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  • Kombucha, fat washing and burrata

    Jan 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

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    Food terms from Word of the Year 2013

    While food is always a flourishing category in the Word of the Year collection, the items that fall into it tend to divide into novelty and health. The representative of the superfoods this year is in fact a drink from Japan, kombucha. Read more...


  • Showrooming

    Jan 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

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    An entry from Word of the Year 2013

    This word is really so naughty. A subtle grammatical change and the standard showroom of the merchandising world is transformed into the practice that is bringing giant retailers undone. Read more...


  • Words like "rape" are being casualised - especially on social media

    Jan 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

    [WARNING: this article discusses a taboo word]

    I had a most unusual request from an ABC presenter. It seems that the word rape has acquired various colloquial meanings which sparked a discussion as to whether this weakened the abhorrence of the community towards the act of rape. Read more...


  • Spelling matters: -ise or -ize?

    Jan 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

    A school in Queensland has caused a stir by using the spelling authorization with a z on its public noticeboard.

    This has sparked a debate on radio as to what is the correct spelling and Macquarie has been asked to give advice. Read more...


  • Dining boom

    Jan 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

    An entry from Word of the Year 2013

    I find this a witty coinage. Thinking it logical to start with the word boom, I began with the word’s etymology, not expecting any problems. I had assumed that boom derived from the association with a sudden explosion. Things that boomed went off with a bang. Read more...


  • Tech-free tourism and digital detoxing

    Jan 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

    Entries from Word of the Year 2013

    At first I thought that digital detox was something that the older generation craved. Some respite from all the devices that now crowd our lives combined with a memory that it was not always so and that, from this distance, the digital-free world seems better, nobler. Read more..


  • The little word 'because'

    Jan 13, 2014 | 0 Comments

    It has for many years been described as a conjunction. I know that it is daytime because the sun is up.

    It was slightly complicated by turning up in a prepositional phrase because of. We can go on holidays because of your generosity.

    But it is being used in a different way now. Read more ...


  • Migrants and Aussie Slang

    Jan 09, 2014 | 0 Comments

    Happy New Year to everyone. I kicked off the year talking to a Probus Club about the history of Australian slang. Always good fun for everyone. One of the members asked if I had noticed a story about how we should expunge slang from our English to be polite to migrants. I said that I had looked at it briefly and that the idea was such a linguistic improbability – no, more than that, impossibility  ̶  that I hadn’t given it much thought. Read more...