Brothers Abroad brand

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Feedback/BBC Radio 4 - PRONUNCIATION

Need to check whether this might have made it onto the relevant BBC
message board…


Dear Roger/Feedback Team,

Good to have you back and to hear that your listeners’ quills (actual or
virtual) are still as sharp as ever!

I seem to recall from the final outing of your last series that there
was a heated debate about “pronunciation” (received or otherwise), in
which one contributor after another - including some BBC personnel -
repeatedly pronounced the word as “pronOUnciation”! Classic stuff.

Welcome back!


Posted by Dej on 11 May around 5am

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Saturday, April 12, 2008


As you will have gathered from my recently mentioning Ms. Coren’s column
on David Beckham’s appearance in a print ad campaign for underwear, I
have become a big fan of the late Alan Coren’s daughter.

She was recently having some good fun at the expense of the former First
Lady Senator, when in mid-flow, she veered off on the following
linguistic tangent:

“An enthralling etymological debate is raging online regarding the
meanings of ‘misspeak’ in its original Old English form (‘to grumble’),
in Chaucer’s day (‘to speak insultingly’) and in 19th century America
(‘to speak unclearly or fail to tell the whole truth’).

But we all know what went on in Hillary’s case, don’t we? I’m not sure
there is a word that specifically means ‘embellishing an anecdote in
order to make oneself sound more interesting’, but we need a word for
that and ‘misspeak’ will do as well as any. (‘Embell-self-glamming’
would be more fun, but its construction sounds a little German. And the
Germans probably don’t do it. They’re more likely to need a word which
means ‘down-playing an anecdote in order to make oneself sound slightly
less efficient’ and I expect they’ve got one. Coined years ago, neatly
prepared in case of future-use-requirement’.)”

Posted by Dej on 12 Apr around 6pm

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Heathrow Terminal 5 Launch Debacle - quote of the day

Cool, young German passenger when asked his impressions of Terminal 5 by
the BBC’s reporter - and delivered in totally dead-pan,

“It’s a nice building…but it would be better with some ‘planes”

Priceless…for everything else, there’s Mastercard!

Posted by Dej on 28 Mar around 6am

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Radio 4’s Book of the Week - LINGUISTICS/use of NOT (meaning ONLY) in ne que…?

Stumbled across the following last night - a description from a female
suitor’s perspective, as far as I could gather:

“...not the most inveterate optimist could have read any more than
languid civility in his response…”

[had to do a double-take to break down this delicious construction -
which analysis would’ve have come oh-so-naturally to (or rather, would
have been so unnecessary for) The Oracle (hereafter, “T.O.”)!]

Posted by Dej on 06 Mar around 12pm

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Monday, December 03, 2007

The Oxford Comma*

Just heard this offered as an example on Radio 4’s “Brain of Britain”
quiz - “fish, chips,* and peas”

Why the comma and why the nomenclature? - would be my questions!

Posted by Dej on 03 Dec around 8pm

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