Words, Words, Words: Ologies

biology is one of the -ologies

We all know at least one “ology”. Biology, astrology, Scientology! But what does the suffix –ology actually mean? The common misconception is that it is always added to describe the study of a certain subject, whereas what it actually describes is the subject itself. Not necessarily the study of it.

The shortest –ology word is “oology”, which is the scientific study of birds eggs and nests. The longest is ophthalmootorhinolaryngology which is the branch of medicine which formerly combined the treatment of eye, ear, nose, and throat.

As with our phobias blog post a few weeks back, we’re going to look at some of the most interesting –ologies, in alphabetical order. Excellent for pub quiz or trivia knowledge! (more…)

Interview: Angela Ramsay – Blank

Blank

We play so many games on our phones and tablets now that getting together with friends and family to sit down to play a board game seems like something of a novelty. The board game is far from dead, but with the growing market of game apps, we wondered if there was any competition.

We spoke to Angela Ramsay, co-creator of unique word game Blank, to get her view of “physical” games… (more…)

Things That Annoy Grammar Junkies

If you’re a stickler for good grammar there are many things likely to grind your gears. Bad grammar, spelling mistakes and sloppy punctuation causes all kinds of frustration for those of us that appreciate the intricacies of the English Language. We’ve put together a list of the biggest annoyances that grammar junkies face on a regular basis…

 

Me or I

poor grammar makes us do this

“Me and Cliff are going away”. NO, NO, NO! it’s, “Cliff and I are going away”!

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Strange Language: Lackadaisical

Homer and Bart being lackadaisical

In our “Strange Language” feature, we will be looking at some of the weirdest words in the English Language and trying to find out a bit about where they come from and how they can be used. The word we’re looking at this week is “Lackadaisical”. A rather odd word, it has quite a colourful background.

Quite often said as lacksadaisical or laxadaisical, these are both incorrect and have somehow become a widespread mispronunciation. It is unclear why so many people get this wrong, but perhaps it has something to do with the first part of the word. “Lacks” and “lax” are both words in their own right and so the word could be misinterpreted as a phrase, for example “lacks a daisy”. Lax means relaxed or not careful, which is very similar to the meaning of lackadaisical, which is where the confusion may arise. (more…)

The Chaos of The English Language

The English language is full of chaos

It’s well known that English is an extremely difficult language to learn for foreign speakers. A few weeks ago, we took a look at how the word “ghoti” could be pronounced as “fish. If you’re a native English speaker yourself you may not realise just how tough it is to remember the rules and subtle complexities that exist in our language. There is no better example of its difficulties than The Chaos, a poem written by Dutch writer Gerard Nolst Trenité.

The poem is a sprawling piece which explores the nuances and contradictions found in the language. It is said that if you can pronounce every word correctly, you can speak English better than 90% of native English speakers. (more…)

Words, Words, Words: Phobias

Some weird and wonderful phobias

There’s nothing funny about phobias, and there are some pretty strange fears that people unfortunately have to cope with. Usually they’re accompanied by an equally strange name too! There are quite literally hundreds of different phobias, and putting together a comprehensive list of all their names is quite a big task for Word Solver. Instead we’ve picked out some of the most interesting names for phobias, one for each letter of the alphabet. (more…)

Map

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