Words sometimes confused: continuous and continual by Angela Caldin

I know that there is a difference between continuous and continual and I remember being taught about it at school. But sometimes I forget what the difference is. So I’m explaining it for my benefit and for the benefit of anyone else who might like to know that they are not synonyms. Continuous indicates that something goes on without interruption, whereas continual indicates that something goes on over a period of time, but with intervals of interruption. The continuous noise of machinery from the next door factory began to affect her health…. Read More

Freedom of the press by Angela Caldin

It seems there was an incident on Monday 3 February at 10 Downing Street when one of Boris Johnson’s senior aides tried to ban selected reporters from attending a briefing on the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Reminiscent of Trump and his conflicts with media? The wrong side of the rug The aide wanted to exclude reporters from the Mirror, the i, HuffPost, PoliticsHome, the Independent and others. Apparently, those journalists to be admitted were asked to stand on one side of a rug, while those not… Read More

Carbon footprint by Angela Caldin

I’m getting increasingly concerned about my family’s carbon footprint which is fast assuming the proportions of a giant’s imprint. Yesterday we took our younger daughter and her partner to the airport for their journey back to Brisbane after a brilliant family Christmas here in Auckland. They took with them, as well as the usual suitcases, two mountain bikes in enormous cardboard boxes and a surfboard with its cover stuffed with all sorts. They’ve set up in Australia after two years in the UK. Our elder daughter lives in Auckland and our son… Read More

Season’s Greetings!

We wish all our loyal and faithful readers a very happy Christmas, especially Emily’s mum, Marge, Trevor’s brother-in-law, Hoffa and Angela’s son and daughters, Tom, Kate and Lucy. These people sometimes read our blog and have been known to make comments! Also Pablo Castilla in Sevilla and Maria Cristina Diaz in Santander who sometimes like our blog and have learnt some English words from it which they might not otherwise have known (Trevor, you know what I mean). We hope you all have a wonderful day with family and friends whatever your… Read More

Difficult words by Angela Caldin

There are some English words whose meanings I find hard to remember. However often I look them up, they float unfathomably away from me. Here are a few of the worst culprits: Inchoate The first letters of this word don’t indicate a negative because the word comes from Latin inchoare, which means to begin. Inchoate things are just beginning, only partly in existence, imperfectly formed. Unabashed This word is one where the positive version did exist but has fallen out of use. To abash meant to perplex or embarrass in the late… Read More