Dedicated readers of the Word Nerd column might remember that five years ago I explained that, lexicographically, at least, there is no debate that the egg preceded the chicken.
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Whereas all agree that a rose is a flower, it is not as clear what to call a tomato.
I first became aware of a penchant for political verbal diarrhea back in 1993. CBC journalist, Hana Gartner, was interviewing then Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.
It was 1931 when American architect Alfred Butts joined the bulging ranks of the unemployed. There just weren’t many buildings being erected so Butts decided to construct something else – a game for adults.
As this year marks the centenary of the commencement of First World War, it occurs to me that one of the reasons for the immense popularity of the television series Downton Abbey derives from the dynamic era it displayed in earlier seasons. During the helter-skelter years of WWI great social […]
Harris Academy, a girls’ high school in South London, wasn’t impressed by the manner its students were rendering the language of Shakespeare. To wit, last October it banned the use of slang by students throughout most of the institution. School principal Chris Everitt introduced this list of eight forbidden words […]
Fewer than one-third of English words stem from the original Anglo-Saxon word stock and to some extent the language’s ascendancy lies in the internationality of its words. Even with its grammatical irregularities and illogical pronunciation and spelling, English is best suited to be the world’s bridge tongue because of its […]
“I don’t know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it.” White House Press Secretary Tony Snow July 5, 2007, in reference to Bill Clinton’s criticism of George Bush for pardoning Scooter Lobby, given that Clinton spent his final hours as president issuing 140 pardons […]
“To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness.” ~ Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest I recalled this droll quip that highlights the inexact language associated with death after listening to a CBC podcast titled “A Word About the […]