Who’s a nerd now: ever wonder how definitions evolve?

Is being a nerd a good thing? Once upon a time you wouldn't want that label, but I think that has changed. It's interesting to watch how definitions evolve. A nerd used to be the kid at school who was socially awkward, shy, overly studious. There was even a period when it was spelled knurd - … [Read more...]

Dr Seuss – collected works to form study guide

The Dr Seuss Study Guide - what a great idea. The Bank of England is using Dr Seuss books such as Cat in the Hat as models when training bank staff to write. Seems they found their complicated reports - I'm thinking for example the one that tackled the Quantitative Easing Asset Purchase … [Read more...]

New book on word use, grammar a riveting read – really

It's been a while since I sat down to read a book about grammar - on purpose. I'd heard about Steven Pinker's latest The Sense of Style - the Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century so was keen to crack it open. The book is great entertainment. Who'd have thought it? The author, a … [Read more...]

No one knew a newel post like Mike Nichols

My step-daughter was using the phrase newel post at the age of six. And we have Mike Nichols to thank for that. The actor, producer, director and comedian died last month at 83.  In the media coverage that followed I learned that he'd directed movies like The Graduate, Working Girl, Silkwood and … [Read more...]

Imbued with insouciance; trying to use beautiful English words

I just came across a beguiling list - 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language. (Beguiling is not on it, but I think it should be.) The word list is beguiling because in my opinion it draws you in and makes you want to say - then use - all of … [Read more...]