Already 'on a Roll,' Unicorn Hunters Attack 'Safe Sex'

The Unicorn Hunters bagged their quota of words and phrases they would edit from the Queen's English, with "cutting edge" among the trims to be made. "Excessive use" of that expression "suggests banishment before someone is slashed to ribbons," Jack Dietrich of Albuquerque, N. M., wrote in nominating it for the annual list. The group of writers, students and faculty at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., drew its list from among 2,000 nominations. Peter Kinner and Trudie Mason of Montreal nominated "safe sex," saying the term should be sentenced to "life in prison with Dr. Ruth." Other targets were "alternative life style" ("Every way of life is an alternative," said John Sherwood of Marshall, Mich.); "orientate" (a stretching of "orient" called an "example of the trend toward polysyllabificationizing") and "on a roll" (fine for hot dogs and sesame seeds, but not people). And Ohio's Linda Flusher objected to the phrase "living in poverty" this way: "I am not living in poverty. I am poor and living in Columbus."

--After juice bars and water bars, perhaps it was inevitable: An oxygen bar has opened, with a simple counter and several chairs in a Tokyo store's sporting goods section. Three minutes of inhaling 95% pure oxygen through a wine-glass-shaped mask costs about 75 cents, with a choice of peppermint, coffee, lemon or mushroom scents. Barman Masaru Kageyama said: "Most people say they feel refreshed. . . . But it seems that those who are quite healthy or expect too much do not feel any noticeable effects." A canned oxygen market also has emerged, with two or three minutes' worth selling for as much as $11.30 and touted as hastening recovery from fatigue or a hangover. But physical education professor Jun Yamakawa sniffed at the practice, saying deep breathing of natural air is enough after normal exercise.

--Fifteen years after a group of Brewton, Ala., teen-agers bottled heartfelt words and launched them in Little Escambia Creek, a hunter found the poem sealing their friendship on Parker Island, where Escambia River empties into Pensacola Bay. Calls to Brewton by Mike Peterson of Pensacola, Fla., led to a reunion of Bonnie Coburn Noonchester, Steve Dantzler, Madison Wright, Steve Johnson and Garry Dantzler, who had moved as far away as California.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World