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Loose Ends and the Etymologicon

4 Dec 2011 13:18:53

Think that 'gene pool', 'car pool' and 'pooling your resources' have something to do with water? Then you'll need to think again, thanks to Mark Forsyth's new book, Etymologicon, a circular tour through the origins of words. As the author explains in an i...

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British invasion?

15 Nov 2011 20:34:24

Nice piece on Language Johnson, an Economist blog dedicated to language use, on the recent influx of  'Britishisms' into American English. Apparently, 'kerfuffle', 'snog', 'nick' and 'cheers' are all happily finding their way into the American vernacular,...

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Here comes the goom

9 May 2011 11:38:55

In the wake, or should I say, train of the Royal Wedding, a wonderful piece on the etymology of the vocabulary of matrimony from the Boston Globe. The 'goom' referred to in the title is the old English word for man, which became extinct as a distinct word...

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Babel or babble?

21 Apr 2011 10:56:04

Thought-provoking article in last week's Economist on the evolution of language. New research appears to confirm the theory that all languages originated in Africa. Just as humanity's origins demonstrate that the farther you get from that continent, the l...

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The story of the Πligature

27 Feb 2010 10:57:54

Œ: Who would have thought that a ligature could be so interesting. Article about the oe ligature on Wikipedia traces the association in old Norse with ancestral home and in modern French with eggs in water!

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