• An Oxford comma walks into a bar where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars. • A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly. • A bar was walked into by the passive voice. • An oxymoron walked… Read More »
A malaphor is an idiom blend: an error in which two similar figures of speech are merged, producing an often nonsensical result. Malaphor comes from the blending of the words malapropism and metaphor. It was coined by Lawrence Harrison in an August 6, 1976 Washington Post opinion piece titled “Searching for Malaphors”. Malaphors are also known as Dundrearyisms, named… Read More »
Is it weird how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how weird it is?
Peter piper, without pretension to precocity or profoundness, puts pen to paper to produce these puzzling pages, purposely to please the palates of pretty prattling playfellows, proudly presuming that with proper penetration it will probably, and perhaps positively, prove a peculiarly pleasant and profitable path to proper, plain and precise pronunciation.
He prays parents to purchase this playful performance, partly to pay him for his patience and pains; partly to provide for the printers and publishers; but principally to prevent the pernicious prevalence of perverse pronunciation.
The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what… Read More »
The interrobang character “‽” was used in a court opinion on June 13, 2012. The interrobang, also known as the interabang, is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in… Read More »
If you’ve used Windows for any length of time you’re probably familiar with entering special characters with the ALT+ method. For example, to enter “É” — Latin Capital Letter E with Acute, Unicode code point U+00C9 — you can hold down the ALT key and while continuing to hold it down, type 0201 on the… Read More »
Oxford dictionary defines pangram as “A sentence or verse that contains all the letters of the alphabet.” The ultimate pangram is one which is only 26 letters long. Some examples of pangrams: Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Jackdaws love my big sphinx of… Read More »
I have high confidence in the translations in bold text. If you can provide a better translation for any of these, please leave a comment below. Afrikaans Gelukkige verjaarsdag! Albanian Gëzuar ditëlindjen! Amharic መልካም ልደት! Arabic عيد مولد سعيد! Armenian Ծնունդդ շնորհավոր! Azerbaijani Ad günün mübarək! Basque Zorionak! or Pozik Urtebetetzea! Belarusian З Днём Нараджэння!… Read More »
It’s getting to be that time of year again when people that can’t tell a Χ (chi) from an X (ex) start trying to take the X out of Xmas. Xmas is usually considered an abbreviation of Christmas, but it was written Xmas long before it was written Christmas. It’s a trick that’s played on the… Read More »