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Tag Archives: Strictly speaking

Strictly speaking | Genericide

The - cide suffix provides us with homicide, the most general word for killing another person, as well as specific types of killing that identify the person killed: fratricide (one’s brother or sister), patricide (one’s father), regicide (the king), suicide ...

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Strictly speaking | Sousveillance

The ever-increasing use of technology to monitor our daily activities – from CCTV cameras on every street to social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok acquiring user data for marketing (or more sinister) purposes – has bred in us ...

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Strictly speaking | Proctoring

Just what does a proctor do? Essentially his role has always been to manage the affairs of others, as their agent or proxy. But over the centuries the proctor’s responsibilities have varied with the institution he was appointed to. In ...

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Strictly speaking | Zombie terms

Browsing through the Cambridge Dictionary’s new words blog, as you do, it’s noticeable how many new compounds are being formed with the word zombie as the first element. Some of these refer to that horror movie staple’s habit of returning ...

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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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