If you start a new job, or agree to buy something, you might have to sign a contract.

The word contract was originally usually used to refer to marriage, and comes from the Latin com (with, together) and trahere (to draw). Which makes sense really: if you give marry someone, you’re agreeing to draw closer together, and if you sign a contract with a company, you’re agreeing to draw together with them.

Isn’t if funny though, when we use contract as a verb?

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Why is the Letter E the Most Common Letter in the English language?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself ruefully these last few days. The E on my keyboard hasn’t been very co√∂perative, insisting that I bang it at least a few times for it to make the letter E appear on the screen. This has made me really… appreciate, for wont of a better word, just how often we have to use the letter E.

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Harvey Weinstein: Doesn’t Sound Right to Me

Obviously there’s been a lot of reports of sexual harassment lately, largely because of the initial reports about Harvey Weinstein.

I don’t really have anything to add to everything that’s already been said and written. I am curious about that name Weinstein though.

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An Historic Occasion or A Historic Occasion?

I’ll tell you before the end, I promise (I bet he just says that both are correct, he always does). But you can see already, can’t you, how the letter H isn’t so simple even for native speakers.

In fact, it can be quite a controversial letter, sparking more arguments than perhaps any other.

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Robots in the Skies

This was a common refrain of my childhood. From my lips, anyway, for you might recognise this as a mondegreen. Anyone familiar with 80s and 90s children’s cartoons/toys might know that I was mishearing the lyrics to the Transformers cartoon. The line of course should be robots in disguise.

Which makes a lot more sense. I mean, that’s the whole point of the Transformers. They’re in disguise. They’re robots, and they’re in disguise. In my defence, some of them could fly, so my interpretation made sense to six-year-old me. Still, on paper, in the skies and in disguise are fairly distinct. Th doesn’t sound like D, E doesn’t sound like I, and K doesn’t sound like G. How could I make such a mistake?

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