Category Archives: language

We remember in order to forget

Bonfire Night is the kind of gruesome success that most PR people or politicians – still just about separate careers – could only dream of. The idea was planted by the fires, the guys, and of course that doggerel. Alan … Continue reading

Posted in anniversaries, art, christmas_2013, death, emotions, family, future, hope, language, loss, past, people, person, philosophy, poetry, seasons, society, time, understanding, war, word_games | Leave a comment

The exploration of damaged prose

I’ve written before in passing about how hack writing pales into insignificance alongside great talent. Consider this paragraph from what purports to be a crime thriller: Carol frowned. This wasn’t the Tony Hill she’d known all these years. Yes, he’d … Continue reading

Posted in art, authors, criticism, editing, idiom, language, literature, media, opinion, rants | 5 Comments

The party’s over, Queenie

Put out fewer flags: we’re coming to the end of the long Jubilee weekend. And it’s been full of the usual vapid jingoism/celebration of constitutional tradition that accompanies such events, followed by the expected welcome imposition of democratic sanity/jealous carping … Continue reading

Posted in age, anniversaries, class_warfare, cliques, emotions, entertainment, establishment, hoi_polloi, individual, language, loyalty, made_our_own_fun, patriarchy, person, politics, privacy, privilege, society, time, understanding | Leave a comment

What’s my problem?

My problem is that my ability to write has a distinctly muscular flavour: not in the sense that such as Hemingway might write in a muscular fashion; but that I have to exercise it, or it wastes away. Do it … Continue reading

Posted in art, body, charity, cliques, development, enmity, fatigue, friends, language, literature, meta, mind, occupation, opinion, patterns, person, rants, readers, society, vanity | 2 Comments

This wasn’t the song about an easy lover that I thought it was going to be either

Easy lover! She’ll get a hold on you: believe it. She’s like no other; Perhaps she’ll die.

Posted in art, entertainment, humour, language, made_our_own_fun, music, songs, word_games | Leave a comment

This wasn’t the song about old people I thought it was going to be

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe; She had so many children she didn’t know what to do. Perhaps she’ll die.

Posted in art, entertainment, humour, language, made_our_own_fun, music, songs, word_games | Leave a comment

Hanlon’s razor just makes me stroppy

Let’s please all promise to stop quoting this, and all variations on it: Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. (link) When people drag out Bonaparte’s (or Hanlon’s if you like) tedious old canard about malice … Continue reading

Posted in commenting, commerce, consumers, dickheads, industry, language, media, nu-media, opinion, phrases, rants, responsibility, scams, society | Leave a comment

Léigh moran agus scríobh tuilleadh

When Looby mentioned that it was Flann O’Brien’s birthday today, I wished the late gentleman a happy birthday on Twitter (a superstitious folly committed to the air, like saluting a magpie) and decided: that was that. But it’s since been … Continue reading

Posted in age, anniversaries, art, authors, criticism, death, experience, inspiration, language, literature, occupation, oulipo, person, politics, rare_languages, society, time, word_games, writing | 2 Comments

Terranean homesick browns

While discussing the double naming, in Greek then Latin, of the moth species selenia lunularia, Martin of Martin’s Moths mentions Pendle Hill, commenting that name consists of the word “hill” in three different languages: Cumbric, Old English and then current … Continue reading

Posted in age, family, geography, language, location, past, person, time | Leave a comment

Copenhagen strategies

We’ve both just returned from Copenhagen: a conference trip for me, a birthday holiday for K. Denmark is an oddity: much as Finland looks Scandinavian when you squint, Denmark looks a little Germanic when you don’t. The capital city is … Continue reading

Posted in anniversaries, art, body, cars, children, commerce, cultural, cycles, denmark, design, development, diary, environment, establishment, experience, family, finland, food, language, location, media, nature, occupation, organisations, patriarchy, pedestrian, person, provision, public, sculpture, society, time, tourism, trains, transport | Leave a comment