Angela’s ABCs: words sometimes confused – all together and altogether

All together and altogether are homophones, which means they sound alike, but they have different meanings. I, for one, find it easy to confuse them, so the explanation below is for my benefit as well as anyone else who might be interested. All together, a two-word phrase, means collectively, with each other, everyone doing something all at once or all in one place: We gathered round the piano and sang the folk song all together.       (It’s possible to break up this two-word saying as in “We all gathered round… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – words sometimes confused: flout and flaunt

Flaunt and flout are both verbs which sound sort of similar, but they don’t mean the same thing. When you flaunt yourself, your wealth, or your accomplishments, you’re parading them in front of people, displaying them ostentatiously and showing off. It sometimes seems that Facebook is just a vehicle for people to flaunt their fabulous holidays, their amazingly successful children and their sporting achievements. The male peacock flaunts his fabulous plumage in the hope of attracting the female.   When you flout something, you openly disregard it, scoff at it, mock it, or show scorn… Read More

Mother’s words by Trevor Plumbly

Verbal carnage Mother was never short of Cockney wisdom and had a basic distrust of excess, especially when it came to language; anyone spouting to impress would be loudly accused of ‘swallowing a bloody dictionary’. She dismissed any politician with ‘just vote for the bugger and hope he shuts up! Salesmen fared worse by being cast as ‘all mouth and no trousers’. She would, I feel, have been ill-equipped for today’s language; anyone spouting the obscure would be called upon for a simple translation, then told ‘if that’s what you meant, why… Read More

Angela’s ABCs words sometimes confused: loathe and loath

One letter makes all the difference Loathe (rhymes with clothe) is a verb meaning to dislike intensely, to detest or to hate She enjoyed eating most fruits, but she loathed pineapple; even the smell made her feel sick. His strictly austere Presbyterian family brought him up to loathe Catholics because of their ritual and finery. Loath (rhymes with both) is an adjective meaning unwilling or reluctant The water was calm, but so bitterly cold that he was loath to jump in. Her boss’s reputation for sexual harassment was so well known that… Read More

We shall gather by Trevor Plumbly

Bringing in the sheaves I’m not much of a one for meetings, especially those prefaced as being ‘strategic’. Sadly, as with others I’ve felt obliged to attend, this one dumped about a hundred pages of electronic verbiage on me prior to the great day of enlightenment. This ‘info pack’ (already I’m using their language) would have swelled the hearts of devotees of the obscure, full of verbal titbits like ‘finding your narrative’ and ‘self-objectives’. To lessen the possibility of an IT induced migraine, I considered converting the stuff to paper, but decided… Read More