The Corner

Proud to Stand Out

Three different readers have e-mailed in to thank me for using the word

“proud” to describe a fixture that sticks out more than it ought. I

actually picked up this usage while working on construction sites in England

as a college student. I agree that it is a delightful one. Given that it

was from ordinary craftsmen that I picked it up — stonemasons seem

especially fond of it — I would guess the usage is as old as the word.

There are a number of usages like this that make the word-loving reader

smile. Another favorite of mine is the verb “to calve,” when used of

glaciers meeting the sea.

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