I read a review in the paper yesterday that Ralph Keyes has published a new book The Hidden History of Coined Words. For those who don’t know Keyes, he is a popular American author of books that fall into the genre I refer to as brain erotica – popular non-fiction works that deal significantly with … Continue reading New book by Ralph Keyes
This recent headline in the New York Times caught my eye. Trigger Warning: Fair citizens of Wilmington Delaware, before I continue, please allow the following clarification. The views of the New York Times regarding your city do not reflect my own. I have never been to Wilmington and have no opinion regarding your city’s degree … Continue reading How many makes a plural?
Living languages constantly change. New words and phrases enter a language and old ones are forgotten. Often adaptations are gradual but occasionally a new phrase, like WTF (see the above Google NGram), quickly burst into a language and even infiltrate other languages. When observing the development of my first language – American English – I … Continue reading WTF I need you to understand is…
Although English only has around 370 million speakers who consider it their first language, 900 million additional people speak it as a second tongue. This makes English both the most widely spoken and most widely abused language on the planet. As anglicisms and half-anglicisms continue to encroach on other languages, odd and often humorous, linguistic … Continue reading Inappropriate English