Saturday, 30 November 2013
Crusade, thrown by Treason’s forthright accuracy, mumbled: ‘What I was trying to say earlier is that I really…’
‘Ssssh…’ she placed a finger to her lips. ‘You don’t need to explain. I’m flattered by the lengths you’ve gone to…I am, I really am, it’s just that…Look, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t really go in for the romantic novel stuff. Oh, I’m susceptible to a bit of flattery and somebody making an effort but I thought you’d be aware of the sort of thing which really works for me.’
Crusade continued to stare at her, waiting for her knowing smile to re-appear but Treason merely looked around the room and waited for him to reply. He remained silent and she, unsettled by this, returned his gaze and sighed.
Sunday, 24 November 2013
Treason laughed and nodded approvingly towards Dissident. ‘An OED spring...sounds like Dissident’s plotting it already…watch this space. OK, we haven’t got long this evening, comrades, so I’d like to introduce somebody who’s having a rough time at the moment and could use some support from us. This is Spellcheck, one of our younger colleagues, with a sorry tale to tell.’
Hesitantly, a young man stood up and blinked as all eyes turned to him. His skin had a ghostly pallor and his eyes darted around the room before they finally settled on a point on the wall, high above everybody. He coughed, closed his eyes, swallowed and spoke.
Friday, 15 November 2013
As Crusade left the C-block, he thought of the various blocks and how they seemed to assume a dominant characteristic of their own based on the proliferation and importance of the words housed within. C-block, for instance, contained many words with underworld connotations and, in the eyes of some, was tainted accordingly.
‘You get saddled with a reputation,’ Coin once pointed out. ‘Remember when Knave tried to get his name changed to Cnave just so he could hang out with the undesirable element of C-block. He claimed that since the K was silent, it didn’t matter if it was changed to C. What a creep! Speaking of which, Creep is another word we could do without here.’
And then there was the notorious C-word itself. C-word was rarely accorded its proper name and remained in a secluded cell, allowed out only on occasions when regular profanities were deemed insufficient and something more derogatory called for.
Saturday, 9 November 2013
In this episode, we take a step back and find out about Wordsdrow and the rules which govern it. Immerse yourself in this mix of fact and conjecture.
What would eventually be the Oxford English Dictionary took about 70 years to complete and its origins in the second half of the 19th century – the epoch of Victorian achievement, invention, confidence and ambition – saw few limits imposed on the nascent dictionary. James Murray, he of the long flowing beard, watched the dictionary grow and grow under his lengthy stewardship as editor. When it was completed in 1928, it ran to over twice the size anticipated by Murray at the outset of his tenure as editor in 1879. The proliferation of words had been expected but the accommodation available for them was soon seen to be woefully inadequate.
Friday, 1 November 2013
Cynic rolled his eyes. ‘What’s it this time, Conspiracy? You’ve just seen them yourself? Who’s “them”? What’s “it”?’
‘This time, our plot-obsessed friend has a valid concern,’ said Crusade, a serious-looking man wearing a donkey-jacket and jeans. ‘He’s referring to the return of word-traffickers…you know how they often try to exploit the collective dumbing-down around Christmas time. Everyone’s guard is lowered - stupefied by food, drink and rubbish television – and unwanted words can sneak into popular usage. I’m afraid we have a prime example here in the building right now.’
Conspiracy leaned forward, dropped his voice even lower and said, ‘Onesie.’