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Tag Archives: Strictly speaking

Strictly speaking | Epistocracy

The term epistocracy* surfaced some years ago in philosophical discussions about the nature of democracy, starting with Estlund’s Democratic Authority (2008). It taps an ancient issue in the debate as to who should be allowed to participate in electing a ...

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Strictly Speaking: Black Friday

You may have been a little confused when bombarded with advertising for ‘Black Friday’ sales in the lead-up to Christmas last year. In the US, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving (always the fourth Thursday in November) when shops ...

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Strictly speaking | Gammon

Britain’s agonising over Brexit has spawned a lot of new vocabulary. One of the most evocative of these words is gammon, used to describe “white men of a certain age who become pink in the face when working themselves into ...

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Strictly speaking | Plogging

A new fitness craze combines the personal benefits of running with the planetary benefits of picking up litter as you go. Plogging was invented in Sweden, and combines the Swedish word plocka, meaning ‘to pick’, with the English jogging. Words ...

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Strictly speaking: facepalm/headdesk

A lot has been written (often negatively) about the effects of online technology on communication, with emoticons, emojis and abbreviations like LOL taking the place of the non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures and laughter that are available to ...

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Strictly speaking: gaslighting

The American dictionary website, www.merriam-webster.com, regularly features words that are trending in dictionary searches. One recent example was gaslighting – not in the sense of the outdated mode of illuminating our city streets, but in the more recent definition of ...

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Strictly speaking: unicorns and zebras

We think of unicorns as imaginary, mythical creatures, so you may be surprised to learn they actually exist. In the world of business, it’s the name given to startup companies valued at more than US$1 billion. Venture capitalist Aileen Lee coined ...

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Strictly speaking: haem

Air New Zealand recently announced that it will be serving a newly developed piece of food technology, known as the ‘Impossible Burger’, to its business-class customers. It’s essentially a vegieburger, but the ‘impossible’ element is introduced by an ingredient called ...

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Strictly speaking | Phubbing

Creating new words is an unpredictable business. How was Lewis Carroll to know that amongst the brillig, gimble and uffish of “Jabberwocky”, chortle would gain popular acceptance? Did we really need a new term for laughing? Advertising agency McCann thought ...

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Strictly Speaking | LUXED and LUSH

An international hotel advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald invites readers to get luxed on a stopover in Singapore. Those old enough to remember the ubiquitous bar of Lux soap might wonder if this is just an upgrade on the ...

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