The English language is so rich and diverse that one lifetime is just not enough to master all of it.
But I have discovered that as much as English owes many of its idioms to the writings of the great Shakespeare, the bible has made a significant contribution of its own.
I hasten to add at this point, that researching Shakespearean idiomatic origins is a whole lot easier than that of biblical references.
Last Sunday, our six-year-old female Staffordshire Bull Terrier gave birth to six beautiful and healthy puppies. One was distinctly smaller than his four black brothers and sister and I feared he would be left to feed off the ‘hind tit’.
Among animals that birth multiple young in a litter such as dogs and pigs there is fierce competition for the milk and with puppies, bashing each other around with paws and heads is a common site around feeding time.
I am reading a book in which the author has swamped the pages with an oversupply of adjectives.
Of course, this is just my opinion, but I find the need to qualify every verb and every noun in the sentence an overreach and, worst of all, a punishment to the text. And the reader.
For all the aspirant writers out there who want to get a book out of your system, start with an e-book. Here’s how:
Getting down to writing: Write that e-book. Just like that. It is almost that simple if you set your mind to it. I never had aspirations to write a book of any kind, but when I learnt of this one-week technique, I couldn’t help but put it to the test.
So, pardon the cliché, but if I can do it, anyone can. There are two critical requirements here.
The apple: On first appearance, there’s nothing special about it at all.
It’s typically green or red on the outside with a crunchy white interior (if it’s a quality mid-season apple).
This seemingly common or garden apple has been installed with the most amazing qualities, least of all for its medicinal properties although ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ was embedded in my consciousness from a very early age. And it has remained the basis of my healthy eating plan throughout my life.
An erudite scholar presented a speech in which he used the phrase, “the world is your oyster”.
At first it hit me as the millionth use of a tried and tested and tired cliché, and I silently cringed. Later, on deeper thinking, I wondered why indeed the world was my oyster, or anyone else’s and why it’s such a popular idiomatic expression.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Stand aside fellow writer as a machine does your work.
This is highly possible, and as early as 2018, if writings on the power and glory of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is anything to go by.