Author Archives: Louise

Old-fashioned journo jargon

UPDATE, Nov 5: see a new entry – cock-up – below, brought to Glosso’s attention on our Facebook page.

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The world of journalism is changing — fast. Not just in terms of who is writing (or no longer writing) about what on which platform or outlet: it’s how and by what means the words travel logistically from the writer’s mind to the reader’s eye. And along with that shifting means of transport comes a whole new constantly-changing language. Let’s take a nostalgic journey back to the old-fashioned days of journalism when red pens, paper galleys, metal rules, fax and telex machines, telephones and glue sticks ruled the newsroom. Some of the old jargon from that time still floats around today, but mainly only in the dusty minds of us old scribes and subs … Continue reading

Dead & quite: How two intensifiers behave on either side of the pond

First of all, what exactly is an “intensifier,” in grammatical terms? It’s an adverb or adverbial phrase that gives the adjective it precedes extra force or emphasis. (Intensifiers are actually a particular type of what we call a “sub-modifier”: an adverb used in front of an adjective — or another adverb — to modify its meaning.) British or American, we use standard intensifiers all the time: absolutelycompletely, extremely, highly, rather, really, so, too, totally, utterly, very. And most of these “very variations” are used the same way on both sides of the Atlantic. But not all: there are in fact a couple of exceptions, one of which is quite ambiguous … Continue reading

Porsche needs a proofreader

“Driver’s luxury $120,000 Porsche Cayenne has a VERY obvious mistake … So is it a fake?” So the Daily Mail reported yesterday. “A Porsche Australia spokesman told Daily Mail Australia the company was pretty certain the incorrect spelling of the badge was not a manufacturing error.  ‘Our attention to detail and quality control is second to none so I can’t envisage that happening on our end,’ he said.”

“Just to be safe,” the Daily Mail goes on to suggest, “drivers who have own a Porsche Cayenne should probably take a moment to double check their new ride isn’t sporting a spelling error.”

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Twit or tw*t? (Warning: explicit – but only for Americans …)

He was allowed to use the word arse last week on the Graham Norton Show, but when Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean) chose another word synonymous with idiot to finish up his story (see 2:05 in the video above), BBC America roundly expunged it. BLEEP! I’m guessing that when the show aired originally in the UK a few days earlier, the four-letter word didn’t raise a single British eyebrow — let alone set off the censors’ bells. Speakers of American-English: read on at your peril … Continue reading

Intent or intention? Exhibit or exhibition?

Do you ever hear people saying the word intent or exhibit — and think there should surely be an “-ion” on the end of it? “You mean that was your intention rather than your intent?” “Are you talking about a whole exhibition, rather than a single exhibit?” Well this might well happen if you’re an Englishman abroad (i.e. on the other side of the pond), where you’ll hear exhibit and exhibition used interchangeably these days. Intent and intention have also become similarly synonymous Stateside — and I’m not sure if this is also happening over in the UK. Read what distinguishes — or used to distinguish — the “-ion” version of each noun from its “-ion-less” counterpart. Continue reading