When Any Word Will Not Do

There are times when any word will not do. Blank facial expressions of an audience or a reader who does not finish reading: such reactions are clues something is amiss. Typically, such reactions suggest that both the audience and reader have lost interest. For example, why say ‘acrimony’ when ‘bad blood’ could do a better…

To See A Man About A Dog

Expressions, sayings, and phrases: they are the variety that adds spice to language. For example, what is the meaning and origin of the phrase: ‘to see a man about a dog’? Perhaps, the phrase was invented as an excuse for a husband to absent himself from the marital home as explained in the article ‘On…

A Rose By Any Other Name

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo and Juliet. William Shakespeare. So, what is in a name? Is it really true that a rose would smell as sweet if labelled ‘dung’, ‘pig’s snort’, or ‘purulent pimple’? While the smell may be sweet: the…

Apt

Compare the following two phrases: It is not for nothing... Ain’t nothin’ Never mind the first phrase with its correct spelling and grammar: it could jar in some settings. Never mind the incorrect spelling of the second phrase: it too has its place. While the first phrase may feel at home in literary non-fiction; so…