Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nobody's Perfect

We are big fans of a business called Lusty Lady (there are two: one in Seattle, and one in San Francisco). It's not because we are into peep shows, but rather, because they are so good with a pun.

Years ago, when Microsoft was having a conference, their sign read: CHECK OUT OUR WINDOWS 95! Lately, we've enjoyed HAPPY SPANKSGIVING! (Could HAPPY BLUE YEAR be next? Nah. They'll do better than that.)

And now comes this tidbit from Bryan Garner, from which we can only conclude that the Lusty Lady should actually be called the Lustful Lady:

"Lustful" is the narrower word, meaning "driven or excited by sexual lust" {long, lustful looks}.

E.g.: "People of any sexual orientation can be violent or lustful."
"Breakthrough on TV as Nation Faces Gay, Lesbian Issues," USA Today, 27 Mar. 1997, at A12.

"Lusty" is broader and typically lacks the other word's sexual connotations; it means either "vigorous, robust, hearty" {a lusty appetite} or "spirited, enthusiastic" {a lusty performance of The Tempest".

E.g.: "The UT-Chattanooga pep band has a nice routine where it plays a lusty version of the classic Chattanooga Choo-Choo." David Climer, "Mocs Sing Last Verse for Illini," Tennessean, 17 Mar. 1997, at C1.o

"He tries desperately to reclaim his character's lusty youthful bravura." Lucia Mauro, "Next Theatre Takes Bard on Stylish Romp," Chicago Sun-Times, 3 Apr. 1997, Features §, at 34. Sometimes writers misuse "lusty" for "lustful" -- e.g.: "The affair included 400 e-mail communications, cyber sex and, finally, long and lusty [read 'lustful'] phone calls." Kathleen Kernicky, "Caught in the Net," Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), 3 Nov. 1996, at E1.

So, while we still admire their frisky puns, we must write and ask them to change their name. For the sake of accuracy, for the sake of the tourists...who are we kidding? It's for the sake of receiving a reply from the Lusty Lady.

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