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Dot Wordsworth

And Finally

The Aesopian language of algospeak

Suicide clubs, sexploiters and political idealists use common methods to evade the censors in a world of spies and algorithms

By Dot Wordsworth

And Finally

What does ice cream have to do with ‘late capitalism’?

I dislike postmodernist architecture and big business being beastly to workers, but late capitalism seems to me quite a feeble cliché

By Dot Wordsworth

And Finally

The mechanics of ‘backlash’

Backlash, now in vogue, is often misused

By Dot Wordsworth

And Finally

The French have made a hash of the hashtag

The hash has grown in importance since 2007 when Twitter introduced the hashtag

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

The language of the victimhood war

To own occupies a semantic field which turns out to be a Grimpen Mire

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

What exactly is the ‘festive season’?

No one ordinarily talks of the festive season

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

Can men be witches?

If wicca rings a bell it is because of a sensational intervention into language history

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

The rational meaning of ‘surd’

A surd number or quantity is irrational, such as the square root of two

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

The link between spick and span, spanking and spoon

Whatever spick and span reminds us of, it is as an idiom with a cheery meaning of its own

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

The language of lounging around

I was put in mind of lounging by video conferencing, which allows conferees to attend to their visible top half while wearing lounge pants below

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

The dirty truth about ‘wash-up’

In 1920s American slang ‘wash up’ meant to finish something or somebody

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

What’s the difference between ‘gifting’ and ‘giving’?

I started at the word gifting like a horse shying at a plastic bag caught in the hedge. Why didn’t I like it?

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

Do the England team play football, footer, footie – or soccer?

Association football became soccer in the 1880s, at first sometimes written socker

By Dot Wordsworth

Language

Critical thinking: the difference between ‘critique’ and ‘criticize’

Once upon a time, the art of criticism had the name critick in Englis

By Dot Wordsworth

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