Infectious Laughter

I might not write that expression many more times in my life. I might actually have never written it before to be honest, but I’m probably less likely to use it from now on.

Just as I might not mention that yawning, for example, is contagious very often. And that would of course be due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading

Fido

Yesterday, for some reason, I was thinking about when I read the comic book Tintin au Tibet to practise my French. My mind then wandered to the fact that Tintin’s dog’s name is Milou in the original French (Snowy in English). I clearly had nothing better to be doing, because I then dwelled upon the fact that superficially, Milou has no obvious meaning*, unlike Snowy. Just, I thought, like English-language dogs’ names like Fido.

But then I thought: maybe Fido does mean something… Continue reading

Who is John Doe?

John Doe, caucasian, approximately 45 years old, evidence of blunt-force trauma to the base of the skull…

Pretty familiar if you’ve been exposed to the barest minimum of American crime fiction: “John” and “Jane Doe” used to refer to an unidentified victim or suspect in a criminal case. But why these names in particular? Continue reading

Brexit Senza Accordo

It’s hard to avoid Brexit at the moment. I don’t intend to add to the commentary that’s already out there. Suffice it to say it’s a colossal mistake.

Anyway, I was listening to the news on the radio this morning, and the expression no-deal Brexit was mentioned (probably already for the fifth time today). As any innocuous word or phrase tends to do, this got me thinking. Continue reading