Here’s an acronym for our times: PEBKAC. It’s probably happened to you at some point, and you’re lucky if it hasn’t. But it probably will… Continue reading
“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.”
Back in 2013, the one-and-only Jay-Z dropped his hyphen and decided to become known by his two names. (See Glosso’s earlier post, “Jay Z no longer mononymous”.) Then, four years later, he popped the hyphen back in, and returned to his one-named identity (see “The Return of Jay-Z’s hyphen“.) Today, another unique rapper has done the same thing and assumed a single moniker. In Kanye West’s case, he has become “Ye.” Continue reading
Vranyo – “Pioneered by the Soviets and perfected by Putin, this is a special word in Russia which means telling a barefaced lie which you do not expect anyone to believe.” — The Sun, UK
“When I recently opened The New York Times and saw Vladimir Putin … walking out of the Black Sea with two nearly intact ancient amphorae in his hands, the vranyo alarm went off. … The smell of vranyo was so strong I had to put down the paper. … Putin was lying to us, we knew he was lying, he knew we knew he was lying, but he kept lying anyway, and we pretended to believe him.” — Elena Gorokhova in the New York Times, 2011 Continue reading
It wasn’t widely reported, but The Queen recently made a boo-boo in this year’s official Ascot program(me). “International competition is a compelling feature in the modem era,” she wrote in her foreword. Maybe Buck P hasn’t yet discovered wifi. Or, more likely, one of her young scribes hasn’t yet mastered the art of cursive writing…
The Times picked up the story in its Royal Ascot Diary.
I guess we all learned something new yesterday, thanks to a certain headline … Continue reading
Exactly a year after the historic Brexit referendum, a British MP looks likely to achieve her goal of seeing another major change in citizenship in Europe — in a popular English expression. A bill has been steered through Parliament by the Conservative MP for Anglebury, Avril Berner, who has called for the expression “French leave” — meaning “absence from work or duty without permission” (OED) — to be changed to “English leave” in dictionaries and school textbooks throughout the UK. In a four-page document, which was reported by Parliament Today to have reached Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s signature on Thursday, the anniversary of the landmark 2017 vote, Berner argued that the word French has no business holding its place in standard British English, especially as the island nation continues to negotiate its economic and legal separation from the European mainland. Interestingly, the French equivalent for the phrase is “filer a l’anglaise” — meaning literally “to leave English-style”. The nearly 250-year-old phrase “French leave” is first recorded in 1771.
Other English terms that contain the names of European nationalities are:
- Spanish fly: an aphrodisiac, made from the dried blood of Spanish beetles
- Dutch cap: a contraceptive diaphragm
- French letter: another contraceptive, a condom