Angela’s ABCs: Appraise and apprise

One letter makes all the difference: Appraise means to assess or evaluate. Lose the second ‘a’ and you have apprise which means to inform, notify or advise. ‘I decided to have my father’s war medals appraised by an expert in militaria.’ ‘The expert apprised me of the medals’ value by return of post.’ Having trouble understanding a tricky word? Don’t know whether to use an apostrophe before or after an s? Not sure of your grammar? Ask our word expert Angela, and she’ll get back to you via Angela’s ABCs posts.

Angela’s ABCs Imply and infer

Why do so many people muddle up imply and infer when they have opposite meanings? Imply means to state indirectly or suggest, while infer means to deduce or draw a conclusion. A speaker or writer implies, while a listener or reader infers: ‘He implied in his text message that he was about to dump me.’ ‘I inferred from his text message that he was about to dump me.’

Mind and Matter Over Time by Angela Caldin

It’s April the world over and that means that here in the Antipodes we’re moving inexorably into autumn. Not for us white and pink blossom foaming on the trees and showy daffodils trumpeting their yellow gaudiness under trees and on grassy slopes. We can’t rejoice at new shoots poking their heads through the soil to reach for the gentle sun and we don’t enjoy lengthening days with light balmy evenings and the smell of barbecues in the air. We have violent winds and driving, teaming rain and daylight saving bringing darker evenings… Read More

Manners Makyth Man and Woman by Angela Caldin

It was William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, who took as his motto “Manners makyth Man” as long ago as the fourteenth century.  His chosen maxim was fairly revolutionary at the time as it implied that good manners, including adherence to norms of politeness and good conduct are what distinguish someone and make them a rounded, attractive and successful individual.  The words meant that an individual is defined, not by birth, money, or property, but by how he or she behaves towards other people. The maxim seems to have worked for William,… Read More

Up in Cloud Cuckoo Land by Angela Caldin

Ever heard of Cloud Computing? I hadn’t until last week when I wondered if it meant computing in secret or computing somewhere high in the rainforest. I decided I must overcome my ignorance and looked up the expression on http://www.techterms.com. There I learnt that: ‘Cloud Computing refers to applications and services offered over the Internet. These services are offered from data centres all over the world, which collectively are referred to as the ‘cloud.’ This metaphor represents the intangible, yet universal nature of the Internet.” I pondered for a while on the idea of… Read More