Chortle, chuckle and laughing out loud

“Chortle” is classic journalese: a word you never hear spoken in daily conversation, but only used in printed media. A dictionary definition is: “v. to chuckle throatily, and n. a snorting, joyful chuckle.” So we check the definition of chuckle, also classic journalese: “n. to laugh quietly or to oneself, and n. a quiet laugh of mild amusement or satisfaction.”

What brings this up is an editorial in The Boston Globe, April 30, 2018, about Mainers questioning a proposed 145-mile-long, 1,200 megawatt capacity high voltage transmission line across Maine to carry Quebec hydro power to Massachusetts. The Globe writes: “Somewhere — in New Hampshire, to be exact — proponents of Northern Pass are chortling. That rival transmission project through the Granite State was the state’s first choice but became a lightning rod for controversy.”

Instead, The Boston Globe proposes speeding up permits for offshore wind power to deliver those 1,200 megawatts. Now that’s something that anyone with the slightest knowledge of physics, electricity, weather and economics wouldn’t chortle or chuckle over, but give it a roaring laugh out loud.

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