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Archive for the tag “language”

The Cosmic Cathedral is under weigh

Thanks to Bing translation, I’m hearing quite a bit about the Cosmic Cathedral currently getting going in Crete, thanks to reports from some of my Facebook friends who are there.

One reported this:

Албанский говорит, что консенсус завел в тупик. Его не было 20 веков. Предлагает следовать 6 правилу 1 Вселенского собора: решение принимается большинством

which Bing translated thus:

Albanian said that consensus was made at a standstill. He hasn’t been 20 centuries. Invites to follow the 6 RULE 1 of Cosmic Cathedral: the decision is taken by a majority

Let’s see if Google translate can do any better…

Albanian says that consensus has got into a dead end. He was not 20 centuries. Offers 6 follow Rule 1 Ecumenical Council: a decision adopted by a majority

Well, it’s lost the cosmic cathedral, but I can see that human translators are going to be needed fro a long time to come.

Here’s the Cosmic Cathedral (Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church) in seesion:

Council in Crete

Council in Crete

Syndromes, diseases, disorders and initials

One of the things the Internet makes one aware of is the different ways people in different countries communicate, even when they are using the same language.

OCDpeepsPerhaps it’s just that I don’t get out enough, because when someone posted this graphic on Facebook, I had to ask what OCD people were. As far as I have been able to determine, I am an INTP person, and three-letter initialisms beginning with OC make me think of OCR (Optical Character Recognition), but then comes the D, and I’m wondering what it can stand for, Optical Character Determinant? and how it relates to people.

Of course I am familiar with some diseases commonly known by acronyms or initialisms, like Aids and TB, but when someone posted in a newsgroup that he was COPD, I was flummoxed. I’d heard of the LAPD and the NYPD, but COPD? Colorado?

Someone pointed out that people who suffer from the disease or disorder concerned will refer to it by initials, and that I can understand. What puzzles me is when they expect other people who don’t suffer from that particular ailment to know what the letters mean.

That’s what makes me wonder if it is a cultural thing.

Or perhaps a hypochondria thing.

When we first got interested in family history, about 30 years ago, we went to ask my wife’s grandmother about the family. She had difficulty in remembering their names. She said one of her sisters-in-law had married a Walsh or a Marsh. It turned out that it was actually a Clark. But she could remember what illnesses they suffered from and what colour pills they took.

At various times I’ve suffered from various ailments — pneumonia at the age of four, amoebic dysentery at the age of 5, chicken pox and blood poisoning at the age of 6, measles at the age of 11, mumps at the age of 22, myopia and uveitis at the age of 45, and type 2 diabetes at the age of 65, along with a few bouts of colds, influenza and bronchitis. But none of them was known by initials (at least not by me), so I couldn’t have been really ill. The one that caused me the most suffering was measles. And in pneumonia the cure was more painful than the disease (penicillin injections at 3 am — penicillin was then a relatively new invention).

When I remarked on this on Facebook someone commented that surely I must know what ME and MB are. I didn’t. Or at least I thought that they signified doctors, not diseases. ME is surely Medical Examiner, and MB is the degree my “doctor” actually has — MB ChB, to be precise — Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery — for which he (or she) gets to be called “doctor”. Nobody called me a doctor when I had two bachelors degrees.

None of the doctors I’ve ever been to has referred to diseases by initials, at least not in my presence. I’m sure they do so when discussing such things among their colleagues, who can be expected to understand specialised medical jargon. But what gets me is that some people, like the designer of the graphic about eggs, seem to expect the average peasant yobbo on Facebook (like me) to understand them too.

But the internet is like that. It was on BBS conferences that I first learnt about INTP and EFSJ and things like that. At first it sounded like Scorpio and Virgo and Aquarius, but then I applied for a job, and was sent for a test that showed that I was INTP, and apparently they weren’t looking for INTPs to fill that position, so I didn’t get the job.

