I'm gonna have to go to college, 'cause you are the book of knowledge
I’m going to do something today that has been building for a long time. I’m spelling “minutiae” with the “e” at the end.
Those of you who have been faithful to this blog over the last couple years know that it’s been “minutia” all along. And though I am usually a stickler for spelling and grammar (except when I mispell the word misspell), there is something about “minutia” that simply looks more visually, if not grammatically, correct than “minutiae.” Even as I type “minutiae” now, I feel a little knot in my stomach.
A year or so ago, when it was pointed out to me that I was inaccurately using the singular “minutia” instead of the plural “minutiae,” I opened this up for debate and asked my readers which one I should use: the correct spelling, or the one that had become CastroTurf tradition.
One of you wrote in with the following response:
“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.”
That sounded good enough to me, and so I stuck with “minutia.”
But it didn’t end there. It never does. I can’t begin to tell you how many e-mails I’ve gotten since that politely inform me I’m using the wrong form of the word. And after reader Jill E. wrote in yesterday asking me to use the plural form “for the love of all that is holy,” I can’t, in good Catholic conscience, keep this up anymore.
So, from this point forward, unless I’m convinced otherwise or I mistakenly write the singular out of habit, it’s “minutiae.”
And there’s that knot again.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Scott Lewis has landed on the disabled list. Again. Only this time, he’s on the Triple-A Columbus DL, rather than the Major League DL. According to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff, Lewis is dealing with an injury to his lateral arm, above the left elbow. Soloff does not believe this injury is related to the injury Lewis suffered to his forearm, near the elbow, earlier this season. Lewis, activated off the DL and optioned to Columbus last week, made just one start for the Clippers.
- IF Jason Donald, mentioned in this space yesterday, is also on the Columbus DL. He has a strained lower back. Donald had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee earlier this year, before he was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade.
- Speaking of Lee, he tossed seven innings without giving up an earned run in a win over the Mets today. He’s now 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA for the Phillies, with two complete games along the way.
- Matt LaPorta remains entrenched in left field, but he’s still getting regular work at first during pregame. “We want to get him some more work over there,” Eric Wedge said. “We’ll give him some more reps before we throw him out there.”
- Andy Marte had a nice homestand, as he’s 6-for-his last-14 with five RBIs in four games. Wedge didn’t sound overly impressed with this. “He still needs to hit pitches he should hit,” Wedge said of Marte. “If you get a hanging breaking ball, you have to make sure you hit it. If you get a good fastball, don’t foul it off. Good pitches get young hitters out, so you’ve got to keep working to not miss mistakes.”
- Grady Sizemore is once again the Indians’ nominee for the MLB Players’ Association’s Heart and Hustle Award, which he won last year.
- Sizemore has raised his average from .227 to .247 over his last 23 games. He also has a 119-game errorless streak in center field.
- The Indians have collected 10 or more hits in six of their last eight games.
- Chris Perez’s 15 1/3-inning scoreless streak is the longest by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt tossed 19 straight scoreless in 2007.
- Luis Valbuena has a six-game hitting streak in which he’s hit .391 (9-for-23) with two homers and four RBIs.
- The Tribe earned its 15th series win of the season with the win over the Mariners. The Indians have now won seven of 11 series since the All-Star break, including five of seven. In the first half of the season, they were 8-18-3 in series play. The Tribe enters this week having won four straight series against the AL Central.
- LHP Nick Hagadone, one of the acquisitions in the Victor Martinez trade, was named the South Atlantic League pitcher of the week after tossing six scoreless innings over two starts in which he allowed just a hit and a walk with 10 strikeouts. Hagadone has a 2.31 ERA in four starts for the Captains.
- LHP Scott Barnes, the Ryan Garko trade acquisition, is struggling at Double-A Akron. He’s allowed 13 runs on 16 hits in 15 1/3 innings over three starts after posting a 2.13 ERA in three starts with Kinston.
- CF Michael Brantley battled a sprained ankle, but he’s back in the Columbus lineup.
- C Carlos Santana is batting .313 (20-for-64) with five doubles, a triple a homer and 10 RBIs in August.
- LHP Kelvin De La Cruz is active with the Indians’ rookie-level Arizona League team. He went three innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a strikeout in a loss to the Mariners. De La Cruz is one of the more promising arms in the system, but he’s missed most of this season with a left elbow strain.
- This is my first trip to KC this year, and therefore my first look at the completed Kauffman Stadium renovations. Really, really impressive. My only gripe is the addition of seats and a “Pepsi Party Porch” in front of the fountains beyond the outfield wall. Leave the fountains alone.