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Australian National Dictionary Centre’s Word of the Year 2018 – AKA It Must Have Been A Slow Year For Australian Words

It’s time for the Australian National Dictionary Center to release their ‘Word Of The Year’ for 2018.
This usually involves trawling the backwaters of social media to locate a phrase no one’s ever heard of.
No doubt you hear last year’s winner ‘Kwaussie’ – ‘kiwi(New Zealander)-aussie’ in general usage on a daily basis.
2018’s winner is ‘Canberra Bubble.’
This is the phenomenon whereby federal politicians, bureaucrats, and political journalists believe what’s going on in Canberra is actually of substantial interest to the rest of Australia.
Other short listed phrases were ‘bag rage’, the impact of finding out supermarkets no longer provide free shopping bags, and ‘drought relief’, the collection and provision of support for those struggling with lack of rain in primary production (and wondering where all the money that was collected has ended up).
All in all it seems to be have been a slow year for Australian language, which is a bit disappointing given that the Honey Badger spent all those weeks being the Bachelor.
And why hasn’t ‘Netflix and chill’ ever got a run?


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He Had Vision, The Rest Of The World Wore Bifocals – Farewell William Goldman

William Goldman, author both the book and movie versions of The Princess Bride has died.
You may also remember him from such other movie screenplays as Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men, among others.
I want to say his death is ‘inconcievable,’ but perhaps that word doesn’t mean what I want it to mean in this context.
When a great storyteller is gone there stories remain to be told again and passed on to others.

And, thanks to William Goldman, every time I conduct or attend a wedding, regardless of what I’m actually saying or doing, these are the words that are actually echoing in my mind.


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How To Pluralize And/Or Add Possessive Case To Last Names (via Mental Floss)

This Mental Floss article links to an article on Slate about how to pluralise surnames, and then refers to some other posts that deal with how to add apostrophes in order to indicate possessive case for surnames.
Plural and possessive, they’ve got that covered too.
Just in time for the end of year and Christmas seasons.


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The Benefits Of Home Libraries

Preparing Bible Studies and sermons on the book of Ecclesiastes, verse 12 in chapter 12 that kept echoing: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”
Now, I own a few books.
I’ve already posted a quote from a new one that arrived today.
So this report about the benefits of growing up in a home with books salves my conscience.
(Not that it needed much salving, admittedly.)

From a report at PacificStandard:

The results suggest those volumes made a long-term difference. “Growing up with home libraries boosts adult skills in these areas beyond the benefits accrued from parental education, or [one’s] own educational or occupational attainment,” the researchers report.
Not surprisingly, the biggest impact was on reading ability. “The total effects of home library size on literacy are large everywhere,” the researchers report.Growing up with few books in the house was associated with below-average literacy rates, while he presence of around 80 books raised those rates to the mean. Literacy continued to increase with the number of reported books up to around 350, at which point it flattened out.
Similarly, the effects of a home library on numeracy were quite significant across the board. Its impact on technological skills was smaller but also widespread.

Read the whole post here.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a book to get back to.


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300 New Scrabble Words

There are reports that Merriam-Webster who produce the official dictionary for Scrabble have released an updated edition with 300 words added.
Some of those words are featured here at this post on the Merriam-Webster website.
Probably the biggest news is that ‘OK’ is now on the approved list.
If you’re not happy about that you could say ‘ew’ or make a ‘frowny’ face, because they’re both there as well.
Scrabble purists will celebrate new words, the rest of us will lament the disintegration of English language.
Cue: zomboid, twerk, sheeple, wayback, botnet, emoji, facepalm, puggle and nubber.


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Twenty-Five Words Being Added To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary In 2018

For a change this list of words being added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in 2018 not only contains words I know, but even a few that I’m surprised aren’t already there.

Some abbreviations: guac, fave.
Some tech words: force quit, predictive.
Some geek words: adorbs, TL;DR.

And more.

Read the list at Mental Floss.


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What If English Pronunciation Was Phonetically Consistent

This effort at standardising English pronunciation is surprisingly understandable.
It also provides an interesting progression in accent as the process develops.