The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Saturday, 29th July 2017

London weighting, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈlʌndən ˈweɪtɪŋ/
Etymology: < London n. + weighting n.

1. An amount added to a salary to compensate for the higher cost of living in the London area.
2. What remainers wish their votes had.


Monday, 17th July 2017

Public convenience, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈpʌblɪk kənˈviːnɪəns/
Etymology: < public adj. + convenience n.

1. A lavatory for the convenience of the public.
2. Contronymous to sense 1, in the case of pay toilets, a lavatory for the inconvenience of the public.

Sunday, 16th July 2017

Unobsolete: an occasional column devoted to tracking social and lexical change with reference to words, phrases and definitions in the OED that are labelled ‘Obs.’ but are now unobsolescing:

Vome, v.

Etymology: < Latin vomĕre

Obs. rare. To vomit.

Derivatives: voming n. and adj.

The OED’s first illustration of the verb comes from Wycliffe’s Bible (Jeremiah 25:27): ‘Drinketh, and beth drunken, and vometh, and falleth.’ Drink, be drunk, vom, and fall.

Saturday, 15th July 2017

I stumble across the website of No Borders UK: ‘No Borders is a network of groups and individuals who fight against borders and immigration controls. We believe in freedom of movement for all.’ Maybe this is the glorious future of the human race, but who volunteers to be an early adopter if you can’t uninstall the updates?

Thursday, 13th July 2017

There is a set of historical developments that is used to describe ‘a period of extraordinary change’ or similar: everything is rising (literacy, the individual, meritocracy, the middle class, the franchise, technology, life expectancy), except religion, which is declining. The problem is that this is true of every century since the High Middle Ages, so it says precious little. It’s bad Whig history – not because it’s false or unfalsifiable, but because it is insubstantial and non-specific.

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