Angela’s ABCs flout and flaunt words sometimes confused

It seemed to me that flout and flaunt were sufficiently different for it to be difficult to confuse them. I thought their meanings were clear. If you don’t comply with a rule, you are flouting it. If you make a big display of your success, you are flaunting it It seems that I was wrong. I was tut-tutting to myself the other day because I noticed that one of The Guardian’s coronavirus update writers had used flaunt to mean flout. Nobody seemed particularly bothered. When I did some research, I realised this… Read More

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

From squo to woe by Trevor Plumbly

The older I get the less polite I’m inclined to be about things that really piss me off. Bad language I dislike it when people tinker with things that are working OK, like words. We’re losing the battle against geek-speak every day and these bright sparks are continually cooking up acronyms and verbal obscurities which we swallow without question, not wanting to look dumb. Though not well educated in the full sense of the term, I do have a regard for clarity. Computer programmers however, loathe simplicity and neither do they fight… 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