From the same BBS conference I learned, from other people in different countries, about ADD and ADHD. I didn’t know what those were, until someone mentioned that Ritalin was commonly prescribed for them. I did know about Ritalin. The headmaster of our son’s school urged that we send him to a child psychologist, who referred him to a child psychiatrist, who prescribed Ritalin. Our son tended to get bored in class, and didn’t pay much attention to the teacher. Ritalin was supposed to cure that. Another boy in his class was disruptive, and he took Ritalin, which was supposed to cure that too. The Ritalin cost a lot of money, but did not make the lessons more interesting, though the teachers swore by it. But it seems that ADD was the new name for what I had been prone to in my youth: DDC (Daydreaming in Class). But not once did the psychiatrist refer to ADD or ADHD in our hearing. All she said was that Ritalin had two opposite effects — it gingered up children who were too passive, and calmed down those who were hyperactive. It seemed that it was a panacea. She did not mention its most important property — the placebo effect it had on the teachers.

I think the biggest problem is HCS — a hypochondriac society.

But since the discussion on Facebook, someone has prescribed a sure cure for my problem: List of abbreviations for diseases and disorders – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

And next time someone tells me they are living with NYPD I’ll sympathise accordingly.


Is “politically correct” a euphemism for “euphemism”?

Is “politically correct” a euphemism for “euphemism”, or vice versa?

It was reading this that made me wonder The Return of Public Vulgarity by Slavoj Žižek:

It may appear that this disintegration is counteracted by the growth of political correctness, which prescribes exactly what cannot be said; however, a closer look immediately makes it clear how the “politically correct” regulation participates in the same process of the disintegration of the ethical substance. To prove this point, it suffices to recall the deadlock of political correctness: The need for PC rules arises when unwritten mores are no longer able to regulate effectively everyday interactions—instead of spontaneous customs followed in a nonreflexive way, we get explicit rules, such as when “torture” becomes an “enhanced interrogation technique.”

The crucial point is that torture—brutal violence practiced by the state—was made publicly acceptable at the very moment when public language was rendered politically correct in order to protect victims from symbolic violence. These two phenomena are two sides of the same coin.

Obviously “enhanced interrogation technique” is a euphemism for torture, and it is equally obvious that that kind of language is politically correct in the US military. Another example might be “collateral damage”.

Where I get confused is when Slavoj Žižek appears, as in this article, to use “political correctness” as a euphemism for euphemism. Are all euphemisms politically correct? Are all politically correct utterances euphemisms?

I recall seeing, in the Okavango in Northern Namibia back in 1969, vehicles with the letters BT in their number plates. Back then most vehicle number plates had letters indicating the place of origin of the vehicle, and I asked about it, and discovered that it stood for “Bantoe Tuislande” (Bantu Homelands). It wasn’t really a euphemism, but it was certainly political correctness, and an attempt to brainwash the populace into accepting the National Party government’s “homelands” policy by manipulating language.

When the political order changed, much of the politically correct terminology of the old regime became politically incorrect, but some didn’t. “Homelands” continued to be used, with little stigma attached.

CiiticizeOne of the most curious instances of the new political correctness is “former Model C Schools”. “Model C schools” only existed for about 3 years, and were a last-ditch attempt by the National Party to retain school segregation by privatising education for white children. There were originally four models, A, B, C and D, which parents were asked to vote on. They had to do with schools deciding on their own admission policies. Since they were all-white schools, the issue was whether to admit black pupils. Model B was that  schools would continue to be funded by the government, but would be free to decide their own admission policies. Model C was the semi-privatisation one, but they could still decide their own admission policies. Schools that voted to become Model B were nevertheless forced to become Model C a year or two before the first democratic elections, with parental wishes thrown overboard. But people speak of the “Former Model C” schools rather than the former all-white schools. Why? A euphemism? Political correctness?

Another current politically correct euphemism is “previously disadvantaged”. It referred to groups that  suffered from legal disadvantages under the previous regime, like blacks, women, the disabled etc. Twenty years on, however, its has become a mealy-mouthed euphemism, as most of the “previously disadvantaged” are still disadvantaged, and the disadvantaged people born since 1994 were never “previously” disadvantaged. And a few of the “previously disadvantaged” are currently very advantaged indeed.

Part of the problem is that people often speak of political correctness as if it were just about words, and nothing more than a synonym for “euphemism”. But this is false.

Think, for example, of privatisation.

In South Africa, if you are a member of the Democratic Alliance (DA), privatisation is politically correct, but if you are a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) privatisation is decidedly politically incorrect, and if you advocate it you are likely to get thrown out.

If you support the DA, you may have heard them advocating the privatisation of South African Airways; but the ANC was prevented from doing that very thing by the EFF, who criticised the deposition of Nene as Minister of Finance. The quickest way to privatise SAA is to run it into bankruptcy and sell it cheap to the Guptas.

