Tag Archives: Words

The pleasures of fine lettercutting in stone

Here’s a lovely thing I was very lucky to be given a few weeks ago. I hope anyone with an interest in words, writing and lettering will enjoy it here too. What is it? It’s a Clipsham limestone square pillar with … Continue reading

Posted in Art criticism, Media analysis, Typography, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inventing the future – the earliest mention of the word ‘wordpress’?

Two ifs: if there was a search engine that filtered on the earliest mention of, and if we then looked up ‘WordPress’, we would find this, by James Joyce, from 1939: A bone, a pebble, a ramskin; chip them, chap … Continue reading

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What is the value of words? The euro crisis, Shakespeare and the 2012 Olympics

The current Greece-led euro crisis – #Grexit – may get a lot worse after the second national Greek election on 17 June. A lot (billions of euros) depends on a little (very small percentage differences in voter responses). (I leave … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Media analysis, Words, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The psychoanalysis of spelling

The only purpose of spelling is to communicate. ‘Bad’ spelling communicates too, but it gives out a message we don’t want. Or perhaps it gives out a message we do want. So what do we really want? The Spice Girls said they … Continue reading

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Hitler and me for the book, the Kindle and writing; Moses, Buddha, Socrates and Jesus Christ against

A book of words is usually fairly simple and ordinary; at its best it can give us a sense that this ordinariness is very special indeed. Of course ‘special’ sounds silly as soon as I write it down, and ‘ordinariness’ … Continue reading

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Pop goes the euphemism

I have just been to collect a prescription from the pharmacist, and was asked to wait for 20 minutes ‘while we pop your prescription together for you’. I noticed that the medicine was already in a container in its packaging, … Continue reading

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The power of words #2: strange and beautiful words

The first of this pair of blogs looked at words of power; this one, Gerard Manley Hopkins-style, discusses words ‘counter, spare, original, strange’. One of my favourite words is egg. What’s good about it? It’s short. And odd. I like … Continue reading

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The power of words #1: words of power

We cannot understand a word unless we know what it means, but our familiarity with it also wears away the meaning. This is the motor that drives the ceaseless creativity of our speech-acts. I started off making a selection of … Continue reading

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‘Explicit to the idiot …’

Today, two things in my mind. One, William Blake’s extraordinary letter to the Reverend Dr Trusler (23 August 1799). For background, Blake was always very short of money; Trusler was offering to become a patron of Blake’s printed illustrations and … Continue reading

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