Plain English Campaign

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by the word “action” as a verb, or struggled to understand a sentence that tries to replace every common day word with a technical-sounding equivalent, then this is the campaign for you: Plain English.

You may also be heartened to hear that guidance was issued to councils in 2009 banning a list of words and phrases felt to be used as meaningless jargon.

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The language of hate

“My own memory fault is that I think I remember a time when if a politician said something unacceptable, he or she was called out on it, and this was reflected by the subsequent coverage. In that sense the media acted as a check to keep our democratic discourse in balance. However, like the animals, my recollection is hazy. I could be wrong.”
Full article HERE.

Cat Communication

It’s not just humans who converse. Many animals use different sounds and stances in communication, including cats.

The Wikipedia article on the subject is thorough in respect of cats “talking” to other cats and making noises while hunting, in heat, or other potentially solo activities.

It is lighter on the content on animal to human communication. This article J as more on that subject, again only about cats. Apparently cats don’t really use meows with one another, but do for humans.

I can’t help but image that they’re so fed up of us not “understanding” that they want more food and to be let out, that they’ve resorted to the cat equivalent of shouting…

Periodic Table Of Swearing

Modern Toss are a British (Brighton-based) duo, whose irreverent comedy has won them fans of their comic strips, greetings cards and the like.

I have their Periodic Table Of Swearing as a fridge magnet (each “element” is a separable magnet, but I kept them all together for convenience!), and it always gets a laugh from guests. If sensitive eyes are coming round, I cover it in postcards……..

Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday: A Celebratory Dictionary

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. In commemoration, Oxford English Dictionary have published a dictionary of his invented words.

Contemporary English owes a lot to Shakespeare (including generous, lonely and majestic!), and I love the idea that in another 100 years, our descendants will all be peppering their language with “Dahl-isms”. Admittedly most of his inventions are of a less practical nature than The Bards’, but for emphasis (especially when excluding swears from your vocabulary), Dahl offers some absolute corkers.
After all, who *doesn’t* want to tell friends that they’re fizz-whizzing, or foes that they’re froth-buggling?!

Love Songs As Essays

I’m as guilty as the next person of bopping along to a new song without paying attention to the words beyond knowing which syllables to sound out if I want to sing along (and even then, not always successfully… for years, I thought that Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean was a song about frilly jeans – not joking).

But when I manage to sit down and listen to the words, I often find that the bands for whom I have a lot of time (read: will buy an album without having heard half of it already, will pick them in a clash between two or more bands at a festival, etc.) are the ones that are clearly putting in the hours when it comes to songwriting.

Today, I’d like to look at some love songs that go way beyond “I love you, baby”. Continue reading “Love Songs As Essays”