It’s Only Words, and Words Are All I Have …

The Gateway Arch. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, April 25, 2018, 10:01 a.m.

By Monte Dutton

I drove past a message board that read:


If your blood is running low, they’ll pump it right up.

A government office has a sticker in the window of the front door.


Forget about hiding a derringer in your boot, but if you’ve got a rifle that can’t possibly be concealed, come right in.

This is the curse of a writer. Such silly little misuses of the language bother him. Most people don’t put a second thought into flammable and inflammable meaning the same thing, or regardless and irregardless. They’ll nod politely, all the while thinking to themselves, I could care less.

They couldn’t care less. If they could care less, they probably would.

It gets dark later because of Daylight Saving Time. It’s not Daylight Savings Time. Daylight is not a bank.

Few are the times that it is necessary to utilize. Except in rare instances, use works fine. Most people say utilize because they want a bigger, not a better, word.

I hate signage. I prefer signs. If I go to a burger joint and the smallest drink is a large, and medium is big, and large is jumbo, well, the burgers better be good.

It’s a curse, this excessive attention to words. It makes watching sports on TV distracting.

Did you see that catch?

Yes, but the guy who caught it can’t literally fly.


He can figuratively fly. If he could literally fly, he would be soaring around the light poles, squawking with the seagulls.


People say whatever to me a lot.


(Steven Novak cover)

If you become a patron of mine, you’re supporting writing like this as well as my mostly NASCAR blogs at If you’ve got a few bucks a month to spare, click here.

Another way I cobble out a living is with my books, a wide variety of which are available for sale here.

The new novel, my eighth, is called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Lightning in a Bottle is now available in an audio version, narrated by Jay Harper.


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