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Trivia Teaser

What do the letters O, M and T have in common in Morse code?

Composed of dots
Just have one digit
All used in SOS code
Composed of dashes

Blogs

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02
Feb
2016

Completely unqualified? Slightly unqualified? Or even absolutely flawless?The ambiguity in this pair of words arises from their both being words to which the description 'Janus word' may be applied.So, why Janus? Janus was the Roman god of gates and doorways, or, m ... read more

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08
Jan
2016

'For last year's words belong to last year's language' according to TS Eliot - though the various online discussions about the function of a dictionary would have words about that. It depends if one sees the dictionary as a guardian of the English one acquired in the various sta ... read more

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23
Dec
2015

One of the advantages of being in the southern hemisphere at Christmas is the range of fruit available to expand the Christmas table. And, believe me, much fruit is a requirement at this time of year when we're either sweltering in the tropics anticipating or experiencing the onset of the w ... read more

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01
Dec
2015

Well, that was unexpected. The OED has just announced its word of the year for 2015 - and it's not a word. In fact, the 'word' of the year is the emoji or pictograph 😂 (Face With Tears of Joy).The emoji is not unrelated to the emoticon which is described as a ' ... read more

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03
Nov
2015

Noctilucent. What a delicious word. It describes those high-altitude clouds which catch the rays of the setting sun long after it has fallen below the horizon, or which glow in the first light of dawn, in anticipation of the sun's rising. Of course these noctilucent clouds may have differen ... read more

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02
Sep
2015

And so from names of colours to that activity for slow Friday afternoons in primary school - yes, taking out the coloured pencils and zoning out while colouring in.I have to admit I was never highly skilled at this - some problems with staying between the lines and the occasional inf ... read more

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03
Aug
2015

I love going into paint shops, that's wall paints by the way not artists' colours. It's not that I look forward to the hours of painstaking cutting-in or the freedom of rollering. I just love the names that paint companies use to describe their product. Not that I ... read more

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01
Jul
2015

One of those things about English is that you're almost required to know Ancient Greek and Latin in order to spell the language. For native speakers and those acquiring English by listening to English-speakers, we take for granted the sounds, only running into problems when we have to put t ... read more

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01
May
2015

I'm credibly informed that writers in the music industry use the term 'sophomore' to identify that an album is the artist's second one. Thus Strange Days becomes the sophomore album for the iconic band, The Doors.The word 'sophomore' itself h ... read more

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31
Mar
2015

Sweden is adding a gender-neutral pronoun 'hen' to 'its dictionaries. The word's been around for a while and addresses the same issues in Swedish as we face in English when we find we have to put 'she/he or 'he/she' into a sentence, e.g. "If your child is playin ... read more

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27
Feb
2015

When the Australian National Dictionary Centre announced its word of the year, the winner was, drumroll, SHIRTFRONT, a word dragged from the relative obscurity of Australian Football to the international political arena when PM Abbott threatened to 'shirtfront' Russian President Putin. ... read more

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03
Feb
2015

Yes, it's February again and the annual flowers-and-card festival that is Valentine's Day is upon us. And while it's a little irritating to be peer-pressured into an observance, it's also no bad thing to rejoice in the love in our lives and to acknowledge it. Perhaps not with re ... read more