And though “enhanced interrogation technique” may be politically correct in the US military, it is politically incorrect in Amnesty International, by that or any other name.


Martinmas: Poppies and corn

Today is the day when people, especially in the UK, tend to wear red poppies in remembrsnce of those who died in the two world wars of the last century.

But in recent years I’ve been repelled by the sight of British politicians appearing on TV wearing poppies in their lapels three weeks or more before the day, in a blatant attempt to curry favour with the voters. And it seems that right-wing politicians are particularly apt to jump on the bandwagon.

Red poppies among the corn (photo by Chris Gwilliam)

Red poppies among the corn (photo by Chris Gwilliam)

Perhaps to counter this my friend Chris Gwilliam posted a picture on Facebook of red poppies where they belong, among the corn, not in the lapels of smarmy politicians. The poppies symbolise the blood shed by the predecessors of those same politicians, and, very often, the blood shed in our day by the very politicians who wear them, who still send young people to fight in futile wars as their predecessors did a century ago.

Coincidentally, and perhaps ironically, 11 November is also the feast day of St Martin of Tours, who could be the patron saint of conscientious objectors, since when he became a Christian he resigned from the army. On being accused of cowardice by his commanding officer he offered to stand, unarmed, between two opposing armies in an impending battle.

On an altogether different tack, the picture of the cornfield reminds me that in American English the word they use for corn is “grain”, and they reserve the word “corn” solely for maize. Looking at the picture, I wondered why I would not describe that as a grainfield rather than a cornfield, since I do also use the word “grain” to describe cereal crops. And I realised that I think of it as “corn” when it is growing in the fields, and “grain” only when it has been milled.

Grain elevators in Koster, North-West Province, where grain is fouind

Grain elevators in Koster, North-West Province, where grain is fouind

So what is seen in the fields in the picture on the left is corn, and what is kept in the grain elevator in the picture on the right is grain, even though Americans might call it corn.



Grammarly issues

Grammarly is an automated proofreader and plagiarism checker. It corrects up to 10 times as many mistakes as other word processors (from the Grammarly blurb).

I was reading an article about plagiarism: Olive Tree Genealogy Blog: Personal Opinion About Copyright and Plagiarism Online. At the bottom of the article was an ad for Grammarly that invited me to “Check Your Writing For Plagiarism And Correct Grammar Errors Now!”

I thought I would try it, to see how well it lived up to its claims, and posted a paragraph from an article that I had written for a scholarly journal, and later placed on the web, where it was plagiarised.

Here is what Grammarly reported:

GrammarlyAt first glance I thought it was saying that I had spelt “issue” wrongly. On looking more closely, I saw that it was referring to commonly confused words, and then thought that it was saying that I had confused “issue” with another word. Then I realised that Grammarly had made the common error of confusing “issue” with “problem”, and I take issue with that.

So it was saying that there were problems (which it chose to call “issues”) with my text, but it did not say what those problems were. It then offered me a 7-day “free trial”, after which I would presumably be expected to pay for its vague and unhelpful advice. Thanks, but no thanks.

So what is the problem with Grammarly?

  • It told me that there were errors, but did not say what those errors were, and which part of the text they were in.
  • It told me that there was a prob… sorry, “issue” with plagiarism, but did not tell me what it was or where it was. If someone has plagiarised my text, I would like to know, because people have done it before.
  • It says it has generated a word-choice correction for my text, but doesn’t tell me what it is.

For what it’s worth, here is the paragraph I asked it to check:

In Western Europe and in North America, however, there were witch hunts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in which thousands of people accused of witchcraft were executed after a legal trial. In most societies, and at various times, the most favoured method of killing witches was to burn them to death. The fear of witchcraft and sorcery seems to be endemic to human society, though the killing of suspected witches seems to be epidemic rather than endemic. Terms like “endemic” and “epidemic” are normally used of physical diseases spread by germs. I use the metaphor deliberately, because I believe that witchcraft and witch hunts can be seen in theological terms as aspects of a spiritual sickness, as I hope to show in this article.

