The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 21, 1938


Site Ed. Note: No, Virginia, Oxford has still not caught on to Virginianisms; yet, there is still a Sanity Clause, viz.:

------Flaunt: 1. intr. Of plumes, banners, etc.: To wave gaily or proudly. Of plants: To wave so as to display their beauty.

1576 Gascoigne Steele Gl. (Arb.) 63 [A soldier] Whose fethers flaunt, and flicker in the winde As though he were all onely to be markt. 1634 [see flaunting ppl. a. 1.] 1717 E. Fenton tr. Secundus' Bas. ii. Poems 195 Where, flaunting in immortal Bloom, The Musk-Rose scents the verdant Gloom. 1789 Mrs. Piozzi Journ. France I. 59 Orange and lemon trees flaunt over the walls. 1814 Southey Roderick i. 36 Banners flaunting to the sun and breeze. 1844 Hood The Mary ix. No pennons brave Flaunted upon the mast. 1859 W. S. Coleman Woodlands (1866) 149 Though woodbines flaunt and roses glow.

2. a. Of persons: To walk or move about so as to display one's finery; to display oneself in unbecomingly splendid or gaudy attire; to obtrude oneself boastfully, impudently, or defiantly on the public view. Often quasi-trans. to flaunt it (away, out, forth). b. Of things: To be extravagantly gaudy or glaringly conspicuous in appearance.

1566 Drant Hor. Sat. i. ii. B, In suits of silkes to flaunte. 1583 Stubbes Anat. Abus. ii. (1882) 108 That flaunt it out in their saten doblets. 1590 H. Smith Wedding Garment Serm. (1592) 335 Else when our backs flant it like Courtiers, our soules shall strip like beggers. 1592 Greene Groatsw. Wit (1617) 28 Lamilia came flaunting by, garnished with the iewels whereof shee beguiled him. 1652-62 Heylin Cosmogr. i. (1682) 124 The Wife of every Mechanick will flant it in her Silks and Taffaties. 1712 Arbuthnot John Bull i. iv, You loiter about alehouses+or flaunt about the streets in your new-gilt chariot. 1734 Pope Ess. Man iv. 196 One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade. 1748 Richardson Clarissa Wks. 1883 VII. 312 They will flaunt it away in a chariot and six. 1820 W. Irving Sketch Bk. (1821) II. 113 The Miss Lambs might now be seen flaunting along the street in French bonnets. 1840 Thackeray Bedford-Row Consp. i. (1869) 270 He could not bear to see Sir George and my lady flaunting in their grand pew. 1847 Tennyson Princ. Prol. 140 If our old halls could change their sex, and flaunt With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans [etc.]. 1581 Sidney Astr. & Stella iii. 3 Poems (Grosart 1877) I. 8 Let dainty wits crie on the Sisters nine+Or Pindares apes, flaunt they in phrases fine. 1624 Gee Foot out of Snare v. 39 Flanting with the vain, aeriall, fantastick bubble of an Episcopall Title.

3. trans. To display ostentatiously or obtrusively; to flourish, parade, show off.

1827 Hood Two Peacocks Bedfont ii, The Summer air That flaunts their dewy robes. 1840 Thackeray Paris Sk.-bk. (1872) 8 The haberdashers flaunt long strips of gaudy calicoes. 1871 R. Ellis Catullus x. 17 Then supremely myself to flaunt before her. 1879 Froude Cæsar ix. 98 They [the pirates] flaunted their sails in front of Ostia itself. 1886 Sidgwick Outlines Hist. Ethics ii. 4. 33 The eccentricities with which+Diogenes flaunted his fortitude and freedom.

Hence "flaunting vbl. n.

1729 Mrs. Pendarves in Mrs. Delany's Corr. 230, I told him of your flauntings. 1876 M. E. Braddon J. Haggard's Dau. II. 59 'There'll be fine flaunting when she's a married woman and her own mistress.'

-----Flout: 1. trans. To mock, jeer, insult; to express contempt for, either in word or action. Also to flout (a person) out of (something).

