‘What annoys this lover of plain-speaking is the new rule against applying adjectives, however fitting, to any human difference.’
[Humphries was] a brilliant comic writer and social satirist, probably Australia’s best ever….[He] had his faults. He was a bit of an intellectual snob; he could be peevish and sarcastic, especially as he grew older, but grumpy old comedians should be allowed to say what they think on important social issues just like everyone else.
‘You may call me an apostrophe pedant or an apostrophe fascist. I like to style myself an apostrophe warrior. I go about the streets obliterating apostrophes that shouldn’t be there, and less often inserting them where they should be. Not that I go looking for trouble, but when I spot an apostrophe crime I can’t help myself. ‘
Whenever there’s a fuss or a tizz involving famous people it is inevitably dubbed Whatever-gate. Even young folks, who probably couldn’t tell you what Watergate was all about, know that whenever the suffix ‘gate’ comes after a word such as, say, pizza, it denotes some kind of scandal. And yes, there is a Pizzagate.
ABC presenters have taken to saying ‘Turkiye’…President Erdogan didn’t like the fact that the English name for his country was also the name of a poultry bird often seen in the Anglo world as a somewhat comical creature. Think how we use ‘turkey’ as a synonym for failure or dud.
“When I was a kid there was all sorts of behaviour theoretically deemed acceptable only during Bush Week: wearing thongs in the street, putting your elbows on the table, talking with your mouth full, drinking straight from a bottle, picking your nose, wearing a hat indoors (for blokes), not wearing a hat outdoors (ditto), putting on lipstick in public (blokes or sheilas), breaking wind audibly, letting your bra strap show (sheilas) or your bum crack (blokes), eating with your fingers, taking booze home from a party…”…
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