Dripos, in Aussie speak
English is littered with diminutives — commonly abbreviated words — in standard usage. Phone, bike, fridge, gym, typo, photo: they’re all diminutives* in that sense. Sometimes we add a suffix after butchering a word to give it an even more informal feel: think comfy (comfortable), cardie (cardigan), telly (television), and even brolly (umbrella). OK, admittedly those are all British colloquialisms: we Brits [see?] are more prone than our neighbors across the pond to add weeny appendages back in once we’ve sliced off the fatty syllables. (And see Glosso’s earlier post: “I’ll take that with a side of small words.“) But wait: there’s a country that’s even more inclined to hypocorism (yes, that’s what it’s called) than English-speakers on either side of the Atlantic. G’day Aussies! Continue reading
Lewis Carroll / Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a rare Glossophilia quiz for you.
What do these seven authors have in common? If you know, or want to take a guess, please mark in the comments section below. The answer will be posted tomorrow.
Hans Christian Andersen
The answer is that they were all left-handed. Yesterday was International Left-Handed Day.
Santeri Viinamäki / Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking for Cupid’s help online — as most love-seeking singles are inclined to do these days — then you’ve probably encountered some of these common 21st-century dating behaviors up close and personal. Their names are almost as ridiculous as the activities they describe — especially since most of them are gerunds formed from nouns-or-even-proper-names-masquerading-as-verbs. Sigh. Continue reading
“And they’re taking it over bigly.” … “Obamacare kicks in in 2016, really bigly.” … “Mexico is ripping off the United States bigly and we have to do something about it.” Donald Trump likes that word bigly, but is it legit?
Update 9 August 2018: Apparently it was indeed a word back in the late 19th century, as used by a literary great of the time (as illustrated above). It fairly pains me to mention these two men in the same breath. Please note in a comment below if you can guess who that author is … Continue reading
Seen on the C train in Manhattan, July 27, 2019.
Ayers Rock after the rain
Any guesses what it means?
The cover of NY’s “Daily News”, July 17, 2018
What is the difference between treason and treachery? And is treasonous a real word? Continue reading
Seen on the District Line, London, on Tuesday July 10th.“Dew” by Kwame Dawes.
“The stats prove it: England are favourites to win the World Cup!” So proclaimed today’s headline from Wired. But is “England are” correct English usage? Continue reading