When is a Chicken a Kitchen?

Well, never, of course. But these two words are quite often confused by English-language learners. It makes sense really. The two words obviously sound similar, and that’s particularly true for speakers of languages which don’t make such a distinction between the ch (/ʧ/) and k (/k/) sounds. And of course it’s logical to create an association between the two things: where else are you going to keep your chicken?

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“You Ain’t S**t!”

I had a strange experience recently on, I believe, Facebook. It might have been Twitter, but I think it was Facebook. Having a cursory pass through my newsfeed, something caught my eye. It was a headline for a fairly typical slightly clickbaity article. It featured a young woman, presumably a model or actress, standing next to a billboard on which she featured. The headline was a quote from her, something like this:

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“None of them is” or “None of them are?”

Which of the following is correct:

It’s ok! None of the coffee is on my shirt!

I called the guys, and none of them is coming.

I called the guys, and none of them are coming.

(Oh man, usually when he asks Which one is correct? they’re all correct and he expects us to amazed. Watch)

Well, you might actually be amazed to find out that they’re all correct!

(*sigh* See?)

But why are they all correct?

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My Ideas

How about a short light post today, after getting heavy yesterday (I mean, Nazis, after all)? A few weeks ago, I wrote about a typical example of how ideas come to me, and make their way onto your screen. Usually ideas come to me like that, just based on my everyday encounters with language. When I start a post with something like The other day I was listening to the radio and I noticed how the presenter pronounced the word haberdashery, it’s usually true, and not some awkward way to introduce the topic. And sometimes I’ll start with something like The other day I was wondering about the etymology of the word hamster because that’s the kind of thing I do when my mind has a moment to wander.

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Calling a Nazi a Nazi

Following the violence (from armed Nazis, and the one side they represent) in Charlottesville, some people have suggested that the perpetrators only acted like brutal, thuggish Nazis, because people had been calling them brutal, thuggish Nazis for so long. Of course they’re going to act like Nazis if you keep calling them Nazis! Obviously it’s an attempt to take the blame away from the actual Nazis committing the violence. It’s an attempt to say, Look, these are just troubled young men not happy with the way they’re country’s going. But they’ve been demonized by SJWs, and that’s made them lash out in frustration! What do you expect when you call someone a Nazi!

There a couple of assumptions being made here. The first is that if you label someone with a negative name often enough, they’ll become what you call them. And that seems logical enough. Imagine how angry it would make you to unfairly labelled as something as terrible as a Nazi!? Except, that only really works when the label is applied unfairly, doesn’t it? So let’s take a moment to have a look at some of the people being called Nazis:

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