How to decode adspeak

15 June 2024 9:00 am

The National Galleries of Scotland is singular. In its public pronouncements its pronouns are it and its. Fair enough. Though…

Being asked to ‘bear with’ is unbearable

8 June 2024 9:00 am

‘Bear with me,’ said my husband on the phone and then let out a loud roar. It was intended to…

Are you ready for the ‘Genny Lex’?

1 June 2024 9:00 am

‘It sounds like Polari to me,’ said my husband, who can remember Julian and Sandy (Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams)…

The myth of the global majority

25 May 2024 9:00 am

‘You make the cotton easy to pick, Mame,’ sang my husband with execrable delivery. ‘No,’ I said, ‘You can’t sing…

Can you ‘go gangbusters’?

18 May 2024 9:00 am

‘Is it anything to do with cockle-picking?’ asked my husband, confident he was on the right track. Naturally he wasn’t.…

Do sparks really fly?

11 May 2024 9:00 am

‘Sparks,’ said my husband, after a short pause. I had asked him what one could spark. His answer was true…

Can MPs really defect?

4 May 2024 9:00 am

‘He did it years before William Donaldson did The Henry Root Letters,’ said my husband querulously, as though I had…

Where does ‘stuff’ come from?

27 April 2024 9:00 am

Pelham, the hero of the novel of the same name (which came out in 1828, the first year of The…

Amol Rajan is right to change his ways on ‘aitch’

20 April 2024 9:00 am

My husband thought it brave and manly of the BBC’s Amol Rajan to resolve publicly to change his pronunciation of…

We ought to banish more words

13 April 2024 9:00 am

Why do people say: ‘You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment’? Are they using it as they…

When is a Lord not a Lord?

6 April 2024 9:00 am

The Financial Times seeks applicants for the Sir Samuel Brittan fellowship. Announcing this, the paper refers to him as Sir…

How I ran away to Italy

2 March 2024 9:00 am

A quarter of a century ago I somehow managed to get out of Paris where I had haunted a cheap…

How do you say Southwell?

24 February 2024 9:00 am

The handmade suit I’ll never wear

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Someone somewhere must surely have calculated that Bangkok has more doctors and tailors per capita than anywhere on Earth. These…

What’s in a place name?

27 January 2024 9:00 am