Monday, August 23, 2010




: to look or peer with eyes partly closed : squint

So. Merriam went and changed their email format again. There's now a softer look—a whole mess of negative white space, the fonts in a tone of pale concrete, no loud banner capping my message, no blue box suggesting I check out sudoku. Taking it down a notch. A focus on the language, an older audience, a quieter look, a cardigan sweater on the back of a rocking chair. I get it.

Shakespeare used both the verbs SQUINNY and SQUINT in King Lear; somehow the latter stuck. SQUINNY just makes me think of whinny. As in, a horse.

I could see SQUINNY as a more effective adjective than verb:

That guy over there is a bit SQUINNY.

My suggestion here (in this painfully vague example) is shifty-eyed or peculiar; a judgment based on something happening with one's eyes—a strange look, a furrow of the brow, one eye wandering in another direction sort of thing.

SQUINNY: not to be trusted based on the quality of eye contact. This makes more sense to me. Now that SQUINNY resides in the shadow of squint, it must take on a meaning of its own for survival. For longevity's sake.

*Vernacular - Battling the Natural Selection of the English Language Since...This Past January*

1 comment:

  1. I have that same wooden wall switch cover in my house. Are you seriously going to start redefining words? Maybe if you get them to stick you could be part of the definition?