It was only a few days ago that I suggested  many of the words and phrases that have already become lingua franca during the recent global crisis were sure to be well in the running for selection as Word(s) of the Year. Place your bets … Since then we have heard (imagined)  cries of “stop the presses” as the highly respected Oxford English Dictionary (OED) broke into its normal schedule and prepared to rush out an extra print run to acknowledge the pervasive presence of Covid-19 related neologisms. In the words of OED management, this is significant update; a statement… Continue reading

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THE elderly man flicked through the pages of the newspaper. Back and forth. Flick, flick. Stopping occasionally to re-read an item, perhaps check a headline, looking for meaning, for answers. Finding none, only confusion. What first appeared as imperatives could also be seen merely as advice, open to interpretation. An… Continue reading
A fruit of simple pleasures ON a day when Waitrose announced it was following a move at least partially made by other supermarkets, it was intriguing to discover how dear old fuddy-duddy M&S was faring. So, in the interests of research (are there other reasons for favouring this pricey purveyor?), I bought a cucumber from the M&S Food Hall (such a grandiose name for something so prosaic). Or, more accurately, a cucumber portion, which equates in layperson’s terms to roughly half a whole one. This simple transaction entailed enduring the inexcusably impatient and frenzied recorded demands from some vague celebrity… Continue reading