Dot Wordsworth

Mind your language: Heritage this and heritage that

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Benidorm has applied for World Heritage status. To achieve this, says Unesco, a site must have ‘outstanding universal value’ in…

Heritage

21 May 2015 1:00 pm

Benidorm has applied for World Heritage status. To achieve this, says Unesco, a site must have ‘outstanding universal value’ in…

That irritating use of ‘progressive’ is more than a century old

16 May 2015 9:00 am

I was interested by the widespread annoyance at the use of progressive by the lefty parties before the election. Irritation…

Progressive

14 May 2015 1:00 pm

I was interested by the widespread annoyance at the use of progressive by the lefty parties before the election. Irritation…

Don’t want a Princess Charlotte? Try Violant, Fatima, Davina, Senna…

9 May 2015 9:00 am

It could have been much worse. Someone had pointed out that among the new baby’s ancestors was Queen Violant of…

Charlotte

7 May 2015 1:00 pm

It could have been much worse. Someone had pointed out that among the new baby’s ancestors was Queen Violant of…

English cities don’t have quarters – whatever the executives say

2 May 2015 9:00 am

‘No quarter given,’ yelled my husband as he stabbed at a cushion with his stick, spoiling the cavalier effect a…

Quarter

30 April 2015 1:00 pm

‘No quarter given,’ yelled my husband as he stabbed at a cushion with his stick, spoiling the cavalier effect a…

Does the English language need a Norwegian lesson?

25 April 2015 9:00 am

‘Ten Norwegian phrases that don’t exist in English but should,’ said the headline. So I had a little look, as…

Non-existent phrases

23 April 2015 1:00 pm

‘Ten Norwegian phrases that don’t exist in English but should,’ said the headline. So I had a little look, as…

Why do politicians go potty for ‘passion’?

18 April 2015 9:00 am

‘I long for spontaneous passion but I will never get it with my husband because I think he has Asperger…

Passion

16 April 2015 1:00 pm

‘I long for spontaneous passion but I will never get it with my husband because I think he has Asperger…

Nick Clegg’s public-school insult

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Married to a public-school man (I almost said boy) for many a long year, I can’t bring myself to disqualify…

Pious

9 April 2015 1:00 pm

Married to a public-school man (I almost said boy) for many a long year, I can’t bring myself to disqualify…

The new Fowler still won’t grasp the nettle on ‘they’

4 April 2015 8:00 am

I’ve been having a lovely time splashing about in the new Fowler. It has been revised by Jeremy Butterfield, an…

They

2 April 2015 2:00 pm

I’ve been having a lovely time splashing about in the new Fowler. It has been revised by Jeremy Butterfield, an…

Where ‘poop’ came from

28 March 2015 9:00 am

Danny Alexander recounted in the Diary last week his daughter’s efforts in making unicorn poop. This is something of a…

Poop

26 March 2015 3:00 pm

Danny Alexander recounted in the Diary last week his daughter’s efforts in making unicorn poop. This is something of a…

The lost words of John Aubrey, from apricate to scobberlotcher

21 March 2015 9:00 am

Hilary Spurling found a certain blunting of the irregularities of John Aubrey’s language in Ruth Scurr’s vicarious autobiography of the…

Are you negatively impacted by business-speak? It’s time to escalate

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Maureen Finucane of Richmond, Surrey, wonders whether there is any branch of public service not infected by Orwellian Newspeak. In…

How long is it since anniversaries stopped being measured in years?

7 March 2015 9:00 am

‘You must promise to be with us for our silver wedding D.V. which will be in four years,’ wrote Queen…

‘Robust’, busted

28 February 2015 9:00 am

‘Heart of Oak are our ships, Jolly Tars are our men,’ shouted my husband unconvincingly. He has taken to doing…

Dodginess from Tacitus to Ed Miliband

21 February 2015 9:00 am

‘I hate Jammie Dodgers,’ said my husband staring disdainfully at a biscuit kindly tucked into his coffee saucer at an…

That annoying ‘likely’ is more old-fashioned than American

14 February 2015 9:00 am

What, asks Christian Major of Bromley, Kent, do I think of ‘this new, I assume American, fad for using the…

Ha! vs Hahaha: the surprisingly subtle world of Twitter style

7 February 2015 9:00 am

I don’t know if you tweet — No! Don’t turn over, I’m not going to get all techie. I do…