Imagine, completely hypothetically, that the President of Russia had information he could use to blackmail the President of the United States. Crazy, I know, but reading about this possibility recently made me think about the word blackmail. Continue reading
No, it’s not.
Before you ask why, think about why it might not be a fish. Look at it: does it look like a fish? No. Why not? Well, it doesn’t have… fins. And it doesn’t have… gills! And… well look at it! It’s not a fish.
OK, but then: what is a fish? Continue reading
Not the most complicated of creatures, jellyfish. And not the most complicated of words either.
Jelly + fish = jellyfish. Easy. I heard the word during a song this evening, and was struck by its simplicity. But of course I had the feeling that there’d be something interesting, linguistically, about jellyfish.
And so I found myself on the Wikipedia entry for jellyfish. And that was just the beginning… Continue reading
I was rooting through my George Orwell books this weekend, and realised that it had been a long time since I read his account of of fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and grabbed it. It was only today at work when I questioned whether the title was a strange one.
Was it A Homage to Catalonia?
Or An Homage to Catalonia?
A minor difference, perhaps, but also perhaps all the difference in the world. Continue reading