Category Archives: Spelling

The language of sex: come one, cum all!

Originally posted in 2013, and then updated last year when it came back into the news … 

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Update: The censored cake … With the word “cum” back in the news today, Glossophilia is happy to republish one of its most popular posts.

The censored cake / Facebook

 

KamaSutra

*  *  Warning: contains strong language *  * Language advisory: viewer discretion advised * *

I was watching Masters of Sex the other night on Showtime, and it struck me that Masters and Johnson were using the word come a lot. And they weren’t meaning the opposite of go. (It didn’t escape my notice that they also seemed to be coming a lot — but that’s another story…) I know these ground-breaking sex researchers of the 1950s and ’60s were famously ahead of their time, but not in their word choices — and their use of this particular piece of sexual terminology sounded weirdly anachronistic to me. I really thought that this word “come” was a more modern invention… Continue reading

A literary “fav” – and a couple of gems – from Meghan Markle

An installment of The Duchess of Sussex’s now defunct lifestyle blog, “The Tig”, has been doing the rounds, thanks to People magazine. Describing in hungry detail what Meghan Markle wrote about five years ago on the subject of “the sweetest tradition [she] can think of,” People quotes liberally from the former actress’s July 2014 post in which she listed her summer literary “favs” and those of some of her Suits co-stars. I caught a couple of little gems in The Duchess’s post — both sparkling prettily in the same paragraph. Can you spot them? (Clue: I wrote about one of them in a very recent Glosso post. The other one just made me giggle.) Here’s the paragraph in question: Continue reading

Historic 8-way tie at national spelling bee

Winners, l to r: Abhijay Kodali, Sohum Sukhatankar, Saketh Sundar, Rishik Gandhasri, Shruthika Padhy, Christopher Serrao, Erin Howard, and Rohan Raja

Last night the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee came to a close just after midnight with a historic eight-way tie.

“A superhuman group of adolescents broke the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, with eight contestants crowned co-champions after the competition said it was running out of challenging words. … It was a stunning result…for the 92nd annual event, which has had six two-way ties but had never before experienced such a logjam at the top. After the 17th round, Jacques Bailly, the event’s pronouncer, announced that any of the eight remaining contestants who made it through three more words would share in the prize.” The New York Times has the story.

The 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee had 565 contestants and was won by eight co-champions who had lasted through 20 rounds.

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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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You say aluminum, I say aluminium

Aluminum. Or aluminium. / Wikimedia Commons

There might be trade war brewing over steel and aluminum. But another trans-Atlantic war has already been raging for a couple of centuries over one of those heavy metals. Which came first: American aluminum or British aluminium? Continue reading