June 19th, 2015


A violent, greedy, or ruthless person.

May 1st, 2014


Pertaining to the roots of words.

June 22nd, 2013


A dissolute, lewd, debauched person.

October 16th, 2012

Rallying the Tropes

by Karen Jeynes

Humans really are remarkable. We’ve put a rover on Mars, freefallen from the edge of space, allowed the Kardashians to become international celebrities, and developed an odd quirk of language I like to think of as a verbal “Pre-emptive Strike”. It’s a clause which we put at the beginning of a sentence to ostensibly apologise for what is about to come without for one second meaning it, a tactical manoeuvre in a conversational war.

The first zinger is “with respect”, which means, as you may have guessed “I don’t respect you, but I should, so I’m going to excuse my disrespectful remarks by prefacing them with this meaningless nicety.” If you don’t respect someone to such an extent that you actively dislike them, you can extend this to “with all due respect” or even “with all due respect sir/your honour”. The longer the phrase, the further the distance between the amount of respect expected and the amount actually accorded.

December 6th, 2012


To refrain from asking out of politeness. A word from Laádan, a language created by Suzette Elgin.

August 15th, 2016


To refrain from asking out of politeness. A word from Laádan, a language created by Suzette Elgin.

June 12th, 2015


A boat rowed by three, the second with two oars.

April 15th, 2014


Frog shaped.

March 22nd, 2013


a resumption of harmonious relations

November 29th, 2016


A resumption of harmonious relations.