There’s a major argument in the offing. I’ve been at loggerheads with a guy who claims that the navies of the 18th and 19th centuries are the source for many terms in common use today, and I really need to take the wind out of his sails. We were just hanging out, skylarking, when he suggested it. At first I was taken aback: he should have known when he brought it up that there would be the devil to pay, since, by and large, I know about this stuff. You can tell by the cut of his jib that this is a guy who just likes showing away; we’ll be fighting about this to the bitter end. This isn’t the first time he’s done this, by the way, at least according to the scuttlebutt, so I’m not cutting him any more slack. I used to give him a lot of leeway, but not any more. Maybe I shouldn’t engage–I know most people give him a wide berth–but his argument is a bunch of bilge. As someone who knows the ropes about the origin of terms, I think I have him over the barrel on this. We’ll be really going at it; it’s time to batten down the hatches. I mean, this guy is a loose cannon. Seriously, I hate to let the cat out of the bag, but this nipper does this all the time. Trying to educate me about figures of speech is crossing the line, don’t you think?
Can anyone help me stem the tide of his nonsense so I can take him down a peg? Shouting didn’t work, so I need to try a new tack. Anything will do, there are no hard and fast rules, though I admit that asking for help here might be a long shot. If I weren’t so pooped, I’d do it myself, but he’s buoyed up by stupid references. If we can get enough of a groundswell of evidence to make him founder, I’m sure he’ll cut and run. I really need to make some headway on this. I can even pay: I have a slush fund set aside for the purpose. But it needs to be a strong argument, not something jury-rigged, and then maybe he’ll pipe down and toe the line. I’m sure he’s reading this, but that’s okay–this should all be above-board, after all. And, really, we could have a field day with this. If you all help, we’ll come through with flying colors.
Okay, your turn, if you don’t mind being pressed into service. (I probably wouldn’t be making this post if I weren’t a bit under the weather from being three sheets to the wind.)