Tag Archives: english

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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The British Obsession With Accent

In a café, after a West End matinée.  My friend has just introduced me to an acquaintance of hers, then left us alone to go and order tea.  “So what did you think of the show?” he asks. I reply, … Continue reading

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Languages: Turning Enemies into Allies

“S and I got engaged!” I announced to my family, just before my second year at university, showing off my emerald and diamond ring. My grandmother did not miss a bit.  “Congratulations, my sunbeam! Does he speak any languages?” “No.” … 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: English – the Fast Food Burger of the Language World

English is a democratic language.  Vox populi, vox linguae.  As soon as 51% of people say something in a particular way, then it becomes correct. Incorrect English usage.  Now there is a minefield.  Do not even venture there.  “Incorrect” implies that … Continue reading

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Kisses, Handshakes and Hugs

When my Italian, Spanish, Irish and Basque friends greet or part with me, they kiss me.  That is, their lips smack into my cheek full on, like a firm cushion.  A solid, present, committed kiss.  My English friends*, for the … Continue reading

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