The MS Word spelling checker has flagged “witch hunts” and “societies” in this text. I know that “witch hunts” is sometimes written conjunctively as “witchhunts”, but I chose not to do so, and tried to ensure that the spelling I used was consistent throughout the article. I’m not sure if that was the word choice for which Grammarly generated a correction, because it didn’t tell me.

What else? MS Word suggested that “thousands of people was executed” would be better than “thousands of people were executed”. I chose to exercise my right to veto that one. Grammarly said there were two “issues” of passive voice. MS Word usually gets its knickers in a knot over the passive voice, but it didn’t utter a squeak in this instance.

For what it’s worth, the title of the article is Christian responses to witchcraft and sorcery and you can find a copy on the web here.

But I am less than impressed by the less than informative analysis of Grammarly, and I don’t think I’ll be missing much if I forgo the 7-day free trial. I have no doubt that my writing could be improved, but Grammarly seems unlikely to be helpful there. The MS Word spelling and grammar checker seems adequate for my purposes, and is much more informative.

Lily of the field (book review)

Lily of the FieldLily of the Field by John Lawton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

According to the blurb, it seemed that this was a whodunit, with Scotland Yard Detective Frederick Troy as protagonist. But in the first hundred or so pages he had only made one very brief appearance. It also seemed to be a rather highbrow intellectual whodunit, aiming to be more a work of literature than a light read.

It is set in the pre-war Vienna of the 1930s, in the world of music and the arts, a young girl learning to play the cello in the shadow of the growing threat from Nazi Germany. There are a couple of shifts of scene to a British internment camp for enemy aliens at the beginning of the Second World War.

When the detective finally appears on the scene, he is a bit of a puzzle. There is clearly a backstory to this, and it turns out that Lily of the field is only the first of a series of novels with Inspector Troy as the main character. And, like many British fictional detectives, he has an unusual characteristic that distinguishes him from most of his colleagues. Like Inspector Morse, he is a Musical Policeman, and this enables him to solve a mystery that baffles his colleagues.

But it seems that it would probably be better to begin with one of the earlier novels in the series, as one learns who Inspector Troy is through allusions to them, which are not completely clear if you haven’t read the other books.

The book is set in the 1930s and the 1940s, and the author, John Lawton, seems to have been quite careful to avoid or explain anachronisms in the settings. There are a few, which I would never have noticed, yet he includes some rather interesting notes on them.

Unfortunately he does not seem to have been quite so careful about anachronisms in language, and he uses some expressions and turns of phrase that would not have been used in the 1940s. I spotted two on one page that I am fairly certain were anachonisms, and a couple more that may have been. On page 215 of my edition, it is said of someone that he “went ballistic”. “Ballistic” was a technical term used by military gunnery specialists, police forensic scientists and rocket scientists, but probably only entered the consciousness of the general public in 1957, with the launch of Sputnik I. The most significant thing about Sputnik I, the media told us, was that it showed that the USSR could launch an ICBM — an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. And I’m sure it took a few more years before the term “went ballistic” was applied metaphorically to human beings.

The second such anachronism is where someone is described as “a scrounger living low on the food chain”. Again, while the food chain may have been a concept familiar to biologists, I don’t think that the general public became aware of it before environmental concerns came to the forefront in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and people began writing books with titles like Diet for a small planet.

Another possible anachronism, on the same page, is where someone speaks of “blows coppers away”. That one I’m not sure of, but I don’t think people would have used such an expression in the 1940s.

Lawton goes to some trouble to set the scene of the dreariness of postwar Britain, to remind readers who weren’t around then about things like rationing, almost making too much of it, but then spoils it somewhat by using language that seems out of place.

In spite of that, it’s still a good read, though the beginning promises more than the author actually delivers, and there are some poor patches, especially in the second part. But it whetted my appetite for more, and I’ll look for the first of the series to see if I can find out who Inspector Troy is, really.

View all my reviews

Bacon butties

This morning we had bacon butties for breakfast.

Bacon butties

Bacon butties

The first time I ate a bacon buttie was when I was a student in Durham in the 1960s, and someone offered me one. I’d never heard of a “bacon boetie” before, which what I thought I’d heard her say. I later found that it was spelt “butty” or “buttie”. Some people apparently pronounce it differently, but I pronounce it the way I first heard it, in north-east England. How do you pronounce it?

But bacon butties made pleasant eating, and we’ve had them in our family ever since.

