Language Lovers

Eat Out to Help Out: the new scheme for UK restaurants

Talk about mixed messages! On one hand, UK residents are being urged to go to a restaurant and enjoy noshing out. ‘Eat Out to Help Out’, the UK government instructs – healthily or otherwise, according to taste. Indeed, the government is incentivising that message by subsidising a 50 per… Read More

Masks and face coverings: the new normal?

Think of masks and what comes to mind? Does your subconscious link them to glamour and derring-do…or pleasure…or even terror? Perhaps some mythical swashbuckling character from film or fiction …Zorro, the Lone Ranger, even Batman or Robin. Or something more sinister, like Hannibal Lecter? Whatever their associations, getting used to… Read More

The Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary

This post was originally published on 4th April 2012 and updated on 21st July 2020. What is the Longest Word in the Collins English Dictionary? The longest word listed in Collins English Dictionary* is dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which is the full name of the chemical DDT. It has 31 letters. In… Read More

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