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Green Great Dragon

(Warning: this blog contains colourful language.) Words and their order play such a vital part in any language. Everyone knows that English goes subject-verb-object, and  that you can only bounce a ball, but you cannot a ball bounce, unless speaking cryptically. One day, there was a small boy. Ever the aspiring writer, he wrote a […]

Woody or tinny?

Gawwwwwn… GAAAAAWN… It’s got a sort of woody quality about it. Gawwwwn… Much better than ‘newspaper’ or ‘litter bin’. Ugh, newspaper… litter bin…Dreadful tinny sort of words! Tin, tin, TIN! Now, I’d better stop saying ‘tin’ before I upset Becky. The other day on Facebook, a good friend of mine posted this skit from Monty […]

Evolution in Terms

(This blog contains colourful language.) Oftentimes, we like to believe that the past was a simpler, easier place to live. Nothing could possibly top the past. People put more emphasis on their family, crime rates were lower, grammar was used with higher proficiency, and the general population excreted diamonds according to some accounts. Putting aside […]

How to Make Your Own Word

(Caution: the following blog contains colourful language.) Me: ‘You can find the syllabuses online at…’ Wisearse Student: ‘Isn’t it “syllabi”?’ Me: ‘I do believe that I am speaking English, not Latin. Should I also start saying “military baseis” instead of “military bases” and conjugating every Latinate verb in accordance with Latin grammar rules?’ Nothing irritates […]

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

I can definitely see how the book became a NYT bestseller. David Bello is an extraordinarily interesting chap, because he can make translation and the process of translation not only easy to understand for non-translators but also interesting for everybody. As both a translator, and a lover of languages, this definitely strikes a (tender) chord.

Etymology of “tea” // Etymology of “lemon”

Originally posted on A Bit of White Light:
Here is a description of the etymology of the word “tea” from The Oxford English Dictionary: “= French thé, Spanish te, Italian tè, Dutch and German thee, Danish, Swedish te, modern Latin thea; < (perhaps through Malay te, teh) Chinese, Amoy dialect te, in Fuchau tiä =…

Whistle us up some wine, will you?

How many times have you been to a carnival or fete where filthy little urchins run around with those homicidal tendency promoting bird whistles? Me, far too many. Children no doubt waste their parents coin on these devices because they think they will be able to communicate with birds or at least sound like one. […]