The weather turned a corner this week, there’s an autumnal taste on the wind. The words my mother would have used are: “a nip in the air”.
Last week, I complained that politicians’ language was highly intemperate when compared to the considered speeches made in the Supreme Court.
I couldn’t help but be struck by two starkly different ways of using words we’ve all seen over the past few weeks.
I’ve been reading about the problem of nuclear semiotics. It’s a question of communication.
This week, I’d like to address young people, which is probably a futile ambition as I’m sure none of them read this column.
From the moment we start to learn the English language, we start to learn collocations.
An aspect of language I find fascinating is dipping into a specialist field, in which the words may be alien to laymen but everyday usage for those working in that field.
Like many people, I am interested in current affairs. I always need to know the latest news. I enjoy opinions. To give me my daily “fix” I peruse news websites, take part in online discussions and read social media posts. This keeps me informed . . . and profoundly depresses me.
How do you feel about contractions? No, not the muscle movements experienced by women giving birth. I mean contractions such as couldn’t for could not, I’ll for I will, or we’re for we are.
A few weeks ago, we discussed idiolects, the words and phrases you habitually use, and the favourite crutch-phrases and words that hold up the speech of those around us. You also have a familect. Or, more precisely, you take part in not just one familect but several.