The Corner


‘Just a Skosh!’

Jordan Spieth at the Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., on April 9, 2021 (Mike Segar / Reuters)

My Impromptus today has a variety, as the column is supposed to do. It begins with the question of workers — the “working class” and “working-class values.” What are those values, by the way? Marco Rubio is one politician who speaks of “working-class values.” How did they differ from middle-class ones? Upper-class ones? General, true-blue, four-square American ones?

Does everyone in each “class” agree? Or are people more like . . . individuals, with their own thoughts, their own likes, their own dislikes?

Another subject in my column today is lefty parents and their leftier, or woker, children. What a drag it must be to consider yourself a good “progressive,” lifelong, only to have your son or daughter consider you Archie Bunker (if your son or daughter knew who Archie Bunker was).

Okay, let’s have some mail, re past writings.

Toward the end of my piece on TV theme music, I wrote, “Obviously, I could go on and on, having left dozens of worthy themes unmentioned. (Scores of them, you might quip.)” I was not doing a complete list, or drawing up a directory. I was basically writing an essay, using some themes as examples.

Yet the mail came — mail of the kind that said, “How could you have left out . . .?” I would say the themes most often cited, as having been left out, were those to Star Trek, Dragnet, and Batman.

Then there was “If I Owned a Sports Team: One man’s fantasy.” Let me quote one response, real quick:

I would argue that the atmosphere you describe — the atmosphere you fantasize about — exists already, for the most part. I’m talking about Nebraska Cornhuskers football. We clap for the opposing team when the game is over, win or lose. The stadium has been sold out for nearly 400 games in a row. No alcohol is sold. The fans are engaged.

Our reader links to an article — this one: “ESPN analyst wowed by Husker fans.”

In an Impromptus, I wrote of initials that were once associated with one thing that are now associated with something else. Take BLM. Bureau of Land Management? No. How about STD? Short-term disability? No. (By those initials, most people mean “sexually transmitted disease.”)

A reader writes,

You have reminded me of a teacher of mine. He was a Cistercian monk from Hungary who taught classes in sacred music. He had a deep, slow voice, and a thick accent. In the first class of the semester, he gave us some of his biography. The standout tidbit was, “I received my STD in Rome.”

As it turns out, these initials can also mean “Doctor of Sacred Theology” (or “Sacrae Theologiae Doctor”).


At the Masters this month, Jordan Spieth cried out, “Just a skosh!” I had never heard the expression — never heard the word “skosh.” As I mentioned in my column, it means “a little,” “a smidge.” Many readers wrote to point out the origin of the word. I will quote from Merriam-Webster:

The word skosh comes from the Japanese word sukoshi, which is pronounced “skoh shee” and means “a tiny bit” or “a small amount.” The Japanese word was shortened by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan after World War II. Later, in the Korean War, a small soldier was often nicknamed “Skosh.”

This year, a Japanese player, Hideki Matsuyama, won the Masters. So — Japan and Japanese are in the air, somehow.

Thanks once more to all readers and correspondents, and, again, today’s Impromptus is here.


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