Archive | May, 2013

The thingis is I’m a maker upperer of words, innit?

19 May

This is a three-part post about curious and apparently new constructions I’ve noticed in English over the last decade. I’m not talking about new words or slang phrases, about which too much is said and not much of it of any substance, but rather what look like new-ish constructions, or words changing their syntactic distribution (that’s where and how they show up in sentences). I’ve observed each of these for a full decade now, and over several continents, and none of them show any signs of disappearing. Fear not, I’m not about to launch into a technical morphosyntactic analysis of these phenomena (mostly because I don’t have one), but I thought each of them curious enough to warrant a mention – maybe to see if anyone has noticed these or similar.

The three constructions I’m going to talk about are all exemplified in the title of this post. I’ll deal with one a week for the next three weeks. The first one I’m going to look at is a change which appears to be taking place in the standard varieties of English in the US, Australia, and possibly also in the UK (though I don’t have a lot of evidence for the latter). That is, it’s not a change that’s happening in slang or colloquial English, but is actually affecting the language of the educated middle classes and the mainstream media.


Continue reading



4 May

Recently, my daughter said she wanted to make pasta with me… I thought we’d be in for a quick batch of home-made spaghetti or linguini, but she was adamant that we should make “the little pillows with the stuff inside them”. So we made ravioli, and took some photos. This is the result.

This recipe serves 4.


Continue reading