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at9 last won the day on September 17

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  1. The story has had much wider exposure than in The Guardian. There are many examples, but the Daily Mail, whose politics are very different to The Guardian has the story, as does the BBC. There are loads more both in the UK and worldwide. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7776691/In-Mexico-effeminate-Zapata-painting-draws-fury.html https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-50740323
  2. Work fine here. They aren't clickable, you need to copy and paste them into your browser's address bar.
  3. I really don't know what to make of this one. A portrait of Zapata, the Mexican hero, naked except for sombrero and high heels. It has caused controversy. I know that HH were created for horse riding as they helped feet to stay in the stirrups but these are very different and there are no stirrups in the picture. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/11/emiliano-zapata-nude-painting-mexico
  4. "I seen..." may well be standard in West Country* dialect. Along with "I be..." instead of "I am....". Other parts of the UK may still use "I are..." and "I is...." in their dialect. *For the benefit of foreigners, the West Country in England is Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset. Cornwall often likes to consider itself a place apart from England.
  5. In the grand scheme of the routes of English, from Beowulf through Chaucer and Shakespeare to the present day our current evolution of the language seems quite modest. Though perhaps it's happening faster now than ever before. In Shakespeare's time, new words were frequently coined and spelling was very variable. Most people can't read Chaucer, let alone Beowulf, without interpretative notes. Even Shakespeare can be tricky though it's largely recognisable. We can still understand most writings from the past 100+ years. Though you need to watch out for words that have changed their meaning, eg "shampoo". This is from Hindi, and originally meant "massage". There's a nice balance to be struck between a healthy, living, evolving language and good quality writing. Spoken and written language influence each other. Elision is common in spoken language, some of this finds its way into written text. Hence "would of" and other such monstrosities. For a language where the writers were at war with the speakers look at Irish Gaelic. I believe that Welsh is phonetic, even if it looks like a serious accident with a Scrabble set. I once knew a Polish guy whose nickname was "Scrabble", because his name looked like an accident with a Scrabble set. An incredibly useful online resource is: https://www.etymonline.com/ I believe it's all about the study of insects:-)
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/dec/01/terry-de-havilland-obituary https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2019/12/02/terry-de-havilland-rocknroll-cobbler-supplied-rich-famous-exotic/ (Paywall) He created all sorts of rock and roll shoes. Form his "Cobblers to World" shop in the 1970s to the Magic Shoe Company in the 1990s.
  7. It also provides one more use of the letter "W", something very rare in French. ISTR the French Scrabble set allocates 10 points to W.
  8. Mais en France vous avez l'Academie Francaise! In English we have no such formal authority over the language. The Academie tries to fight a (usually) losing battle against anlicisms. "Le weekend" is part of normal French. English borrows, no steals, shamelessly from all quarters and may the best words win. Linguistic purity be damned, English is a mongrel tongue and all the better for it.
  9. Nausea, shmausea! I just feel sick. A word that doesn't happily cross the Atlantic. We could devote many column inches (column centimetres?) to US vs UK. Such inncocent UK expressions as: * A tramp in the woods. * Some fags * Beavering away * Keep ypur pecker up Take on a very different hue in the US. PS: The forum software has appended my subsequent post, rather than showing it as a separate one. Catastrophe! The Apostrophe Protection Society is closing down: https://www.apostrophe.org.uk/ The founder even won an IgNobel Prize for literature: https://www.improbable.com/2019/12/01/an-end-at-the-apostrophe/
  10. A couple of pet hates. 1: There/their/they're The last has that pesky apostrophe too. 2: I would of done it. Instead of I would have done it. I found it really hard to type the first version. It grates whenever I see it. I can see why it's done, when you say it out loud it often sounds like "would of" and it could quite correctly be written would've. This may be a lost cause. Languages evolve and this could well become the standard usage over time. Ugh. An example of usage that I've more or less accepted is "media" as a signular noun. The correct singular "medium" has detached itself from the plural. Though not as far as "datum" and "data" which are effectively divorced with different meanings.
  11. The great George Bernard Shaw wanted to abolish the apostrophe. Although you can construct sentences where it matters, in most cases the sense is clear if you omit them completely. Catastrophe? Apostrophe! In the meantime, Ill carry on using the little blighter's correctly. [sic]
  12. Somebody suggested that we start a thread for grammar fiends, spelling hounds, latinists and other pedants. So let's split the infinitive and take the Fowler* express to the land of the semicolon. *Those from outside this Septic Isle** may not be aware of Fowler's English Usage: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fowlers-Modern-English-Usage-Re-Revised/dp/0198610211 **See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Sceptred_Isle PS: When I wrote the OP, I'd forgotten that another Fowler was a railway engineer. A double meaning without even realising that I was doing it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fowler_(engineer)
  13. Oh yes we do! Mr Fawkes. My reply contains a reference to the British version of pantomime, something almost unknown in the USA. As well as to our fireworks night, 5th November, commemorating a failed attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up parliament with gunpowder.
  14. This rare colour footage of Flanders and Swann was recorded in the US.
  15. I have several of his books. Always fun to read.
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