The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: Email

Friday, 12th January 2018

E-pistle, n.

Pronunciation: / iːˈpɪs(ə)l/
Etymology: < epistle n., punningly after email n.

An electronic communication made to an absent person in writing; an email. Chiefly applied to emails which rank as literary productions, or to those of a public character, or addressed to a body of persons. In application to ordinary emails used only rhetorically or with playful or sarcastic implication.


Thursday, 30th April 2015

An email from TfL about Brixton tube station: ‘The station now has improved ticket machines, offering guidance in 17 languages’.

At last!

Wednesday, 11th March 2015

I finish listening to Pick of the Week – the conceit of which is that the guest presenter chooses their highlights from the last seven days on Radio 4 – only to hear Neil Nunes say that ‘you can send your own suggestions to Pick of the Week by emailing’.

Tsk, more outsourcing.

Sunday, 22nd February 2015

I’m receiving more and more emails which, apropos of nothing, refer to a particular set of out-of-context objects and concepts. I set out the OED meanings of these here, in an attempt to find a connection and solve the puzzle:

  • ‘The secret language or jargon used by gipsies, thieves, professional beggars, etc.’
  • A ‘place of torment for the wicked after death’.
  • ‘The inherited instinctive impulses of the individual’.
  • ‘A misfortune, a calamity, a disaster’.
  • ‘A slight structure built for shelter or storage’.
  • ‘The hard outside covering of an animal, a fruit, etc.’
  • ‘A pit dug in the ground to obtain a supply of spring water’.
  • ‘A short or quick movement.’
  • ‘Habitual or customary usage, custom, habit.’

The only thing I can think of is that people are increasingly emailing from their smartphones as opposed to their computers. But how would this explain the explosion of interest in cant, hell, the id, ills, sheds, shells, wells, weves, and wonts?

Saturday, 24th January 2015

When I write an email and Firefox’s American dictionary underlines with red words like favour, artefact and jewellery, it sometimes makes me doubt myself, and I feel like Chris Finch doing the quiz with David Brent: ‘You’re putting this thing in my mind… this poison.’

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