David Thompson


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April 27, 2009


John D

What's a stank?


Stank sometimes means pond. I suppose by extension that a place in the drains where water collects might be a "stank". However I think this is rather contorted. I think it more likely that the writer meant "someone was at the [source of the] st[i]nk..."


Regarding the phrase, I suspect that many people faced with admitting to the media something like
1. "We used to go to the pub together all the time"
2. "A great bloke to invite to parties - full of stories"
3. "Looked after my mum when she was ill - brought her shopping, fed the cat"
would judge better of it and say they didn't know him.

James S

"He kept himself to himself" = "He didn't tell *me* he was going to carve up Mrs Wilson."

Andrea Harris

We use that phrase in America too. Usually, though, it's meant as a mild compliment, meaning "he or she never bothered anyone" and was generally respectful and polite. I don't see it used much in news articles, though. Usually they'll just say "he kept to himself."


Also in America, the phrase "he was a loner" is popular in these instances. I imagine rather than constructed opinion, this could just be generalizing from personal experience.

If I didn't know him very well (and I'm such a wonderfully social person), no one else must have either, therefore, he "kept to himself", "was the quiet type", "shy", or "a loner". Of course the person in question may have plenty of friends who are just keeping to themselves to avoid the interminable questions from the media.

Wm T Sherman


A White House 747, alternate for Air Force One, does low-altitude passes over lower Manhatttan, trailed by two F-16 fighters.



It was for a photo op.

"Louis Caldera, a former Secretary of the Army who runs the White House Military Office, took the blame" i.e. fell on his sword.


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