This week’s obscure English word is partive. It’s the technical name of a phrase containing a grammatic construction that refers to only part of something, such as ‘a slice of bread’. Your challenge: write a sentence about something partive in the comments. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2019 Advertisements
This week’s obscure English word is paraprosdokian. It’s the name of a figure of speech that has ironic juxtaposition: the last part isn’t expected. Groucho Marx was very good at them: ‘I had a great day… but this wasn’t it.’ Your challenge: write a paraprosdokian in the comments. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2019
One of the great mysteries of the universe – which I’ve never really understood – is how everyday life always seems to kick up adverse challenges out of nowhere. I can’t ever get carparks or go anywhere that might form a queue without something happening to make it difficult. Every time. 1. I’ll often look … More Is the universe out to get me? Why yes!
This week’s obscure English word is labile. It means something is easily alterable and is often used in context of mood. Your challenge: write a sentence or two in the comments using this word. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2019
I made some lifetime friends when I was at Napier’s Tamatea High School in the late 1970s. I caught up with one of them a week or two back and had a bit of a chat about those days, a time when ‘the word’ was ‘Grease’ and few knew that Becker and Fagan had named … More ‘Half of you will pass’: my old high school’s pre-exam morale booster
This week’s obscure English word is adoxography. It means fine and praiseworthy writing on a subject that is fairly trivial or meaningless. Apparently in the Elizabethan period, schoolchildren were taught writing in this style. I think it’s a wonderfully evocative word. Thanks to Tom Burkhalter for the heads-up about this one. Your challenge: write a … More The obscure word of the week is adoxography
Available in bookshops nationwide. Like an electrocardiograph, Matthew Wright’s Waitangi, A Living Treaty plots the peaks and troughs of the Treaty of Waitangi’s beating heart. It is the story of the living Treaty as an idea, rather than of the ink or the words on the paper. Wright unravels the strands of the Treaty’s DNA…