This week’s obscure English word is herptile. It’s a noun meaning a reptile or amphibian, derived from ‘herpetology’, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018 Advertisements
One of my pet peeves is the way logic is misused in some social media. It happens a lot, as far as I can tell on the subjective evidence of my Facebook feed. The way it works is like this. Somebody comes up with a postulate about something specific, which they then use to ‘disprove’ … More How social media deceives you with fake logic
This week’s obscure English word is cocky. It’s not obscure in some senses; according to the OED its meaning, first used in the eighteenth century, means someone who’s ‘conceited or confident in a bold and cheeky way’ (as in, maybe, someone who trademarks the term). However, it was derived originally from a sixteenth century term … More The obscure word of the week is cocky
Do adjectives and adverbs have a place in non-fiction writing? Maybe. Used properly, adjectives and their annoying relations, adverbs, render the mundane into something extraordinary – specifically because, if controlled, they evoke emotions in readers. Control is essential: use the wrong adjectives and you reduce the work to ‘telling’, whereas what you’re trying to do … More Do adjectives and adverbs have a place in non-fiction writing?
Apparently a small storm’s brewed in the US over an author who, according to the Guardian, trademarked the word ‘cocky’ and has approached other authors to remove it from their book titles. According to the OED the word means ‘conceited or confident in a bold and cheeky way’, though I can think of a few … More I want to trademark all the vowels except ‘u’
This week’s obscure English word is serac. It means the ridge at the top of a glacier. Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two) in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018
Arthur C. Clarke’s A Fall of Moondust (1962) impressed me for lot of reasons when I first read it. The book still does – not least because, seven years before the first Moon landings, he predicted (a) that the only life found on the Moon would be bacteria retrieved from human-built probes, and (b) the … More The writers who predicted the future