Search found 2379 matches

by tony h
Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:50 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: boffin
Replies: 4
Views: 2223

boffin

the bbcword bit is public. I personally think the personal subscription is too expensive at around £200 a year.
by tony h
Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:32 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: ghost in the machine
Replies: 21
Views: 12977

ghost in the machine

Dear Hans, My wife tells me it appears in the novel The Blue Nowhere by Jeffry Deaver. It is certainly a phrase I have used since the mid 90s. I was working on a project to explore remote information gathering. Sitting outside a building and electronically seeing what was being photocopied, or what ...
by tony h
Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:19 pm
Forum: No, wait. Don't tell me
Topic: Headline
Replies: 6
Views: 3181

Headline

Local paper headline:

Irish harpoonist enters Miss Wales contest

(deciding on the spelling is always difficult with these)
by tony h
Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:41 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: boffin
Replies: 4
Views: 2223

boffin

Guy,
the BBC featured this word on their Wordhunt - a programme that sought to find the origins of words with the aim of getting them into the OED.
http://www.oed.com/bbcwordhunt/boffin.html

regards
by tony h
Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:29 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous
Topic: ghost in the machine
Replies: 21
Views: 12977

ghost in the machine

A bug is different to a Ghost - at least in the way we use it. A bug is when something does not work. The origin for this is amusing (depending on your sense of humor) In the early days of computers there were a lot more moving parts. One time one of these machines was malfunctioning - an exhaustive...
by tony h
Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:59 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Polotaswarf
Replies: 17
Views: 7129

Polotaswarf

I am trying to get hold of a copy. I will let you know if I find out. But it might take a while.

regards
by tony h
Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:47 am
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Polotaswarf
Replies: 17
Views: 7129

Polotaswarf

Eric, You raised some doubt as to whether Kingsley would have read the Heimskringla in Old Norse. My reasearch suggests that he would have not to do so. Samuel Laing translated the Heinskringla into English and it was piblished in 1844. Kingsley's Hereward the Wake was not published until 1866. I su...
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:03 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: moon - the origin of the word
Replies: 5
Views: 2968

moon - the origin of the word

Hans, I am not worthy to share the same web space as you. I only remember the Anglo-Saxon from my youth (my studies you understand not my childhood language)

regards
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:56 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Titles and office
Replies: 8
Views: 2947

Titles and office

Dear K.Allen, Queen is a title (as is Sir) so it is Queen Elizabeth II but Queen is also an office so you can say The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II. Sir is a title so it is Sir Anthony. Similarly : - His Grace the Duke. - Mr Brown The Chancellor - The Chancellor Mr Brown But not : - Mr Chancellor Brown ...
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:46 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: moon - the origin of the word
Replies: 5
Views: 2968

moon - the origin of the word

A good old Anglo-saxon word Mona
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:38 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: Titles and office
Replies: 8
Views: 2947

Titles and office

Listening to an American newsreader I heard the phrase “President Bush” and wondered when the office became a title in that country. In England we say “The Prime Minister Mr Blair” which neatly separates the office from the person who is holding that office. But “Prime Minister Blair” raises our hac...
by tony h
Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:27 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: further or farther
Replies: 16
Views: 7808

further or farther

Yes Newton thought that Hooke went far further than he oughta but no suggestion that he had a fur farther.
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:44 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: further or farther
Replies: 16
Views: 7808

further or farther

Dear Ken, The Isaac Newton phrase is so misunderstood. Robert Hooke was keeper of experiments (or some such title) at the Royal Society and, able though he undoubtly was, he did take to trying to take some of the credit for Newton's work. Hoyle was a shortish, round-shouldered person (clearly no gia...
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:20 pm
Forum: Usage and Writing
Topic: Possessive Adjectives and objects
Replies: 9
Views: 5162

Possessive Adjectives and objects

I do wish children were educated in such lack of clarity. I often look at documents where the context is much less clear. A simple variation on your phrase allows for additional contextual ambiguity. "The children went to their homes" whereas with coats the context would seem to be that each child p...
by tony h
Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:49 pm
Forum: Word Origins and Meanings
Topic: knockoff / knock off
Replies: 32
Views: 12280

knockoff / knock off

maybe in the village of Knock with some knockwurst brought over from Germany.