Archive

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 carriage invented. 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 its darkest… Read More

Furlough: a military word on civvy street

Furlough has featured heavily in UK media recently. So much so, that on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box on 28 March, an expert commented: “…this word ‘furlough’ that we’ve…none of us have ever used before and we’re now using repeatedly…” And here’s the UK Chancellor: “Employers will be able… Read More

Green is Good

Over the last few years, the language of increasing global temperatures has been — well, heating up. In the early years of the 21st century, a group of Republican political advisers in the US recommended using the term “climate change” because it sounded less frightening than “global warming”. Read More

Of pandemics and epidemics

The World Health Organization has just used the word ‘pandemic’ to describe the spread of the coronavirus across the globe, prompting a spike in searches for the word on the Collins Dictionary website. The dictionary definition of a pandemic is ‘an occurrence of a disease that affects… Read More