These days, there is a lot of hope being pinned on the new vaccines that are being produced around the world. And there is finally a glimmer of hope in this long Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the world. The word that I have chosen for this month from Ivor Brown's book, Just Another Word,… Continue reading Owl About Words: Glimmer of Hope
In a world of growing inequalities, there is no dearth of snobs. We are surrounded by them, as if we were back in the days of aristocracy and feudalism. But who would have ever thought that the word snob itself meant quite the opposite, in its early days. That's not all. Ivor Brown, in his… Continue reading Owl About Words: The Snobbery of ‘Sn’s
This month, we're going to talk about a word that has travelled to so many lands, acquiring new meanings in each place, that you wonder if that's why it's become linguistic luggage now. In fact, the word in its original sense is hardly used these days. The word is haverel and the Scots use it… Continue reading Owl About Words: Sowing One’s Oats?
Most words that are neighbours in the English dictionary are only so in a manner of speaking. They might sit next to each other or even a few words apart, but other than that they might actually be worlds apart. Why, don't we know of so many English words that have several meanings and depending… Continue reading Owl About Words: Dictionary Neighbours
The conversation these days is all about restarting the economy. Whether in India, or elsewhere in the world everyone is preoccupied with ways of getting the economy restarted. And one word that invariably comes up in such discussions is "engine" as in engines of growth. How did the word engine come to mean something that… Continue reading Owl About Words: Wit or Wily?
As we deal with the rising number of Covid cases in India and across the world, let us spare a thought for all those down with the infection, and families of millions of others who have succumbed to it. In fact, let us also think about all those who might have lost their jobs and… Continue reading Owl About Words: Finding Poetry in Loss
As we slowly return to what used to be our normal life - not so long ago, remember? - with masks, hand sanitiser, et al, intact, we probably know at the back of our minds that the world of social distancing is here to stay. We take gingerly steps towards the new Covid-imposed world, but… Continue reading Owl About Words: In These Cautious Times
Covid-19 has been a time of turning inward, of withdrawal from the world. But it's also been a time of binge-watching, binge-streaming, binge-listening and more online. Now that lockdowns are being relaxed, people have already begun talking of binge-shopping. I am not so sure about that yet, but it's just the time to discuss the… Continue reading Owl About Words: Made for Post-Lockdown
Alright, time for yet another word from the days of yore. More precisely, the eighteenth century word, crinkum-crankum. Do you think it's another way to describe a cranky child or a crotchety old man? Or even an old jalopy that needs to be cranked up, in order to start? Those were certainly the thoughts swimming… Continue reading Owl About Words: The Fuss Over a Folk Rhyme
Hi. I am starting a new series of blog posts Owl About Words, in place of authors' quotes on books and reading that I have been sharing every month until now. It was prompted by my finding a delightful, old book at my parents' place, called Just Another Word. Written by a British journalist, Ivor… Continue reading Owl About Words: Clog and Dog