A couple of years later I was in Namibia, and there was a similar food item, but with salami instead of bacon. It was a called a Brötchen, a salami Brötchen. So that’s what I called it. So you have bacon butties and salami Brötchens. You don’t have salami butties and bacon Brötchens.

In a recent discussion on English usage the names for food came under discussion, and it was interesting to see how much variation there is. I had learnt two local names for similar kinds of food, but in two places very far apart.

What surpriswed me in the discussion was that Americans would regard both of them as a “sandwich”. And this revealed an interesting difference in what kinds of food are regarded as a sandwich in different parts of the world.

In the USA, apparently, anything between two pieces of bread, regardless of the shape, size or consistency of the bread is a “sandwich”. A hamburger is a “sandwich”. A hot dog is a “sandwich”. In my dialect, I would never dream of calling a hamburger or a hot dog a “sandwich”. A sandwich is always made with two slices of bread cut off a loaf, and evenly cut on both sides.

A buttie is not a sandwich, though you can make a buttie from a flat slice of bread, as well as with a roll (as in the illustration above). But if you make a buttie out of a slice of bread, you use one slice of bread, butter it, put bacon, or chips, or whatever on it, and fold it over. That’s a buttie, not a sandwich. A sandwich is made of two slices of bread.

If I go to a cafe and ask for a tomato sandwich, nothing more needs to be specified, except that they might ask “brown bread or white”.

But in America, “sandwich” is far too wide a term. They might ask whether you want a sub, hoagie, po’boy or hero (whatever they may be). Actually I did once see a “hero” advertised at Steers in Auckland Park. I ordered one just to see what it was, and it turned out to be a very ordinary steak roll. You didn’t need a heroic appetite to consume it. It tasted pleasant, but heroic it was not. Nor was it, in my dialect, any kind of sandwich. It was a steak roll.

So if you’re travelling far from home and are hungry, and feel like eating a sandwich, make sure the local meaning of “sandwich” is the same as yours, or you may get something you don’t expect.


Cummer gain?

In Rawbone Malong’s book on Sow Theffricun Ingglish, Ah big yaws?, “Cummer gain?” is something Woozers (WUESAs – white urban English-speaking South Africans) say when they mean “Would you mind repeating what you just said? I didn’t quite catch it.”

In recent discussions on the alt.usage.english newsgroup there has been quite a lot of discussion on the different ways speakers of different English dialects pronounce words, causing people to say “Cummert gain?” or its local equivalent.

extrememakeoverOne of the examples I gave was from the TV programme Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where the house of a poor but deservi ng family is renovated, and when they return and see their renovated house they all exclaim, almost without exception, “Oh my GUARD!”

Well, that’s what is sounds like to me.

Either Americans say this a great deal, or the renovatees on the TV programme are coached to say it by the producers. I suspect it may be a little of both. After all, Americans seem to be in the habit of abbreviating it to OMG, so it must be a fairly common saying among them.

The objection, of course, is that they are not actually saying “Oh my GUARD” but “Oh my GOD” — “God” may sound like “guard” to speakers of non-American dialects of English, but it doesn’t sound like that to Americans.

So how do you explain “god” to Americans who pronounce it like “guard”?

Or how do you explain other words with the short “o” vowel, like “hot”, “cot”, “rod”, “sod”, “dog” and many others.

One way of doing so is through the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), where, we are told, this particular sound is represented by a kind of backwards a — ɒ. You can read about it here.

Because it is difficult to type that on most keyboards, an Ascii IPA has been developed, in which it is represented as [A.] — a capital A with a full stop after it.

The problem with that is that one of the examples given in the Wikipedia article implies that the Afrikaans word daar is pronounced like English hot in Limpopo province. I’ve not heard that, ever. It also says that in South African English, uncultured version, park is pronounced like pock, as in pockmarked. I’ve never heard that either. I have heard some people pronounce park like pork, as in “Pork the cor”, but that is a different vowel from the o in “hot”.

So it seems that there are limitations in phonetic alphabets as a way of describing the pronunciations of different dialects of English, or other languages. But the Web provides a solution.

There is a nice international pronunciation site,, where you can listen to different people pronouncing words in various dialects of various languages, and you can also add your own if your own language or accent is not adequately represented there. You can listen to my pronunciation of various words here, and if you click on the words, you can hear how other people pronounce them.

