Words, writers and writing


THIS Icelandic journey into the dark side sparked something of a defining moment. Or, more precisely, a desire to have something defined. Better than that, a search for the definition of a definition; one that  entailed going beyond the resources of the OED or Mr Google. The puzzle centres on the proliferation of genres, sub-genres and even sub-sub-genres used to categorise published works of  fiction and non-fiction. Among them is one that has reached cliche status due to its excessive use by publishers, promoters, advertisers, reviewers and even writers themselves. Noir has become the suffix of choice for almost every … Continue reading

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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