21 Nov 2022

Horror House Patents

Q. The annals of patent history hold creations that have made our day to day lives so much easier – kettles, vacuums, washing machines. Hidden in the depths are wild ideas that would have made home life – and sleepovers –  a lot more creepy than cozy. Examples…? . A.

16 Nov 2022

Lurid Lockets

Q. “What I want from you is your voice.” Ursula the savage Sea Witch is bargaining with Disney’s Ariel. As collateral for temporarily turning Ariel’s tail into human legs, Ursula will seize The Little Mermaid’s ethereal voice. Ariel clutches her neck while Ursula elaborates. “No more talking, singing, zip.” To

06 Nov 2022

Ew. This Food Tastes …

Q. Just how many words can fussy/displeased diners use to describe what’s on their plates? . A. A great many, as it turns out. A sampling … Acrid An overwhelmingly unpleasant, strong taste. Amaroidal Bitter. Blinky Going sour. Used to describe milk that’s on its way off. Brackish A bit

30 Oct 2022

Canada Has Halloween Opinions

Q. We’re one day away (🦹🏼‍♀️). What do Canadians have to say about Halloween 2022? . A. Abacus Data had questions, so they interviewed 1500 Canadians, weighing the responses to mirror Canadian demographics. Their findings? Trick or Treat? Will this be a slow or busy year for your neighbourhood? Time

25 Oct 2022

Costuming For Halloween 2022

Q. Halloween is soon upon us. What fantastical beings can we expect to find at our doors and in the streets? . A. The data-drowning people at Google have an idea. In piecing through Halloween searches this year, Google Trends came up with the year’s most popular costumes. How many

17 Oct 2022

The Sweetest Flower

Q. Which flower has the most entrancing scent?   A. ‘The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem For that sweet odour which doth in it live….’ So writes William Shakespeare in Sonnet 54. Does the rose have an uncommonly sweet odour? Do we deem it fairer because of

07 Oct 2022

One Person’s Hobby

Q. Have you been surprised by the hobby confessions of some of your nearest and dearest? Which hobbies inspired historical figures? . A. One person’s hobby is another person’s crime scene. You collect what from where? Then there are those people whose surprising hobbies – is that a welder? –

01 Oct 2022

Wait. How Do You Say That?

Q. Most of us know the feeling of charging into a word full bore, only to dodder halfway in, panicking that we are saying it wrong. What are some of the most commonly mispronounced names or words? . A. In a clever experiment, Word Tips mined the Forvo pronunciation dictionary

26 Sep 2022

Liverpudlian Bites

Q. In 2018, author Tony Crowley created a ‘Liverpool English Dictionary’. The Beatles want to know: what delights lie within? . A. In this 2018 ‘Liverpool English Dictionary’, author Tony Crowley describes the language of Liverpool as a ‘city vernacular’ rather than a dialect. It is the language of the

22 Sep 2022

Second Breakfast For Hobbit Day

Q. Happy Hobbit Day! September 22nd is for hobbitses as it marks both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthdays. So: take off your shoes, grab a cloak and a girdle, and let’s get celebrating. In honour of Tolkien’s hobbits, it is only fair that we eat second breakfasts all week. But,