The Dumbbell's Dictionary
National Council of Teachers of English, n. This organization displays a continuing
negative animus with respect to two venerable institutions: teaching and the use of the
English language. They are not even in the same league, however, with the Modern
Language Association, whose emphasis is ever on modernity at the expense of language.
National Education Association, n. Wholly-owned subsidiary of America’s national
Democrat Party. Or is it the other way around?
Native American, n. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing. Ask any anthropologist,
whether cultural or physical. Alternatively, ask any competent archeologist. The land
bridge connecting what are now Russia and Alaska existed some twenty thousand years
ago, and provided the means for Asians to come to the Americas. The Bering Strait now
Humankind did not originate in the Americas. Recent exploration of course emphasizes
the Olduvai Gorge in northeast Africa, adjacent to the great rift. If that is in fact where
our ancestors came from, then they had a long journey into western Asia, and then
eventually to the land bridge.
Natural Elements, n. Why only ninety-two. I suspect we’ll have to go to the heart of a star
for an answer.
Navel Shipyard, n. Location where battleships and belly-buttons are stored.
Nauseous, adj. A word misused by too many Americans every day. They use it when they
mean nauseated. Nauseous has the same relation to nauseated as does poisonous to
poisoned. If you are nauseated, you are sick to your stomach. If you are nauseous, you are
making someone else sick.
Necrophilia, n. Or perhaps, necromancy. In love with the dead, such as modern American
liberalism. If you didn’t already know, you probably don’t want to.
A Negative, n. Never forget that it is sheer idiocy to try to prove one.
Ricky Nelson, n. One can’t help wondering just how good a singer/actor he could have
become, had he not killed himself and not a few others by free-basing cocaine on an
airliner in flight.
Janet Nepolitano, n. The most corrupt and ineffective Cabinet Secretary of the Obama
Administration, with the possible exception of Attorney General Eric Holder, who really
doesn’t understand the laws he has been instructed to enforce, which misunderstanding
has much to do, perhaps, with his race getting into the way of his law enforcement
responsibilities. Witness his refusal to bring to justice Black Panther thugs who
intimidated white voters in the 2008 election. (I write this in the Year of Our Lord 2011.)
Nero, n. Fifth Roman Emperor. Somewhat dissolute, rapacious, murderous, and
vindictive, who saw himself as a talented performer. Although he is not guilty as charged
of fiddling while Rome burned, I have it on good authority that during the burning he did
sing his heart out.
New Deal, n. A travesty. Supposedly saved capitalism from itself. Nonsense.
Government poisoned the operation of the capitalist economy, then stepped in to cure the
illness with ever larger doses of the same poison. Witness the AAA and the CCC, which