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Month: November 2017

Take care with English: How expressions get distorted

From less to most
Levels of caring

Would you say English is a careless language? I think the opposite is true. English is a careful language in that its most practiced users choose words with specific intent, to ensure their purpose of meaning is clear.

Red herring: A technique for arguing

I love a red herring. And no, I don’t mean because it’s an ideal protein in a low-carb high-protein diet. It’s also great for breakfast.

At school I had a maths teacher who was fond of colouring her teaching with idioms. A red herring was one of her favourite idioms.

She would use the phrase as a defence against answering a question she believed to be irrelevant.

Zeitgeist: how words originate

Zeitgeist is a lovely word to get your teeth into, literally and figuratively. And both syllables require a firm grit.  Derived from the German language, the word is surrounded by controversy and misuse.