For those readers under 40, and we know you’re out there, that was a Seinfeld reference. And yes, Seinfeld is better than The Office. But even Seinfeld defers to The Andy Griffith Show.
Like many of you surely did, I spent the holidays in George mode. Coooo-staaan-za!
That came to a screeching halt on the first Monday of the new year, of course. Back to reality and all. But these days, business casual seems to be slipping ever so closer to George and his sweats. Remote working, dress codes becoming more casual, hipster (dufus) office environments… Each leading to a redefining of contemporary work attire.
Even in the finest local haberdasheries, you’ll see fewer suits nowadays. Inside this issue, we take a look at some of the state’s prominent men’s clothiers and those trends shaping the Arkansas workspace.
It never made much sense to me why society insisted on men wearing suits and ties to work in climates that made doing so almost unbearable. But one thing’s for sure — the suit does indeed make the man. And in the case of me and George, so do the sweats.
The impact of Sam Pittman on the Razorback football program, and by extension the entire state, perhaps can’t be measured. The 2020 season ended on a down note, sure. The Hogs — players, coaches, trainers, equipment staff — were preparing to board the bus for the airport on Dec. 29 when word came down that the Texas Bowl scheduled for New Year’s Eve had been canceled due to a COVID outbreak among TCU players.
Despite that disappointment, and the reality of playing what some considered the toughest-ever college football schedule coming off the worst run in program history, hope was restored on the Hill. The Hogs won three games against an all-SEC slate, breaking a long conference-game losing streak in the process and re-establishing Arkansas football as something other than an afterthought.
And they did so because of Pittman. Recognized this month as one of AMP’s 2021 Influencers of the Year, Pittman displayed the hallmarks of great leadership in his first season as head Hog, something that had been sorely missing.
To recap, he surrounded himself with a great staff and gave it the autonomy to do its job; believed in the players he inherited, players many so-called experts had written off as not good enough; motivated his players to be better; never passed the buck; and perhaps most importantly, truly wanted to be here. In other words, Pittman led.
Substitute players for employees and ask, can every business leader say the same? Inside, we’re proud to recognize 25 of those kinds of Arkansas leaders.
To what should be the surprise of no one, the Oxford dictionary estimates the English language has more words than any other non-agglutinative terrestrial tongue. Agglutinative languages, I’ve learned, are those that contain many morphemes (word roots, stems and affixes, for example) woven together in long strings of indefinite length. Examples of languages based in the process of agglutination include Finnish, Korean, Swahili and Turkish.
While English speakers may not take as long to express themselves as agglutinative linguists, energy vampires notwithstanding, we certainly have plenty of words from which to choose when expressing a simple thought or idea.
For example, several English words could describe the dreamily darkening period just before sunset. Dusk, evening and twilight, of course, are tried-and-true choices. Can’t beat Les Brown’s (and later, the Platters’) “Twilight Time,” after all.
But then again, there’s our Word of the Month, that Scottish masterpiece, gloaming.
Though it lends itself to a Stephen King title, gloaming actually is an Old English-turned-Scottish noun meaning evening twilight or dusk. Scots of old — and presumably, contemporary ones as well — occasionally used gloaming to refer to “morning twilight,” otherwise known as dawn. Just as day’s end delivers that midsummer night’s dance represented by the gloaming, its equivalent exists, just as dreamily, pre-dawn.
According to the Scottish literary blog The Bottle Imp, gloaming is derived from the Old English glomung. But the word appeared to slip out of English use in the 12th century. From the blog:
It is first recorded [in Scotland] in fifteenth-century texts; a reference to ‘the glomyng of the nycht’ is found in the Original Chronicle of Scotland, and in Robert Henryson’s The Preiching of the Swallow, the bat (and man’s soul) ‘in the gloming cummis furth to fle’.
Seems the Scots picked up the gloaming and ran with it. Some into the dawn, some into the night…
Now, about that word, agglutination, surely worthy of its own month. It’s derived, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, from the Latin agglutinare, a verb meaning “to glue together.” English can be messy indeed, but at least it’s not sticky by definition.
As always, thanks for reading. Thanks for sticking with us through 2020. Our sincere hope is that readers made it through an unusual year with as little loss as possible. Here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2021. Hit me up with comments, suggestions or story ideas at [email protected].