This week’s obscure English word – well, in this case, a term – is hapax legomenon. It means a word that appears but once in a particular work. I used to put such things into my books, on occasion. Nobody ever noticed (go on – buy up my back-list and start searching, I double-dog dare … More The obscure word of the week is hapax legomenon
Apparently the way to land when falling from a great height is to come down on one knee and a fist in a ‘three-point’ landing, then pause dramatically for everybody to admire your sudden entrance to save the day. Superheroes do it, so it must be the way, right? I guess if you’re invulnerable, maybe. … More Don’t try the three-point superhero landing, OK?
This week’s obscure English word is whiffle. It means the sound made by a sword whipping through the air. To me it is somehow disconnected from the action. Whiffle is such a fluffy sort of word. Not the kind of word that might then be followed by one such as ‘thunk’, ‘clang’, or, potentially, ‘splurch’. … More The obscure word of the week is whiffle
This week governments around the world have suddenly unleashed the fiscal faucets and begun pouring money into their economies. The idea is that this will, at least in part, offset the crushing economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and – if targeted properly – will help those in need. This surely must be why we … More Covid-19 and the economic rescue packages
This week’s obscure English word is mytacism. It’s a term referring to speech, specifically over-use of the sound ‘m’. Originally it was applied in the ancient world, but today it’s probably useful when people make irritating ‘mmmmmmm’ noises while eating. Your challenge: write a sentence or two in the comments using this word. Copyright © … More The obscure word of the week is mytacism
I am beginning to wonder whether the real nature of humanity is not care or nurture, but psychotic violence. It’s not just the relentless streams of the latter that flow past me in the news. It’s something I discovered directly, the other week. I was in my home town of Napier, taking a photo of … More Are humans really just violent, psychotic apes?
This week’s obscure English word is persiflage. It means engaging in witty banter. You know (just to channel Monty Python for a moment): “I say, Wrigglesworth, bally Jerry just gave the Pongoes a bit of old stick, what”. “What was that, Algy?” “Bally Jerry just popped one on the Pongoes.” “I’m sorry, old chap, I’m … More The obscure word of the week is persiflage