Caxton is a new blog about language from Barrie England, an Oxford graduate who has studied English literature, foreign languages, and older varieties of English. It is named after printing pioneer William Caxton, who, as Barrie writes, ...
score: 1 about 8 hours ago
Remember Story Bud?, the video of Irish slang and colloquialisms I shared here in February? Director Jenny Keogh has filmed a second clip, How’s About Ye?, in the same style, and it’s great fun altogether. There are on-screen gloss...
score: 1 2 days ago
To keep at bay the ever-present danger of running out of things to read on the internet, here’s a selection of language-related links I’ve enjoyed in recent weeks. For hardboiled hacks and editors: Grammarnoir 5. How pointing makes babie...
score: 1 3 days ago
Anyone who has spent some time online, especially in forums or social media where chat and debate predominate, is likely to have come across references to Godwin’s Law, created by Mike Godwin in 1990: As an online discussion grows longer...
score: 1 3 days ago
The word fulsome is used quite regularly by public figures in Ireland, often politicians promising or demanding apologies. Whenever this happens, it is criticised as an “incorrect” usage: see for example this letter to the Irish Times, w...
score: 1 6 days ago
I have two more posts up at Macmillan Dictionary Blog. Inspiring etymology is a brief survey of breath-related words and phrases, anatomical and metaphorical, including the familiar constellation of terms arising from spirare: Both inspi...
score: 1 9 days ago
The Chicago Tribune had a brief article in January on baby naming trends, specifically the practice of naming children after places. It mentions the importance of timing: “Fashionable names risk a kairos problem,” says speech...
score: 1 12 days ago
Last month I wrote about the dramatic, grammatic evolution of LOL,  referring to two talks on texting by linguist John McWhorter in which he describes LOL’s shift from straightforward initialism (“laughing out loud”) to pragmatic p...
score: 1 17 days ago
Last month I wrote about the dramatic, grammatic evolution of LOL,  referring to two talks on texting by linguist John McWhorter in which he describes LOL’s shift from straightforward initialism (“laughing out loud”) to pragmatic p...
score: 1 17 days ago
Alice Taylor’s Quench the Lamp is a warm and funny memoir of her childhood in rural Cork in the 1940s, full of anecdotes and observations on farm activities, family dramas, eccentric neighbours, and Irish life before and after electrific...
score: 1 18 days ago