The popular view of political correctness is that it is an exclusively left wing phenomenon.
Two seasonally appropriate examples of “political correctness gone mad” are craven shopping centres removing Nativity scenes so as not to offend Muslims and bushfires caused by Green/ALP opposition to backburning.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison made use of this public perception on Monday when he defended his use of the term “illegal arrival” to describe asylum seekers who arrived by boat. Continue reading →
It was refreshing to hear one of our leaders acknowledge, albeit belatedly, that some issues are beyond black and white. That we as a nation might be able to appreciate the complexities of a situation. Continue reading →
As someone who wrangles words for a living, I have fondness for puns. I always hope the English football team loses simply because I love the anguished wit of the Fleet Street headlines that inevitably follow.
These losses cause the tabloid press to dedicate its energy to writing pithy lines like Rout of Africa and Eins, zwei, drei your eyes rather than hacking in to Hugh Grant’s mobile phone. Surely everyone is a winner in this situation. Except the English football team.
In 500 years time I predict some futuristic historian, possibly working at the Port Hedland campus of Rinehart University, will undertake a study of 21st Century English and come to some surprising conclusions.
He or she will find evidence of “medal” used a a verb and “shortage” as the collective noun for a a group of skilled workers. But the biggest discovery will be the conclusion that the word “big” meant “evil” or “tyranically powerful”. Continue reading →
The world is increasingly complex and often defies description. Writers must find new ways to convey the effects of climate change, the horror of war in the Middle East or the perplexity of a movie based on a board game.
When it comes to making up new words, the environmentalist in me prefers to refashion old ones. One way is to remove a prefix or suffix. If inexorable means relentless or unyielding then exorable must mean the opposite. Turning a noun into a verb is also helpful in generating new words. Since runners run and dancers dance, then logically quokkas must quokk. Continue reading →