Category Archives: Words and Civilisation

Should these Connotations Always Apply?

Dark Just read any book or film review.  Dark implies deep, complex, fascinating, intelligent, and, therefore, somehow worthy.  I tend to think that dark is just dark.  It’s not good, it’s not bad.  It’s just dark.  But, since we’re on … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “Busy”

As I understand it, it is a medical fact that an allergy is often an intolerance to a substance with which your body is already saturated.  A kind of overflow.  In other words, an allergy is your body’s way of … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “Freedom” and “Rights”

All the news headlines in the country, in the past few days, have mentioned what I understand to be the recent publication, by a French magazine – and now, apparently, also an Irish newspaper – of the Duchess of Cambridge … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “I don’t want to get involved”

A friend and I were walking down the street and saw a woman sitting on a doorstep, crying her eyes out.  “Don’t get involved,” said my friend, picking up the pace.  A few steps further, I let my friend go … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: Coffee Language (Part 2)

For Part 1, please click here. It had been a long day and a late night awaited so, at about five, I ventured into a Central London Starbucks. “Tall, half-shot, wet latte,” I ordered, using the company’s recognised terminology with … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: “Laid-Back”

“Oh, don’t worry,” my friends say about someone I have yet to meet, “he’s very laid-back.” Little do they know that that is when I start worrying. Describe somebody as “laid-back” and I have an inner reaction of tension, irritability … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: My Friend ‘Cox’

I have just acquired a new friend or, perhaps I should say, a new incarnation of an old friend.  My old one has retired to a well-earned rest,  after ten years of inexhaustible patience and loyalty, his jacket a little … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: A Smidgeon of Français

Say sidewalk, elevator or garbage, and the English will wince in disgust and mutter the almost unspeakable.  “That’s American,” they will remark before casting you out of Society for polluting the purity of Shakespeare’s tongue.  Using French, however, suggests to … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: The Kiss X or the X Kiss?

Who was it, that first had the idea of putting an x by the signature, to symbolise a kiss?In every social missive we receive, be it an e-mail, a card, or a text message, our contact’s name is appended with … Continue reading

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Words and Civilisation: Words of ‘Comfort’?!

You’ve just had a major disappointment, heartbreak or mishap; or you’re just having a bad time.  You’re feeling low, sad, upset or angry.  Whatever the reason, you’re basically in a lousy place, from which the view is – begging your … Continue reading

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