23 Oct 2020

Forecast Rain

Q. Come late fall and winter, world-weary weather folk in B.C. have to look for awfully creative ways to deliver the same news: it’s raining. Or it may rain. A lot. Hurrah for those days of crisp sun or a dusting of snow. But, what are some old or little-used

21 Sep 2020

In Full Fig

Q. What are some lesser used idioms? . A. They are awfully stubborn. The elephants refuse to leave the room, the thoughts cower inside the box, and the tattered idioms worm their way back into innocent conversations. The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms houses thousands of these ‘phrases that behave like words.’

24 Aug 2020

Release The Gjetost

Q. We’ve seen how one Norwegian word – kraken – has been assertively adopted into English conversation. But what other words have we eagerly co-opted from Norway? . A. The answer lies in The Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words + Phrases. With definitions in our own words … Aquavit A

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

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