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  • A plethora of whisperers

    Feb 25, 2016 | 2 Comments

    The horse whisperer was the starting point for today’s plethora of whisperers. It is thought that this was the name of an Irish horseman, Daniel `Horse-Whisperer' Sullivan (died 1810), whose rehabilitation of intractable horses was thought to involve whispering since he stood so close to the horse he was training. Read more...


  • Bringing 'the heat'

    Feb 11, 2016 | 1 Comment

    Perth is in the grip of a heatwave and so the meteorologist whose task it was to report, yet again, that the heat is with us, remarked casually that it might help to break the monotony if he had other words for ‘the heat’. And so a message was sent to Macquarie Dictionary. Can you help please? Read more...


  • The pronunciation of placenames

    Feb 10, 2016 | 3 Comments

    The pronunciation of placenames can cause great difficulty. It is easy to spot an outsider by the mistakes that they make, usually a cause for mirth or irritation for the locals. Read more...


  • Joe Hildebrand on the power of words

    Jan 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

    A Word of the Year 2015 blog post from guest contributor Joe Hildebrand

    'It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.'

    With this little lyric a big-haired, trouser-flared ensemble called the Bee Gees perhaps accidentally summed up the universal lament of the human race in a single line – albeit a deeply ungrammatical one. Read more...


  • Words we hate

    Jan 11, 2016 | 14 Comments

    I know it is the time when we celebrate the new words in the English language, but it is also the time, as my friends at 2UE reminded me, when people like to consider the words they most hated in the previous year. Read more...