Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Howlers 14

A feather in her torque

Not everyone realises that vaingloriously, loving-kindness and long-drawn-out are single words. And do they people “play host to” because they can’t spell “accommodate”? When they talk about
obtuse knowledge”, are they trying to say “abstruse”?

de riguerre
(de rigueur – it's about rigour, not war)
exult for exhort
in sunnier climbs
(climes or climates)
astigmatism for stigma
(BBC Breakfast)
forced perspective (false perspective)
banjo wheel barometer (Matthew Parris) (just banjo)
quadrupets (quadrupeds)
It’s still in fairly good lick. (good nick)
useful as a pied d tier (pied à terre or foot on the ground)
peaked my interest (piqued)
mute point (moot)
fundamental tenants of international law (Teresa May) (tenets)

pairing down
my Twitter follows (paring, like cheese-paring or paring a pear)
toe-headed (Very fair hair is the colour of unbleached flax or tow – sounds like toe.)
unchartered waters (BBC News) (uncharted)

Through the centuries a number of ships have floundered there. (foundered)
It’s women who bare the brunt in war ( (bear or carry – but what is a brunt?)

It puts pains to the idea. (puts paid – you take pains to do something difficult)
Save the wildlife habit at Earlham Park from developers. ( (habitat)
Hannah Betts calls Stephen Fry “a solipsistic old hoofer”. (Hoofers are tap-dancers, not actors.)

A feather grows from her severe black torque. (Iain Sinclair quoted by Angela Carter in the London Review of Books) (One of them should have known that Alice – through the Looking Glass – was wearing a toque on her head, copied from a picture by Millais called My First Sermon.)

Most do not know what it is like to steel into the cold monastery church, night after night. ( (steal)

in its heydey (It’s "heyday" – but why? Nothing to do with hay, and the “day” bit may be folk etymology.)

I’m not going to have a discussion about personal people. (BBC Breakfast interviewee)

The new decorations, which include at least a dozen replicas of generic Soviet statues featuring young pioneers and athletes, harken back to a different Soviet legacy. (NYT) (It's hearken or hark, and hark is the one you want.)

amphitheatre for theatre, epicentre for centre (Per Mary Beard, an amphitheatre is the full circle. And the epicentre of an earthquake is the area around the centre.)

Railways forged Canada's lovely Othello tunnels, but now they are open to hikers. (Atlas Obscura)  (You might forge a railway, but you excavate a tunnel.)

Alexander forged new frontiers for the Greek empire. (David Adams) (Not sure what you do with frontiers – draw? delineate? establish? – but you don’t forge them.)

@jameswbraxton & @HansonsAuctions are pooling around #Scotland in a #DKW Auto-Union 1000 Coupe (@AntiquesRoadtrip) (That’s “tooling”.)

Carole Caplin asks “Am I an odd crystal-crunching bird who can hardly string a sentence together?” Is she confusing crystal gazer and carrot cruncher? (2005)
She is not a crunchy new-ager. (
Apparently "crunchy" is “used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.” (urban dictionary) Because they eat crunchy granola?

Lesser spotted hedgehog is a rarer sight than ever.  (For the last time – it won't be – a lesser spotted animal is small, and has spots. It may also be rare and fear humans.)

Does faith fall by the waist-side? (And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Matthew 13:4)

More here, and links to the rest.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Syndromes We Don't Have a Name For 2

Macramé bridesmaid syndrome

Making your bridesmaids all wear the same hideous dress.

Progress goes into reverse
(For women in Saudi Arabia.)

An offer you must refuse (You must come to lunch sometime – drop in any time you’re passing...)

Changing your tune when your lies are exposed by incontrovertible evidence (A hospital that gave parents the wrong baby claimed that a swap couldn’t possibly have happened because it had rigorous procedures in place. After DNA tests, it changed its tune.)

But my point holds: Carrying on saying “Protest never changed anything” when there are multiple examples going back centuries of protest changing things.

Amazement at the existence of other points of view

Tiny separatist idealistic community (see the early feminists)
Tiny separatist idealistic community tears itself apart (see the early feminists)

Having an entire conversation in which you mishear a vital word.

pendulum of fashion: "First names for parents are in vogue from time to time." (Miss Manners)

Solving the Greek debt crisis from your armchair
Calling for the abolition of money

His great coup – never repeated – was to spot a Tintoretto in a local auction in 1964 and pick it up for £40.

"The less well-known the author, the more inflated their ego." (The Age of Uncertainty)

job theft: A filches the project B was going to do, takes over a task B has done for years etc., grabs the paperwork when B is off sick.

"A future that was subsequently cancelled." (Darran Anderson)

Galicia: unlucky recipient of Eisenman’s City of Culture, a massive and costly white elephant (@ArchReview)

pushing your luck
spoiled dauphin syndrome (the Observer on Clarkson)
He was never the same after that.
high-handed rule by an arrogant inner group (If Walls Could Talk, Lucy Worsley)

social suicide: You are a social butterfly, a member of the inner circle, but one day you do something disastrous and you lose your position for ever. (Truman Capote wrote a bitchy, thinly veiled novel about his grand friends, who never spoke to him again.)

Mysterious jobs where you have nothing to do, but they don’t sack you.

People beg you to join some organisation, holding up a fun, glamorous role. Soon you realise they just wanted someone to do the boring jobs.

joining a group and making it serve your own purposes

joining a group with the aim of taking it over and giving yourself an important role or even a paying job

A popular charmer is simply lovely to everybody, apart from the one person he keeps as a punch bag.

"Lose interest in a project as soon as it shows signs of success." (@steveparnell)

co-narcissism: personality created by narcissistic parents
parentification: turning your child into your parent

When a church becomes too liberal, a reactionary splinter group splits off. (Results: a) reactionary group dies off b) liberal church is now too small to survive. c) liberal church joins up with other tiny liberal churches which have gone through the same process.)

"Homo Heidelbergensis walked like us." (We walk like him.)

More here.