is nip is in the bud?
I had always assumed that it came from the idea that it is best to do something early, before the problems build. For example nipping out the buds to stop a plant going to seed or bolting.

So what does Google say?

Popularity in ghits.
Nip it in the bud: 29,600
Nip in the bud: 10,500
Nip it in the butt: 2,010
Nip in the butt: 934

So it's not just me then...


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