Cornwall and the Linguistic Diaspora

You can sometimes find acquaintance and commonality in the most unusual places. I first found Alexis Chateau’s blog around two years ago. I can’t quite remember how, maybe it was the chronicles of her travels around the southern US states. Yet it ended up being her posts on Jamaican culture that I found the most … Continue reading Cornwall and the Linguistic Diaspora

English Bill of Rights Day: Did You Know We Had One?

16th December is the 328th birthday of The English Bill of Rights, or to give it the full title The Bill of Rights 1689. It was not the first document of its kind to set down rights for citizens/subjects, hell it isn’t even the first in England (that honour goes to Magna Carta which sets … Continue reading English Bill of Rights Day: Did You Know We Had One?

The Power of Words: Best and Worst Political Slogans

Words are powerful. I’ve written on the subject of political oratory repeatedly. Two years ago, I discussed my discomfort with the media’s character assassination of Jeremy Corbyn being “unelectable”, for example, and in the run-up to the General Election in 2015, I listed some common politician stock phrases. Here, I want to discuss election campaign … Continue reading The Power of Words: Best and Worst Political Slogans

Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year

It’s been a rather shocking year for politics. First, the UK decided to vote itself out of the European Union. In the aftermath (actually, before that), the remain campaigners accused the leave campaign of lying. Leave were told to stop using several key strategies, one of which was the claim that the UK sends £350m … Continue reading Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year

The Grammar Rules That It’s Ok To Break

I know I can be a Grammar Nazi. I have to be – people pay me to be a be a Grammar Nazi! However, even I know that there are some grammar rules than practically nobody obeys. I’m not talking about using “less” when you mean “fewer”, I mean those that help language flow. Something … Continue reading The Grammar Rules That It’s Ok To Break

Origins of the English Language: The Norman Conquest

Other titles in this series: Anglo-Saxons; Vikings Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start… whether you call him William: Duke of Normany, William the Bastard or William the Conqueror the man who invaded England from Normandy was not French. He hated the French and they hated him. He was actually of … Continue reading Origins of the English Language: The Norman Conquest

Here’s Some West Country Regional Slang My Lover!

There’s something really wonderful about the English language’s history of regional slang. It came from this tiny island and has been affected by Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans (and I am still putting together my latest in this series so I won’t delve into this aspect too much). What is had done though, is brought rise … Continue reading Here’s Some West Country Regional Slang My Lover!

Figurative Speech: Metonymy

This is an interesting one. In many ways, a metonymy is the opposite of a metaphor but they both do the same thing. A metaphor compares a thing to something unrelated by way of implication or suggestion (a brilliant shining diamond bore down in them from the sky) and a simile is a direct comparison … Continue reading Figurative Speech: Metonymy

Quirks of the English Language: Place Names With Weird Pronunciation

As I like to travel about quite a bit (mostly by train at the moment, but I do drive) I’m often struck by the weird and wonderful place names I see around. As part of my MA in Landscape Archaeology, I did study some place name etymology and I often find myself trying to work … Continue reading Quirks of the English Language: Place Names With Weird Pronunciation

Figurative Speech: Oxymorons

Oxymorons – they can be amusing or ironic, or they can give you a headache as you try to get your head around them. We use oxymorons all the time. They are terms that make sense initially, but appear to present a contradiction by fusing together two different and opposing words or terms.