January 2004

Like pinning jelly to a wall

January 29, 2004

Blaming Tony Blair is like trying to pin jelly to a wall. I heard this expression earlier today on Radio 4. The journalist was commenting on how miraculously Tony Blair had been absolved by the Hutton enquiry into the death...

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Posted by céline on January 29, 2004
Idioms

Oche

January 27, 2004

We visited friends in Walthamstow (East London) this weekend and in the afternoon, we went out to the pub to play pool. We found a little gem: not only did it have a pool table but also a darts board!...

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Posted by céline on January 27, 2004
Words

Word of Mouth

January 26, 2004

Thanks Andy for letting me know about Word of Mouth, a half-hour weekly program on Radio 4, “Radio 4's open door on the world of words and the way we speak”. I listened online to the most recent program and...

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Posted by céline on January 26, 2004
Language

Baby-foot

January 23, 2004

Aren’t false anglicisms a real oddity? Last night, I was explaining to a friend that my greatest ambition in life is to have a games room in my home with a pool table and a baby-foot. “A what?” he said....

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Posted by céline on January 23, 2004
Words

Understatement

January 21, 2004

“We’re now going to try and land, cabin crew take your seats for landing.” We’d been circling Biarritz for 20 minutes, waiting for the storm raging below us to abate, and “trying to land” wasn’t a prospect that was filling...

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Posted by céline on January 21, 2004
Language

It might look like a holiday, but...

January 16, 2004

Tomorrow, I’m going to France until Tuesday. This is not a holiday, and in fact, I’m taking a laptop with me, as I’m still working on that 45,000 word project, and I’m planning on working in the mornings. I’m going...

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Grandiose

January 14, 2004

Grandiose is another word of Latin origin. I heard it mentioned during the lunchtime news in the context of George Bush’s plans for the colonisation of Mars. An American scientist called them a “grandiose waste of money”. Immediately my little...

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Posted by céline on January 14, 2004
Words

Totality

January 12, 2004

Tony Blair: "I stand by the totality of what I said at that time." This choice of words by the British Prime Minister has been ridiculed by his political opponents, who have taken great delight in accusing him of playing...

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Posted by céline on January 12, 2004
Words

Le Fish & Chips

January 9, 2004

We all know that the English owe the French very many wonderful things. I was delighted to hear that the beloved seaside favourite, the fish & chips, is one of them! It’s actually a mix of French frites and Jewish...

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Posted by céline on January 9, 2004
Culture

Adaptation

January 8, 2004

Lorelai: I kept information from you. Rory: Information that I should have had. Lorelai: It would’ve come out eventually, Like the Iran-Contra Scandal. Rory: So you’re Oliver North. Lorelai: No, I’m Fawn Hall. Rory: Mom. Lorelai: She was much prettier...

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Posted by céline on January 8, 2004
Technical corner

Spa

January 5, 2004

I managed to spend the entire holiday without feeling too guilty about not doing anything and was rewarded with a 45,000 word project when I finally allowed myself to get back to my computer. The deadline is tight but the...

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Posted by céline on January 5, 2004
Words