With the weather forecast promising the imminent start of that perennial favourite British summer pastime, watching rain fall at Wimbledon, let’s do some tennis etymology, shall we? Tennis The obvious starting point is actually a slightly tricky one: the most likely derivation is that it comes from the Medieval French te’netz, meaning receive, a call… Continue reading Anyone for sphairistike?
Originally posted on Ida Auclond:
Repetitions can take different shapes: multiple occurrences of the same word, synonyms, pleonasms, redundancies. When used wisely, repetitions can be an interesting stylistic device. When used unwisely, they can severely harm the elegance of your text. The easiest repetitions to spot are the multiple occurrences of the same word (or…
The website justtraveling.com have compiled the above intriguing map showing the brand colours and slogans used by national tourism boards across the world: the original, interactive version is here, and is well worth a look. While the choices of brand colour are certainly intriguing, varying as they do from the logical (Canada goes for the… Continue reading A world of slogans
At work this week an email was sent to myself and a colleague which read: It would be great if you could chase this contractor report Daniel through the college As I wrote in my post on the subject of the Oxford comma, the purpose of punctuation is help your reader, and if it doesn’t… Continue reading On commas
There was an article on the BBC News website this morning about the use of jargon in the NHS. The Plain English Campaign (PEC) suggests that the NHS is deliberately using confusing jargon to prevent the public from understanding what is going on in the public service. I will say up front that I have… Continue reading Sticky toffee pudding and other NHS jargon
No, not that sort of colourful language. (Although – did you know that random typographical symbols to indicate swearing without actually swearing has a name? It’s called a ‘grawlix’. Thanks to the estimable (and entertainingly foul-mouthed) Strong Language blog for that little gem.) This is more of an annex to my two-part post on the… Continue reading Colourful language
Most people will by now have seen the story about a debated Oxford comma that won a group of Maine delivery drivers the right to overtime payments. (An Oxford or serial comma is the one used before the words “and” or “or” in a list of three or more things. Some people argue that it… Continue reading What’s the difference between a cat and a comma?