Be it dictionary or lexicon

What English words mean

Depend on which side

Of the pond you’re on

American “quite” means “very”

While British “quite” falls short of “verily”

If that word’s meaning tends to vary

Check out “now,” but be wary

An American “now” means at this instant

While South African “now” might be a time quite distant

And there’s that word “quite” used again

So, I used the British meaning as to not offend

This English tongue can drive you round the bend


Plural Confusion


One goose is goose

Two gooses are geese

On moose is moose

But two mooses aren’t meese

One mouse is a mouse

Two mouses are mice

One house is house

But two houses aren’t hice

Plurals of confusion

Terms that confound

And is couples or pairs –

When one and one you compound?




Light Inside Library

Photo by Janko Ferlic from Pexels

Descartes suggested that I live, and am what’s in my mind

The images and expressions there – are all uniquely mine

So how can I share that world, so that you can see

The things that I experience there – seen just by me?


We use our words – to carry others to where

We can unveil our private mysteries

We open up our vistas

Through our vocab-lary


One-hundred-thousand-seventy some

Words are in use – on Oxford’s page

Plus half a hundred-thousand – now extinct

That were once all the rage


But these it seems are inadequate

To share our world – far and wide

So perhaps a quarter million more

From foreign tongues have been supplied


So why is there such confusion

Often about the things we say?

Do we even listen

When others’ thoughts they relay?









Punland Challenge

Image result for little gary's plaice watton

image: TripAdvisor

I have over the years (despite my general enjoyment of wordplay) come to cringe as I look at the business names on the High Street.   Here is a real sample:

Hair Dressers:

A Cut Above; The Mane Attraction; Look Ahead; Mane Event; Hair Today

Fish Shops:

The Cod Father; Small Fry; Friars’ Choice; My Plaice


Leaning Tower of Pizza

Chinese Takeaway:

Wok and Roll (with a stir fry and a spring roll on either side of the sign)

Coffee Places include:

Friends’ Central Perk; Higher Ground; Cuppa Diem

But now even gardeners and tree surgeons are getting into it.  Recently I have seen the following vans:

Trees Company;  Tree Fellas; Branch Out,

[and a fencing firm]: Ministry of De Fence

I am sure there are hundreds of others out there.  I would love to hear which ones you have come across, or if you have a great concept of your own which has yet to grace retail signage, let me know in the comments box below, or use them in a blog post of your own and link it here.



The Linguist

Mount Horeb Lunch, Cafe, Lunch

image: Pixabay

Henry sat at the diner counter enjoying his morning coffee and Elsie’s famous short stack pancakes.   The door opened bringing in a cool breeze, and two young men wearing hoodies and ball caps seated themselves in a booth behind him.

A few minutes later, a third young man came in and after bumping fists with the two already seated, he joined them.

“Hey Brah, Did you see the game last night? It were sick,” the newcomer asked.

“Yeah-yeah, that Andre is bad,” one of the others commented. “Like he scored three times in like the first half.”

Henry’s mastery of seven languages and five years at the United Nations had not prepared him for this.

(115 Words)


When “sick” means it’s something you enjoy

And “bad” is a phrase of adulation

Something’s up in the English tongue

When it needs its own translation.


Sammi Cox Prompt

To Play on Words



A word, some words, a clever phrase

A witty play on the usual definitions

It’s in and on, before, above –

The usual prepositions.


We smith these terms to make our art –

It’s no oxymoron to say, we are like our pronouns – possessive

For each new scribbling that we start –

Are our heart’s revealing missives.


And so it is that each day, in conjunction with each new sun –

We run-on into the dawn – and dash dashes just for fun –

Our playful words like a simile –

As we explore each and every possibly.



Poetry Prompts for Language Lovers


If You Are Interested in Language, Check This Out

I have never re-posted a blog before, but with my love of words and the way in which they are used, I found this review/post really interesting. In fact, it has been a long while since a book review made me think “Hey, I really want to read that.”

Add to this the fact that I have followed the Aksharbet blog since it began at the start of Gelda’s Fulbright teaching exchange placement.  I have always found her insightful and honest about the teaching process. For anyone interested in cross-cultural education in general, or on the challenges and successes of teaching English outside of American or British schools, I highly recommend her blog.

With that as an introduction, here is Sushmita Gelda (Aksharbet)’s Yes, You Can End a Sentence with a Preposition

Part memoir, part linguistic escapade, Kory Stamper’s Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries (2017) is a must-read for anyone who is interested in exploring the stories behind the quirks of the English language. A lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, Stamper takes readers behind-the-scenes of the editorial process and the history of the dictionary industry. Her […]

via Yes, You Can End a Sentence with a Preposition — Aksharbet