1551 Robinson tr. More's Utop. (Arb.) 26 In moste spitefull maner mockynge+and flowtinge them. 1605 Shakes. Macb. i. ii. 49 Where the Norweyan Banners flowt the Skie. 1607 Heywood Wom. Kilde Wks. 1874 II. 116 Now will I flout her poverty. 1612-15 Bp. Hall Contempl. O.T. i. v, Yet cannot they all flout Noah out of his faith. 1727 De Foe Syst. Magic ii. iv. 324 So the man was flouted on all hands. 1805 Scott Last Minstr. ii. 4 The gay beams of lightsome day Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray. 1840 Dickens Old. C. Shop xxxii, The genuine and only Jarley+flouted by beadles. 1873 Dixon Two Queens I. ii. ii. 80 One town grew jealous of another+Granada flouted Loga.

b. To quote or recite with sarcastic purpose.

1599 Shakes. Much Ado i. i. 290 Ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience.

2. intr. To behave with disdain or contumely, to mock, jeer, scoff; to express contempt either by action or speech. Also dial. to scold. Const. at; whence in indirect passive.

1575 R. B. Appius & V. Bjb, What drake nosed driuell, begin you to floute. 1641 Vind. Smectymnuus 31 It never came into our thoughts+to flout, in so bold a manner. 1678 Barclay Apol. Quakers ii. 1. 19 Some are apt to flout at it as ridiculous. 1726 Adv. Capt. R. Boyle 166 But I have the good Fortune not to be flouted at. 1844 Browning Garden Fancies i. vi, Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces. 1876 Besant & Rice Gold. Butterfly iv, The women pointed and flouted at her.

3. ? erroneous use (or ? another word). To ruffle (a bird's feathers).

1875 Mayne Reid in Chamb. Jrnl. 7 Aug. 500 Not enough, breeze+to flout the long feathers in the tail of the+bird.

Hence "flouted ppl. a.

1855 Singleton Æneid vii. 602 Go now, to thankless jeopardy Expose thee, flouted [wight].

Comparative usage: Flaunt what you will, but don't, under any circumstances, ever flout a bird's feathers. You might regret it.

Acquired Meanings

The heirs and assigns of Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster, the Messrs. G. & C. Merriam, Funk and Wagnalls, Oxford University Press et al. may as well resign themselves to it.

The darn thing bobs up again. Yesterday extradition papers, prepared by North Carolina authorities, were signed by Virginia's Governor Price for the return to the state of Dr. John W. Dyer, of High Point, for "flaunting the laws of our State." A strange crime, mates, if the authorities mean what they say. For it is to charge the doc with going around impudently showing off and boastfully displaying the laws of the State, presumably printed and bound in buckram. For that is what flaunt means: "To display ostentatiously, to make an impudent show of, to parade."

But that, of course, isn't what they mean at all. Still, there's no help for it. Protest is no good. The thing is plainly here to stay, and so the dictionary makers may as well get ready for it. There is a word in their books, flout, which they are simply going to have to throw away. And instead of defining flaunt as at present, they are going to have to set it down this way--"flaunt: to mock and insult, to treat with contempt..."

They Saw the Point

Sumner Welles, acting Secretary of State, must have made out a pretty good case. At any rate, before German Ambassador Dieckhoff departed for Berlin in retort to the recall of Ambassador Wilson from Berlin, Mr. Welles discussed with him the question of inheritances falling to Americans from deceased Germans. In line with their usual practices, the Nazis were refusing to let money go out of Germany, and Mr. Welles told Herr Dieckhoff that since no such restrictions were imposed on the transfer of estates left by Americans to German citizens, he didn't think it was fair.

Now the German Government notifies Washington that in the future inheritance credits may be transferred in full--"reciprocity provided." In that dangling phrase lies the explanation of the Nazis' willingness to play the game in the accepted way, as well as a pretty good hint of how to make friends with and influence Germany. For it turns out that about $5,000,000 a year is left to Germans by American testators, whereas only half that sum is left by Germans to Americans. And since it would obviously be foolish of the Nazis to cut themselves out of $5,000,000 by laying hands on $2,500,000, they saw Mr. Welles' point at once.

