Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano learned the other day where he could put his hands on a luxurious Mercedes limo. In fact, he could even have it for free - assuming he was interested. Then again, maybe he wouldn't be, considering that it has passed through several sets of hands since thieves forced his aide to give up the keys at gunpoint six years ago. When police recovered it, the registration had been forged at least once.
Some words and phrases were so overused during the 2004 presidential campaign and election that they deserve to be retired. That's the conclusion of Lake Superior State University of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., which places "flip flop" and "battleground state" on its 30th annual list of words that should be banished "from the Queen's English for misuse, overuse, and general uselessness." Nominations are compiled mostly via submissions to the school's website. Here are some of the words that the banishment committee would strike from 2005 vocabularies (others may be found on the school's website: www.lssu.edu/banished):
Blue states/red states
And I approve this message
Pockets of resistance
Flip flop, flip flopper, flip flopping