"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For a Good Time, Google "Stunning" and "Massachusetts"

Putting aside all of the political and social ramifications, today was a great day for the word “stun”--more especially for its transitive verb and adjective forms: “stuns” and “stunning.” Let’s take a moment to celebrate this great word. Please note, emphasis has been added.

The linguistic celebration really started last night, with headlines like this one from from PBS.org
Brown Stuns Democrats With Projected Victory in Mass. Senate Race

From Boston.com
In stunning upset, Brown captures US Senate in Mass.
(The above headline also contains no less than two puns, perhaps unintended. There’s the Catholic word play on Mass and the even catchier play on en masse. Methinks the Editor intended the latter pun and is still grinning with semantical glee.)

From CNN.com
Democrats point fingers after stunning loss

From NYTimes.com
G.O.P. Senate Victory Stuns Democrats

From NPR.org
GOP Candidate Stuns Democrat In Massachusetts

From RasmussenReports.com
Brown Wins Stunning Victory in Massachusetts

From NewsRealBlog.com
Scott Brown delivers stunning upset victory in Massachusetts

From GoUpState.com
Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts stuns Democrats

From MyNorthwest.com
Stunning upset in Massachusetts - could it happen here?
(Incidentally, this headline is from this morning...after the results were in.)

From GlobalTV.com
Massachusetts voters hand Obama stunning rebuke

From PoliticsDaily.com
Scott Brown Stuns Martha Coakley in Massachusetts Senate Upset

From MassLive.com
Conservatives react to Scott Brown's stunning victory in Massachusetts Senate race
(Includes a picture of a blonde woman throwing her head back and gazing Heavenward in ecstasy)

From EnterpriseNews.com
Brown takes Kennedy's Senate seat in stunning upset over Democrat Coakley

And finally, as far away as Ireland there seems to be a lack of better, or even other, evocative options
From Finfacts.com
Republican takes Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts - - a stunning rebuke for Obama and Democrats

Well, that was just a sample. “STUNNING” I know. And now, let us have a moment of silence for the apparently extinct thesaurus.


  1. When I first discovered the thesaurus back in middle school, I fell in love.
    Around that time, I also found a great Mother Goose and Grim comic that had a little dinosaur in the middle of the frame with a caption reading something like "Timmy studied really hard in school hoping one day to be come a thesaurus."
    I cut it out and had been using it as a bookmark. Sadly, I accidentally left it in one of the library books I returned.
    Imagine my young pride soar when I saw the comic mounted and displayed at the library's checkout desk.
    Needless to say, I was stunned.

  2. Well, let me just use the simple past: I'm stunned by the overuse of the word 'stun'. Did (do?) you watch The Daily Show last night? John Stewart addressed the use of idiotic verbs on all the politicially-motivated cable news shows. He mentioned my personal favorite overuse (sadly, I believe people have no real idea what it means): eviscerate; e.g., "the eviscerated his opponent." Eviscerated! He DISEMBOWELED his opponent?! Jesushchristonacracker!! Fun stuff. :)