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English evolution, from rooves to roofs

Originally posted January 2012 Disclaimer: I’m not an etymologist, word historian or linguist; just a curious wordsmith with a pedantic streak and I willingness to trawl the net for a couple of hours when things bug me. This blog post

Posted in Etymology, Words and language Tagged with:

Wedding tackle and the like – some interesting facts

First published December 2011 After  my post pooh and shite, tits and funbags, it just makes sense to tackle, well the “tackle”. Family jewels Long story short, the Etymology Dictionary Online attributes the “family” bit to a play on words

Posted in Etymology, Words and language Tagged with:

British English is dying

First posted November 2012 I’m in physical pain writing this, but its time that I came to terms with the fact that British English is a dying language. I’ve clung desperately to -our, -ise and -re endings for three decades,

Posted in Random thoughts, UK vs US, Words and language

5 words I don’t want to hear in 2012

Originally posted December 2011 It’s the season for Words of the Year, but as regular readers know I tend to go against the trend, just because I can. So, I’m not going to extol the virtues of any particular word

Posted in Better content, Content strategy, Words and language Tagged with:

Letters vs numbers. What comes after j?

Originally posted December 2011 Spot quiz What number comes after 7? What number comes before 254,67? What letter comes after j? What letter comes before q? I’m a corporate communicator. I earn my living working with words; words made up

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language

A few letters make all the difference: prefixes and suffixes

English is a funny language. You can take a simple word and add a few letters at the start or finish and completely change the meaning, or if you want, build an idea that defies dictionaries but not the mechanics

Posted in Words and language Tagged with:

You can’t negate a noun

Originally posted October 2011 I will maintain until I die, or someone proves me wrong, that the expression ”I have no bananas” is just grammatical nonsense. I’m not picking bananas in particular, but any phrase that includes ”have no” in

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language Tagged with:

I worry about a future without words

Eventually, one day, if evolution and sci-fi movies are anything to go by, we will be communicating telepathically. So there is a scenario where grandparents will be saying, sorry, I mean thinking, “You kids have it easy. In my day

Posted in Random thoughts, Words and language

Pooh, shite, tits and arse – some interesting facts

Originally posted October 2011 This blog started out as a look at etymology. Then I discovered that penis (yes, I do seem a little obsessed) only entered English in relatively recent times and before that we called the male member

Posted in Etymology, Words and language

Sorry, I’ve been wrong about collective nouns

Originally posted September 2011 Would seem that I owe sports journalists worldwide an apology: you aren’t singlehandedly destroying English after all. For more than 20 years I’ve been haranguing sports writers for making it acceptable to use plural verbs with

Posted in UK vs US, Words and language Tagged with: ,

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