Looking at that today got me thinking: is there a term for that? For a word or name that describes what the thing actually does? The album is called Revolver, and in its original format, it revolves*. A digger digs, and a dancer dances. Is there a word for this phenomenon?
It was a lovely sunny evening in the west of Ireland today, which made me feel like Abbey Road would be a good accompaniment to my walk home. Probably because it features “Here Comes the Sun,” but I think it’s a generally positive album anyway, suitable for a balmy evening. As I was listening, I was struck by a line in “She Came in through the Bathroom Window” which I’d heard many times before, but never really thought much about:
She could steal, but she could not rob.
It’s a clever, cute line, and if you’re interested in the possible meaning behind it, you can look here. This evening though, it made me think about the difference between those two verbs: steal and rob.
On the surface, the verbs to leave and to let might seem like quite distinct entities. To leave means to go away, and to let means to give permission. Simple.
But the words are closer than you might think. Continue reading
The Beatles are responsible for a lot, of course. Producing some incredible and innovative music, and inspiring other musicians. They’re also responsible for causing people to misspell the word beetle (as in the insect). As a spelling nerd from a young age, I was long aware that the band’s name was spelled differently from the animal. I never really thought about why though. I suppose I assumed that The Beatles could do whatever they wanted, and that if they wanted to spell their name differently, that was fine. Or maybe that’s how they thought the word beetle was spelled, and who was I to correct them? Continue reading
A malapropism is a speech error in which a word in a phrase is accidentally replaced by one with a similar sound, usually with comic effect. The term Dogberryism is also sometimes used, after the character in Shakespeare’s “Much Ado about Nothing,” who was quite prone to making them…
Our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons (Act III, Scene V)
They’re often used in fiction as a comedic device, but are quite common in real life too. Some notable examples: Continue reading