Take the Case

A fine ethical question is posed in the resignation of Robert S. Hutchins from the governing board of the New York Stock Exchange. One of the three public representatives on that board, along with 29 broker representatives, Mr. Hutchins feels very strongly that the exchange should have established whether or not Morgan partners J. P. Lamont and George Whitney knew of and failed to disclose the shortcomings of Broker Richard Whitney, for which he is now doing a stretch in Sing Sing.

The other 31 governors of the exchange voted to let the matter drop. Apparently they agreed that George Whitney, in trying to help Richard out of a mess and keeping mum about it, had done only what any brother would have done under the circumstances, and probably that since George had brought Mr. Lamont into the case under a bond of confidence, Mr. Lamont would have been a cad to have [indiscernible word].

That's the white man's code, all right, and most of us would condone the silence of Brother George and Mr. Lamont. But Mr. Hutchins has something on his side. When these two Morgan partners failed, not necessarily to turn Richard Whitney up, but to remove him from a place where he had easy access to a lot of other people's money, they became more or less trusting accomplices to his crimes. And when those crimes continued and finally were discovered, their knowledge of what was going on was discovered too.

Mr. Hutchins believes, you see, that it was all right for the two friends of Richard Whitney to shield him from exposure, but that in doing so they deliberately took the risk of being dishonored as responsible parties. Mr. Hutchins' associates on the board of governors thought otherwise.

Site Ed. Note: As to this one, we ask simply what really would be the objection today to "socialized medicine" offered by the editorial? In 1938, doctors made house calls, stayed as the family doctor for life. Today, if you've really a doctor with whom you feel any "intimate" connection, you must be among a decidedly chosen minority or live in a very small town, pop., approx., 20. Most folks we know can't even afford a regular doctor anymore, that is unless they are already on the corporate welfare plan which afford them one.

No, it's simple: All those drug companies and insurance companies and health care plans, carefully preserving their daily quotas of empty beds, would show lots less profit under any national health care plan, and fewer doctors would have time to finish the back nine in the sunny afternoons. And most of the powers that be among those folks tend toward voting for one party--and so.

We doubt Cash today would find much sympathy for much of it. And, today, indeed, there may be plenty of room in which for Sherman to go marching, slashing and burning, to get back to a semblance of sanity in making the target of the health care industry delivery of proper health care when and if people need it, and at reasonable, affordable costs, both for the care itself and for the insurance to pay for it. There are many people who are not on corporate welfare, believe it or not.

And, as we have said before, don't blame trial lawyers for high medical costs. It's the incompetent doctors and the insurance execs and the medical plan execs and the drug company execs, the corporatistas, and probably many of their corporatista lawyers receiving all that corporatista welfare, who are ultimately the heart of the problem, in need of emergency bypass surgery. The trial lawyers are merely the policemen of the problem, not the cause. They don't usually get paid at all unless there has been tortious conduct by the doctor, in which case why shouldn't the patient and his or her lawyer be properly compensated by the doctor's malpractice carrier in accordance with the unregulated will of a jury hearing the testimony firsthand, not filtered through some self-interested tv announcer trying to sell you something, while themselves earning hundreds of thousands per year to so sell and criticize those earning a fraction of it for doing honest, thankless work? Or perhaps you are prepared to receive surgery from Dr. Butch R. Spongeleaver who just, based on testimony of other doctors as to local standards of care, violated those standards with a vengeance and thereby negligently was responsible for the deaths of a half dozen patients while practicing at Mercy Hospital, but nevertheless was, because of "tort reform", permitted still to practice as a surgeon, though he had to change over to Lord o' Mercy Hospital, and with virtual impunity because we wanted to insure that his malpractice premium didn't force him to achieve less profit from his practice. Would that improve things?

It's just our opinion but it seems more reasonable to suggest that the insurance companies need to put the pinch on the bad doctors but good, rather than spreading it around to all of the doctors with no record of malpractice. We realize that there is a problem in that occurring in the most egregious of cases where the doctor loses his or her license, but that is a rare result in malpractice cases. Regardless, mainly, the insurance companies, it would appear, need to face reality and cease in double-dipping everyone, as they do in every form of insurance, charging, that is, high premiums across the board for health insurance, on the basis of the claim of high medical care costs as medical care costs soar on the basis that medical malpractice insurance premiums are so high, which are claimed to be high by the medical malpractice insurance providers on the basis of malpractice suits by trail lawyers. Hence, pad the campaign coffers of the current Administration, as well as the one before the last one, so that they can march to your drummer: Get those trial lawyers with tort reform (and Murphy Brown be damned!)--to keep those campaign coffers full of nice overcharged medical malpractice insurance and health care insurance premiums creating staggering profits for the insurance industry--and more and more friendly Republicans to the cause.

