what with. This phrase — meaning “in view of,” “in consequence of,” or “considering (one or more specified things)” — dates back to Old English. It begins an adverbial phrase — e.g.: o “This is a city in perpetual health crisis, what with drugs, AIDS, and teenage pregnancy, not to mention the occasional appearance of the West Nile virus or sewage spill into the Jones Falls.” Michael Ollove, “Dr. Baltimore,” Baltimore Sun, 1 Oct. 2000, at E9. o “You wouldn’t want to give the vice president the morning drive shift, what with the danger of him causing freeway commuters to fall asleep at the wheel.” Steve Harvey, “Has Rush Limbaugh Heard?” L.A. Times, 9 Dec. 2000, at B4. o “Once, Mussina was told, the Yankees were a difficult sell, what with a wild card of an owner and instability on the roster and in the managerial and coaching ranks.” Tom Verducci, “Winning Pitch Sure,” Sports Illustrated, 11 Dec. 2000, at 60. For information about the Language-Change Index click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Do not leave punctuation up to the editor or copyreader. Make a point of focusing on it and being firm on where you want a certain mark. For the purpose of clarity, it is advisable to know the purpose of your punctuation — to know what you want to separate from what.” Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction 103 (1969; Robert Mayhew ed., 2001).