Image credit: drbrd.com The other day, while wandering aimlessly down the dusty by-roads of the internet, I found myself reading an article on Esperanto. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Esperanto is a “constructed language” which means it has been deliberately created rather than, as with other languages, having evolved naturally from our Neanderthal gruntings and nether-scratchings.
The rationale behind constructed languages is twofold:...
[ Read More ]Arse Sum!
23 Mar 2015
I’ve mentioned before my long-standing abhorrence of the use of the non-word ‘Solutions’ in the corporate world and the red mist still descends, every time I see it. Of late however it has been replaced in my odium by an even more irritating word: “Awesome”.
Like most of the world’s major irritations, the use of the word ‘awesome’ as the ‘no-brain-required’ default adjective to describe anything which causes the slightest degree of pleasure whatsoever, started with the ‘Merkins....
[ Read More ]Let's Parler Bilge
02 Jan 2006
For as long as I can remember [about as far back as last Wednesday], I’ve had a strange -one might almost say “manic”- compulsion to mess around with words; change their pronunciation, meaning etc. and generally fuck about wi’ the language so much that I end up having a large swathe of vocabulary or pet phrases that are only intelligible to myself and whichever unfortunates have to bear my company for any extended period of time....
[ Read More ]'Yes' and 'Mister' Are the Hardest Words of All
29 May 2005
Isn’t it funny how, no matter how fluently a ‘foreigner’ in a TV drama or a film speaks English, they never seem to master the words for “Yes” and “No” or “Mister” “Miss” and “Missus”?
“Mais oui, Monsieur. The murderer was obviously expecting us to be taken in by the deceptive simplicity of his diabolically executed scheme” [Hercules Poirot].
“Sí Señor. I will tell the Señora that you wish to discuss the matter further at a mutually convenient time” [Any stereotyped sweaty, greasy, hand-wringing ‘Spic’ hotel manager in a Film Noir]....
[ Read More ]Why Do They Say 'Literally' When They Mean 'Figuratively'?
27 May 2005
This seems to be a disease endemic amongst the journalistic classes, but seems particularly prevalent amongst sports commentators.
”…He quite literally skinned the defender…” ”…the keeper literally performed miracles between the sticks…” ”…the whole town of Aintree quite literally comes to a standstill for this race…” ”…he’s literally been driving by the seat of his pants for the past two laps…” and so on and so forth. Such sloppy grammar....
[ Read More ]