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by David Myer
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Nonpareil
Replies: 6
Views: 411

Re: Nonpareil

Thanks for those thoughts call_copse. Yes pronouncing it properly (as the French) is to invite accusations of snobbery, and to pronounce it any other way is simply wrong! Don't use it at all; there are plenty of English alternatives. What an interesting name for a newspaper, Luke. Is it supposed to ...
by David Myer
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:04 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Sweat
Replies: 3
Views: 511

Re: Sweat

Most interesting. Thanks Audiendus.

So it looks like peat is fair. I will peat this to my friends - the pedantic semanticists will be amused
by David Myer
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:57 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Agenda
Replies: 0
Views: 60

Agenda

I got onto this one by wondering what the plural of the word is. Surely it is already a plural, I thought, and the singular is presumably agendum. And if it is a plural already, it surely doesn't mean a list of things to discuss/do. It means rather 'things to discuss'. So 'an agenda' is not strictly...
by David Myer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:23 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Nonpareil
Replies: 6
Views: 411

Re: Nonpareil

Stop Press. I have just checked the online English dictionaries and they make no effort to pronounce it in French, although what they say is much closer to the French than the US pronunciation. Non- parail or perhaps non-parayal. The French is closer to naw( with a hint of an n)- paray(with a hint o...
by David Myer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:13 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Nonpareil
Replies: 6
Views: 411

Re: Nonpareil

Nahn-pe-rel? Indeed! Maybe in US, but never anglicised in my experience in UK and Australia. Actually, I don't think it is ever used here in Oz. It is a straight French word, pronounced if you can do it, as a French person would say it. But as we have said before it really shouldn't be used in Engli...
by David Myer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:07 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Sweat
Replies: 3
Views: 511

Sweat

Contemplating Churchill's offer of blood, toil, tears and sweat, I marvelled at the glory of these old English words with no Latin or Greek origin to be seen. How powerful is the language. But sweat is particularly interesting because I can't think of another word in English ending in -eat that is p...
by David Myer
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:50 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bon mot
Replies: 14
Views: 1429

Re: Bon mot

Perhaps, George. But as I recall she was not a lady of good humour. Thinking further on the Australian equivalent to bonhommie but with a special Australian-ness, perhaps the word larrikin could be adapted. So maybe if the person who behaves in that way is a larrikin, the way he behaves might be hav...
by David Myer
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bon mot
Replies: 14
Views: 1429

Re: Bon mot

A further reflection on 'bonhomie'. I note that the Google dictionary offers scores of synonyms but of course none of them has the same nuance. 'Geniality' - yeah, but... Conviviality, possibly. But bonhomie is a rather refined pleasant spirit, and that is not conveyed in any of the suggested synony...
by David Myer
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:00 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bon mot
Replies: 14
Views: 1429

Re: Bon mot

Excellent stuff, George. I don't know about a single word for the Australian style - books have been written trying to define it. But Larrikinism is often used - a sort of good-natured ebullience that fails to respect the 'system' and its authority. Certainly as a communications person, I did a job ...
by David Myer
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:40 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bon mot
Replies: 14
Views: 1429

Re: Bon mot

Excellent points on the distinction between bon mot and epigram. Thank you, George particularly. Perhaps a bon mot is a nice throw-away line and then thrown away where an epigram persists - even on its way towards becoming a proverb? But I still dislike using foreign words that have not yet been ang...
by David Myer
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:07 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Bon mot
Replies: 14
Views: 1429

Re: Bon mot

Yes, the expression is fully French. It has not been anglicised in any way. So in my view the French plural should be used. But why on earth are we using a French word/expression when there is a perfectly satisfactory and well-established English (Greek) one? Epigram is surely an exact synonym?
by David Myer
Tue May 01, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: semble
Replies: 1
Views: 409

semble

Does this word exist? Has it ever existed? What did it mean? The only references I can find are to an obscure piece of legal jargon that bears no semblance to to the words with a prefix: Assemble, resemble, dissemble, ensemble and probably others. So presumably it has existed and the others are deri...
by David Myer
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:33 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Yonder
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: Yonder

I believe there is a language (is it a North American Indian one?) that has lots more words for 'there'? A bit like the perhaps apocryphal 27 words for snow in Eskimo. Near, there, further, further still, further still and out of sight, and lots more. Can anyone enlighten us?

David
by David Myer
Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:21 am
Forum: Site News
Topic: We are on the new e-mail server
Replies: 13
Views: 2989

Re: We are on the new e-mail server

Splendid. Normal service has been resumed. Very excited.

David
by David Myer
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:48 am
Forum: WELCOME HOME!
Topic: Entertaining article for linguists
Replies: 2
Views: 12337

Entertaining article for linguists

Today's The Conversation in Australia has a splendid piece on the linguistic issues (in Australia) that cause pedants like us to frenzy (is that a verb?) Anyway it is fun and so are most of the added comments for those that have time. https://theconversation.com/the-horror-and-pleasure-of-misused-wo...

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