One of the most useful phrases for illustrating the vowel we have been discussing here, is “hot dog”, and I invite other English-speaking South Africans to add their pronunciation of “hot dog” to the file.

In South Africa we have 11 official languages, and if you speak any of them as your native language, please add it to the pronunciation files. I’d like to hear how Afrikaans speakers, especially those from Limpopo province, pronounce daar, and I don’t think that even if you say Daar doerrrrr in die bosveld you will get anything that remotely resembles the “o” in English hot. But I’m open to being convinced, so if you normally pronounce it like that, please convince me.

I would also be interested to see how the IPA represents the Zulu “u” in umuntu, and how native speakers actually say it. It is similar to some English sounds, like the oo in book, in Woozer English (which is quite close to, but not identical with, the black urban English-speaking South African English popularly called the “Model C accent”). But the u in umuntu is not identical with the oo in book, which, I suppose, is why they stopped spelling Zulu as Zooloo.

So whatever your accent or variety of  English, go to the Forvo web site and add to the sound files. And if your language is not English, you can add to those sound files too. It seems to be pretty good in Russian, too. I’m glad about that, because one of the difficulties I have with Russian is that the stress always seems to fall where I least expect it.

New Year or New Year’s?

Do you say “New Year” or “New Year’s” when referring to the first day of January?

In a discussion forum for English usage, it appeared that Americans prefer “New Year’s”, while most other English speakers (including me) prefer New Year, and feel that there is something missinjg in “New Year’s” that makes us want to ask “New year’s what?”

We will happily say “New Year’s Eve” or “New Year’s Day” or “New Year’s resolutions” (not that I’ve ever made any, or thought of doing so, but I know some people do). But I don’t ever use “New Year’s” on its own.

I suppose there’s no particular logical reason for that. I use other possessives on their own, where people would understand what I was referring to by the context. “Let’s go to Fred’s” would be understood as Let’s go to Fred’s house, or Fred’s restaurant, or whatever.

But I never, ever say “I’ll see you after New Year’s.”

In my dialect “New Year’s” must always be qualified by “Eve”, “Day”, “Resolutions” etc., and sounds incomplete without one of those things.

So what do you say?

Please answer the quiz question, and perhaps make a comment, indicating which part of the world you live in, and which form seems more natural to you, and why.

Detestable neologisms: “curate” as a verb

About a month ago, in the course of a discussion on the alt.usage.english newsgroup I became aware of “curate” being used as a verb, and since then I’ve been seeing it in lots of places.

To me a “curator” was someone in charge of a museum or art gallery, and seeing it in other contexts just looked very weird.

I read this page on a blog that referred to “curating” a dictionary: Crowd-sourced dictionaries and rare portmanteaus | Sentence first: “For more of my thoughts on Urban Dictionary, and why professionally curated dictionaries are in no danger of displacement, you can read the rest here.”

I queried it, and the author said it had been expanded in meaning, as he explained here: Is linguistic inflation insanely awesome? | Macmillan:

Lately the word curation has been used to refer to the collecting and posting of links on the internet, a curator being someone who does this. Some find it a bit of a stretch, and they have a point. But this often happens to job titles: they get stretched, puffed up, inflated – Subway workers are sandwich artists, cleaning staff are surface technicians, and hairdressers are design directors.

I had hitherto thought that the correct neologism for such a person who collects and posts links on the Internet was “blogger”.But, hey, if it will impress people, I hope you enjoy reading my curation and the links that I have curated above. It is obviously a new trend in the curatosphere.

The dictionary reference made me think of Samuel Johnson, as he must have been the first-ever curator of an English dictionary, and he says:

CURATOR one that has the care and superintendence of any thing.

The curators of Bedlam assure us, that some lunaticks are persons of honour.

That fits in pretty well with the current meaning of “manager”.

But I still feel that referring to Samuel Johnson as the “curator” of the first English dictionary doesn’t fit, and that “compiler” would be a more accurate description.

There are some neologisms, like “curate”, and extensions of the meanings existing words, like “curator”, that I feel compelled to resist. Not that it will stop other people using them, but I will continue to blog, rather than curate, and invite people to read my blog rather than read my curation.

On second thoughts, I think I may use “curator” to take the mickey, and refer to the CEOs of companies as “curating directors”. Perhaps they’ll be flattered.

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