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Tag Archives: Strictly speaking

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 One recent example was gaslighting – not in the sense of the outdated mode of illuminating our city streets, but in the more recent definition of ...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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Strictly Speaking | Atas

English has always extended itself with words from other languages. Recent additions to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) have a certain East Asian flavour to them. Literally, in some cases, with the inclusion of plenty of culinary words such as ...

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Strictly speaking | un-baller

This curious word appears in a current railway station advertisement for the American TV comedy series Ballers, which is streamed by a well-known cable-TV provider in Australia. The series focuses on a group of football players, their associates (managers, friends and families) ...

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