If I should fall behind…

So, Paul Byrd was traded to the Red Sox. But you already knew that. My attempts to place that information in this blog as the deal went down Tuesday were thwarted by my wireless card’s decision to die on me at the airport.

Well, the card is up and running now, just in time for me to inform you that the blog entries will be sporadic, at best, over the course of the next week or so, mainly because I’m in D.C., helping out with MLB.com’s coverage of the owners’ meetings. So the minutiae will be kept to a minimum.

And yes, it’s minutiae, not minutia, as I’ve been writing it for the length of this blog’s existence. My thanks to the reader who pointed out this mistake in the comments section. The question that arises is this: Do I stick with the erroneous “minutia,” for the sake of tradition? Or do I switch to the correct, plural “minutiae” from this point forward? I’m all for being accurate, but I’m also a sucker for tradition, so I’m torn. Perhaps you have an opinion on the matter. And if you do, might I ask why?

Anyway, sorry to see Byrd go, though the Indians will certainly benefit from having a couple million bucks in their back pocket. Byrd is a true gentleman and class act, a great storyteller and, most important for people in my line of work, a superb postgame quote, win or lose. I wish him well in Boston.

~AC

6 Comments

I appreciate your point about his quotes. I don’t know how you guys work with the players who went to the Crash Davis school of postgame interviews. I suspect this is also why it was hard to see Casey Blake go too, right?

In the great minutia minutiae debate, my vote goes for minutia. There are two reasons, I like the history and flare of it.. and second, because it looks better to the eye. Why I care, however, I haven’t a clue..

I suppose it was overly optimistic of me to suppose that the Tribe might get some kind of a useful player by trading Byrd? Not an “impact” player necessarily, but someone with some potential to help the Indians at some point?

On the minuta(e) debate… though I’m an advocate of preserving linguistic precision (see, for example the discussion of the appropriate use of “ironic” on this blog a couple months back), I’ll actually go with the e-less spelling on this one. It’s a bit like the word “data” which was originally the plural of “datum”. Pedants will still insist that a sentence such as “The data shows … ” is grammatically incorrect, but for me, since no one ever uses “datum” any more (they’ll say “a data point” or some such), we may as well treat “data” as grammatically singular, in the way that “rice” is singular (though it has many grains).

I can’t think of a time when I’ve heard or read the phrase “a minutia” — much more likely “a bit of minutia”. If people never use the singular (and so we don’t need a distinction), may as well let the simpler spelling (“minutia”) be the aggregate term.

[/nerd] [oh wait, I can't turn it off, can I? Damn...]

Ack, sorry about the excessive spaces there. The preview doesn’t seem to match up with what actually shows up….

One more interesting side note on “minutia(e)” — I Googled the phrase “a minutia” out of curiosity, and the whole first page of hits had to do with a specialized term apparently in the field of fingerprinting, and nothing to do with trivial information.

Speaking of trivial information though, I wonder if the term “trivia” was originally the plural of “trivium”, with the singular having been lost over time…. No one says “these trivia” now, do they? Much more likely to say “this trivia” — like “this sand”. Language change at work (if my speculation is right)…

AC, I’m all for accurracy… so minutiae and use minutia should there be only one item for the day.

Sticking with minutia for the sake of tradition doesn’t fly. This compares more with is it Anthony or is it Tony? We know how you feel about that.

AC, in this crazy world of minutia(e), I would say you can seek guidance in the black and white cookie. Look to the cookie, AC, look to the cookie.

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