Archives for January 2018

17 lies the English language tells you

English, like any language, is straightforward. Words mean what they mean. And if you believe that, you’ve been lied to.

“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

So said Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-glass.

FACT: hundreds of English words don’t actually mean what we mean by them.

These are the little white lies that the English language tells us. We all use the words incorrectly, because if we all agree (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more), then words actually take on the meaning that they don’t mean.

Here are just a few examples I’ve plucked out of an ocean of misused meanings. [Read more…]