Of course, plaintiffs' lawyers, sort of like police officers and criminal defense attorneys, are always your worst enemy, until, that is, you need one. Some Republicans seem to be presently finding out the bitter truth in that age-old maxim.

Delay what you will to pad your pockets, son, change, sooner or late, by the people, nevertheless shall come.

AMA on a Twig

The American Medical Association is quite right, we believe, in arguing that medicine is a profession and not a trade, and that therefore it is stretching the Sherman Act to attempt to make it apply in such cases as those at Washington. Certainly, it was not the intent of the authors of that act to bring medicine and other professions under its provisions.

Nevertheless, it also seems to us that the Washington medical societies have got themselves very far out on a limb in their fight against the Group Health Association and that the AMA has done exactly the same thing in backing up the societies--and others elsewhere in similar fights. The doctors--as well as the public--are justified in distrusting and opposing what is commonly called socialized medicine. And there is no doubt in our mind that they ought to have the right to set their own reasonable standards as to what constitutes professional status and ethics.

But the socialized medicine which is to be feared is state medicine--medicine organized on some such basis as Social Security--with compulsory mass contribution, bureaucratic control, the impersonal assignment of physicians to patients and patients to physicians. Such medicine is more than likely to destroy the intimate relationship between patient and doctor which is necessary to successful medicine, and to discourage scientific advance. We repeat, we are absolutely against it.

But the Group Health Association is nothing of that kind. The state has nothing to do with it. Merely a number of Government employees have come together voluntarily, agreed to pay regular monthly fees, and to employ physicians to care for their health needs and attend them in illness. The same sort of thing has been done in England and other European countries for many years. It obviously rests on the same basis as the voluntary hospital insurance plan which we have found so satisfactory in North Carolina (except that a Government agency did put up the money to get GHA started), and is much the same as the employment of the company doctor by various corporations. And isn't it plain that when the medical societies set out to deny doctors who accept employment with the GHA the right to practice in hospitals, to deprive them of full professional status by expelling them from the societies, etc., they are undertaking to deny the right of the public to form such voluntary associations?

We think they have no such right as that. On the contrary, group medicine seems to be about the only way out for the large proportion of the population which is at present unable to pay any of the cost of sickness. And when such rights are claimed, the Washington medical societies and the AMA are only prejudicing their case with the public. If they are to remain outside the Sherman Act, as they ought to remain, the doctors must recognize that the public also has rights.

Unappreciated Efforts

The dispatches from Berlin report that the Nazi Government is gravely disappointed over Mr. Bumble's speech in Commons Monday. They like, do these Nazis, his declaration that he is going right on appeasing them, and naturally enough seeing that "appeasement" has so far meant giving them all their way. But they are sorely oppressed and saddened by his statement that he is still "waiting for a sign" from them that they are "willing to make their contribution for the peace..."

Commentators close to the Foreign Office cited as the latest German contribution the peaceful settlement of the Czecho-Slovak crisis and Chancellor Hitler's voluntary signature of the Anglo-German anti-war declaration at Munich.--Associated Press.

Well, it is easy to understand that the Nazi patience must be wearing a little thin after seeing such heroic efforts for peace going unappreciated. But let them contain themselves for yet awhile and go on patiently trying. For instance, they might very well make a constructive gesture toward a peaceful settlement of the colonial question by congregating all their bombing planes at, say, Dusseldorf, and giving Bumble 24 hours in which to hand over all the colonies England took from Germany after the war, and any others they may happen to want, under penalty of having London turned into another and greater Barcelona. And in addition they might voluntarily propose and sign an agreement never to take a part of England south of the Thames. Even unreasonable and unappreciative old Mr. Bumble could probably be brought by these means to grasping the fact that at last he had his sign.


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