Friday, July 12, 2013


House Republicans raised the Democrats hackles yesterday when they dropped Food Stamps from the Farm Bill. Representative Pete Sessions explained, "What we have carefully done is exclude some extraneous pieces", which included the nearly fifty year old, 80 billion dollar Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Dems quickly began an outcry about the legislation treating the 47 million people covered under the program as "extraneous people".

As occasional readers of this blog know, I usually try to dig pretty dig into the etymology of a word, but etymology doesn't seem to be what's fascinating me the most lately. Extraneous comes from the Latin extraneus, which meant external or strange,  the Latin prefix extra- having to do with being on the outside, without or except, all of which relates to the extraneous people theme pretty well.

When you Google the definition of extraneous, you come up with:

  • Irrelevant or unrelated to the subject being dealt with.
  • Of external origin.  

    So. If you put this together with my last post on the word relevant, what you discover is this governmental view of the citizenry.
    What is relevant? 
    Everything you say and everything you do.
    What is irrelevant?   
    At least if you're hungry... 

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Here's a Dana Milbank piece on the story, which gives the hopeful news that the bill as it now stands is unlikely to pass the Senate.


    1. sub·cu·ta·ne·ous (sbky-tn-s) This is really getting under my skin like cake crumbs for Kipling's rhino.

    2. Thanks, Collagemama. I know the Just So Stories, but I hadn't remembered that one.

    3. Thanks for this. Oh, your word explorations are sooooo relevant.

    4. Thanks, Kathleen. I suppose it's time I put up something a little less topical, or people will start to think I have some kind of agenda...