Language Lovers

One snooker doesn’t make a summer

Ah, summer in England! Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon as sun (or rain) beats down on Centre Court and the boisterous crowd throngs Henman Hill. Or a bracing dip at the lido followed by post-immersion goose pimples making it feel especially wonderful to be alive. Except that this COVID-summer will… Read More

Air bridges and she-sheds offer positive vibe after lockdown

After a year when many of the new words coming into the Collins Dictionary have involved measures to ensure public safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, the words that have arrived in June may hint at how people are planning to escape from lockdown and re-establish social activities. Some of the… Read More

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

At long last some semblance of life as it was BC (before Coronavirus) is returning or soon will. Shops have reopened. As of last week, garden centres are welcoming customers back, as are zoos, safari parks and outdoor visitor attractions. Dentists in England can carry out routine treatments. On… Read More

‘Lights, camera, action!’

It’s tempting to suppose that if you’re working from home (WFH) what to wear is a non-issue, but experience during lockdown has knocked that presumption on the head. The distinction between WFH before coronavirus (BC) and after (AC) is that a subcategory of clothing has been brought into focus, literally. Read More

The roadmap to … exit

COVID-19 and all it entails has spawned dozens of novel words. At the same time, existing ones have been called into service. Lockdown is one. Roadmap is another – for the UK government’s exit strategy from the current situation. Now, is roadmap one word or two? Collins currently has… Read More

Rewilding the cityscape

Going back to nature is positive. According to Collins COBUILD dictionary, it means you want to “return to a simpler way of living”, sparked by a wish to revert to that never-never land, to that mythical Eden before the fateful apple was gnawed – or the horseless… Read More

It’s VE Day. “We’ll metaphor again…

don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll metaphor again some sunny day.” Throughout World War II Dame Vera Lynn buoyed people’s spirits with her classic song, “We’ll Meet Again”. Today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of that war, which devastated Europe and cost untold millions… Read More

“Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”

“No man is an island, entire of itself.” The truth of John Donne’s powerful aphorism has gone on receiving heart-warming confirmation – often in unexpected ways – during the current pandemic. For a start, in the UK the appeal for volunteers to help support the NHS in… Read More