Archive for September, 2008

Language in Peril (the other one)

September 16th, 2008 No comments

A RECENT headline in [The Irish Times] read “Grealish speculation upsets PDs”.
An alien with good English picking up The Irish Times and seeing this declaration could reasonably wonder, what sort of speculation is that? Something between grisly and relishing? Used in this way the name of the PD’s wandering star comes across as something out of Lewis Carroll, oh frabjous day, oh slithy tove, for we had come over all grealish.

The perplexed alien would assume that this was another new word, perhaps a mutant, and if he tuned in to a), a radio business forum, or b), some trendy indie blogger, he would soon come across grealish and maybe, just maybe, be able to work out its meaning. For we live in a world where not only is language subject to fantastic bursts of fashion, but tech talk and, most vitally, US-speak direct us along peculiar cul-de-sacs of communication. Read more…

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