SACRE BLEU!….I’ve been doing crossword puzzles lately, so Marian got me a copy of the companion book to Wordplay for Christmas. Here, from p. 74, is an excerpt from NYT crossword editor Will Shortz’s guidelines for contributors:

Do not use….uncommon abbreviations or foreign words.

Do not use foreign words?!? Allow me to translate: “Do not use foreign words except for those from Latin (“Pater,” 63 Across, Dec. 21), Spanish (“Vaca,” 11 Across, Dec. 23), German (“Nie,” 10 Down, Dec. 24), or French (“Sacre,” 45 Across, Dec. 26). Occasional use of Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Hebrew, and peculiar Gaelic dialects is also acceptable.” Not that I’m keeping track or anything. Believe me, I would pay money to support a hardy band of true Americans to picket Shortz’s office until he starts enforcing this “rule.” Where are the activists from U.S. English when you need them?

That is all. I now return you to Steve Benen’s more consequential musings.

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