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Who's Minding Our English?

I turn on the radio. Some blah-blah about the Middle East, and then I hear the distinguished guest -- some idiot -- say portentously that "that seems to be the penumbra we're in vis-a-vis Syria."

Seeking relief, I open the newspaper. I start reading an article in the business section of today's Times about Carl Icahn, corporate raider, written by the perfectly intelligent Joseph Nocera, who nonetheless writes about someone who "etches out an existence" doing such and such.

Someone is "etching out an existence" is he, possibly in the penumbra of his life? 

Well, in that case, dear reader, in reading this please remember to

"Still be kind/and etch out our performance with your mind."