So, Entitled

In a recent article in the Guardian, this appeared: It is no one’s “destiny” to be a published author. That implies a path laid out for us, an unshakeable future that is planned and unchangeable. And it is entitled. That is a perfectly normal use of the modern sense of the word "entitled," and it…

Little, Feat…

Many songs these days involve one or more other artists guesting with the main one. Rappers adding a part to a singer's track, for example. Nowadays such guests are always credited. Quite rightly: we've come a long way from the days when Billy Preston played keyboards on some Beatles songs uncredited (though visible in the…

Pivoting Around Words

I should start a new category here, for word-use. In fact, having written that, I just have: language (hopefully that link will work once I publish this). Today I want to talk about the word "pivot." As you know, pivot has come, over the last few years, to mean change direction, especially in a political…

“Ping” Pong

When the original Unix designers (or, as it turns out, Mike Muuss) chose ping as the name for the command for checking the status of a network host, it was a moment of inspired genius. The word is almost onomatopoeic in its appropriateness. But nowadays people are pinging each other all over the place: emails,…

Andy’s unpunctuated ambiguity

"[Andy Murray finally reveals views on Scottish independence](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11103345/Andy-Murray-finally-reveals-views-on-Scottish-independence.html)", says the headline in the Telegraph. It goes on to say he "appeared to declare his support for Scottish independence". That "appeared" is key, because the lack of punctuation and capitalisation in Andy's tweet actually allows at least a couple of interpretations: > Huge day for Scotland…