This week’s obscure English word is fiacre. It’s a seventeenth century word meaning a smallish four-wheeled carriage, available for hire, and is derived from the name of the Hotel de St Fiacre, in Paris. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018 Advertisements
I recently read Stephen Baxter’s The Massacre of Mankind, the official sequel to H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Back in the day there were a fair number of unofficial sequels to Wells’ classic – mostly involving the intrepid Brits inventing spacecraft and heading off to Mars to give those rotten old Martians a … More Mars attacks – 1920 style
I have never really understood why people like nineteenth century opera. You know, those bombastic audio-torture events that feature singers making the kind of noises you’d expect from someone who’s just had particularly delicate body part slammed in a door. Usually the songs involve an obese soprano waddling out on stage looking like a giant … More Why I think opera is a kind of audio torture
This week’s obscure English word is droob. It’s a derogatory slang description of a person, originating in 1930s Australia. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018
These days synthesisers are amazing instruments, often using technologies derived from computing – or existing only as software with the only hardware being a separate keyboard controller. That wasn’t always so. The commercial synths of the 1960s were built around analog hardware that played just one note at a time, like a wind instrument. By … More When was the first fully polyphonic synthesiser released?
The other week I was confronted in a supermarket by another customer who appeared out of nowhere, boiling with anger and screaming at me to apologise to them. It turned out my trolley had accidentally touched theirs, some time earlier. It happens a lot in supermarkets, but to this customer it was a mortal insult, … More A disturbing lesson about human aggression
This week’s obscure English word is ductule. It means a very small or miniature duct. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018