May 26, 2009
by Graham
3 Comments

Gender and Sex

In a comment on my post Gender in French, Pat Franczyk shows the danger of confusing the meanings of these two words. It has often been said that “language has gender, but animals and plants have sex”. The ambiguity of … Continue reading

May 2, 2009
by Graham
0 comments

New words or old?

I’ve recently come across two words I’d never seen before. The immediate reaction is to think that the writer has either mis-remembered another word, or simply made it up on the hoof: “To cut this delay, the control unit briefly … Continue reading

April 24, 2009
by Graham
4 Comments

Blaenau Gwent

Mark Easton, the BBC’s Home Editor, reported on the employment situation in this constituency on Wednesday, 22 April, Budget Day here in Britain. However, he did not do his homework properly, for he made the classic mistake of non-Welsh speakers … Continue reading

April 20, 2009
by Graham
2 Comments

L’Aquila

John Wells’ blog of 13 April deals with the inability of many BBC reporters to pronounce the unfortunate earthquake-stricken Italian town. As he says, the Guardian’s Alexander Chancellor takes the Pronunciation Unit to task for not doing its job properly. … Continue reading

March 18, 2009
by Graham
6 Comments

In case …

Wherever I go in Europe, I seem to see signs outside lifts that say “Do not use the lift in case of fire”. Inevitably, one of the British people standing waiting for the lift to arrive then says “We shouldn’t … Continue reading

February 28, 2009
by Graham
17 Comments

Crossword puzzle

Jack Windsor Lewis’ blog 151 mentions the fact that ‘ch’ is counted as a single letter when alphabetising Welsh, Spanish (but not Portuguese) and Czech. Double ‘ll’ is likewise a single ‘letter’ in both Welsh and Spanish (as an example, … Continue reading