Monday, October 25, 2010

English as she is spoke

It occurred to me while reading this morning's paper - the comics, in fact; the only reliable portion left, outside of the box scores - that one never hears of a blithering moron or a blithering fool. It seems always limited to idiots. But sitting down to the pc, Google said otherwise. The web one finds is filled to bursting with blithering morons and even blithering geniuses.

But can one blither without an accompanying noun? One would think so. The definition refers to babbling incoherently. I've been known to do a bit of that. A short scroll through The Inn should uncover instances. But one doesn't see "He stood there blithering" or "Don't blither, Senator; the microphones are on" does one? One does if one googles. Google claims to reveal 35,000 instances. I looked at 3. But, aha! Some of them are not blĭther but blīther, e.g., "Her blithe spirit is blither than yours."

Up next: when did kil-OM-eters become KIL-o-MEET-ers?