06 Jul 2020

Beautiful Old

Q. How do the words we use affect our impressions of people, places, ideas or things that are ‘old?’ . A. Kintsugi. It’s a gorgeous word used to describe the Japanese practice of repairing broken ceramics with gold-dusted tree sap lacquer. No tossing that vase because it’s broken in half.

19 Jun 2020

Due For A Purple Patch

Q. What are some English idioms that reflect the hope that things just have to get better… at some point.   A. Due for a purple patch A purple patch is a sustained period of good luck and serious success. The expression stems back to Imperial Rome, where only emperors

05 Jun 2020

June 2020 Feels

Q. This has been a month of extraordinary emotion – in the news, at home, on the streets. What are some lesser used English words that could describe how people are feeling? . A. Ache A deep and chronic pain. Adread Frightened. Terrified. Aprosexia Mind jumping hummingbird-like, from one thought

25 May 2020

Odd Words For Everyday Things

Q. What is that thing called again? A. Thanks to Phineas and Ferb, millions of families now know the name of the small, protective metal or plastic tube at the end of a shoelace. All together now… the aglet. What are some other unusual words that describe the things we

18 May 2020

Can’t Spell That

Q. What are the most commonly misspelled words? A. The stories that autocorrect could tell. Are there certain words that stump us every time? “Tommorrow, Tomorow, I love ya, tommorow..” Some – student, teacher, employee, boss – have nightmares about being unable to spell simple words in public. When the

06 May 2020

Broken Breaking News

Q. Is the new news dichotomy either: feel good news or Breaking News? A. Hats off to the tireless journalists of integrity who fight to bring us the truth. But, it’s hard for them to get through a story without the ticker text or their producers directing them to: hold

25 Apr 2020

Translation Terrors

Q. Which English words are most difficult to translate? . A. Gobbledegook. Serendipity. Plenipotentiary. These are the most difficult English words to translate, according to a Today Translations survey of 1,000 linguists. ‘Plenipotentiary’ is the worst. Plenipotentiary is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: plenipotentiary. a person who has full

14 Apr 2020

Words For Lockdown

Q. What are some unusual or forgotten words that might apply to our current lives under lockdown? . A. From Ben Schott’s Schottenfreude. German Words For The Human Condition. 2013 • Haarmonie Reassuring your hairdresser. • Kühlschrankblockade Staring at the refrigerator, hungry but unsure of what to eat. • Saukopfsülzensehnsucht

11 Apr 2020

Broadway Slang

Q. What is some common slang used by Broadway performers? . A. Who better to tell us than Mr. Lin Manuel Miranda … . . www.just curious.ca Header Photo: Nik Shuliahin

11 Apr 2020

Country Motto

Q. What is the official motto for my country? . A. Chances are that you can identify the flags, national anthems, signature foods and most popular sports of a number of countries. But what about the neglected national mottos? Country Motto Challenge How many of these mottos can you link