The story’s the thing and the meaning of words

I like words. That much is blatantly obvious to anyone who knows me and most who don’t. Language, words and stories are the foundation of everything we’ve become as a cultural animal. Language and words evolve too. You might hate it when people say arks...

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2011 Results

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is one of my favourite literary events. It’s a brilliant idea. It stems from the awful writing of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton. You probably think you’ve never heard of him. But I can almost guarantee you have. Here, see if...

Don’t be a dick online

There’s been a lot of debate recently about how people comport themselves online. There are stories of teachers losing their job for complaining about students, other people losing jobs for complaining about said job, or their boss. Lovers discovering spouses...

Fun with Google Ngrams

There’s this thing Google have put together which is really addictive. It’s called Ngrams. Essentially, when you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books. You can set...

A few funny words

I’m often entertained by notices in public places, from street signs to restaurant menus and everything in between. Sometimes it’s a case of English as a second language creating the funnies. Other times it’s people trying too hard to say the right...