Hat tip to Mary Rose on Facebook for bringing this to Glosso’s attention.
We all vaguely remember those ghastly terms bandied about in our English lessons: the dangling modifier and the subordinating conjunction, the subjunctives and indicatives, direct and indirect articles, a hanging participle, past and pluperfects. Not to mention that sad little gerund. Let’s face it: few of us know what any of them means. So Glosso decided to just pair them up with members of Trump’s family and administration — past and present, perfect or plu-, diacriticals, questioned and statemented, relative or not. The results are fun: when applied to this cast of colorful characters, all those lovely grammatical terms come into their own and spring to life with whole new meanings. See Glosso’s list below of 20 politicians or participles in Trump’s irregular imperfect tense. Enjoy the ride … Continue reading
It’s UK Pun Day, and to celebrate, Glossophilia has chosen some of its favorite punny shops and restaurant names. Enjoy. Continue reading
… when you’re travelling in England: Continue reading
Here’s the last exchange of letters (unpublished) between my late father and The Guardian:
To the Guardian Letters Editor from Sir Brian Barder
I submit the following letter for publication.
I’m intrigued by your description of Brendan Cox as the late MP Jo Cox’s “widow” (caption, National, p15, 23 June). Has “widower” been banned from the Guardian’s pages as offensively gender-specific, and “widow” promoted to gender-neutral status, like “actor”? Or is it a typo?
24 June 2017
Dear Brian,Thank you for your letter which was passed on to us by the Letters desk. In this case widow was a typo. There is no entry in the Guardian and Observer’s style guide for widow/widower; widowers are male and widows are female.Best regards,J.A.Guardian Readers’ editor’s office
Dear J.A.Of course. My enquiry had its tongue deep in its cheek. Someone in your letters department has a sense of humour in need of a refill. I just thought that some Graundia readers might enjoy my letter if it were to be chosen for publication.Anyway, thanks for taking the trouble to reply.Best,Brian
As the great American novelist Philip Roth has recently commented to the New Yorker: “Whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither [Richard Nixon nor George W. Bush] was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English.”
Courtesy Twitter and The Onion.
In honor of the new documentary Weiner, which hits cinemas this week, Glossophilia is re-posting this short essay on the etymology of wiener, which was originally published when Big Weiner was running for mayor … Continue reading