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That’s a pretty dress. I’m pretty sure I locked the car. Her new watch cost a pretty penny. We came to a pretty pass in our negotiations. How does this pretty manage to mean ‘attractive’, ‘considerably’, ‘expensive’, and ‘difficult’ all at once? It’s a tricky little word – literally so. Language, if there’s one thing […]more
‘That joke is so old,’ you complain, when your Christmas cracker yet again asks, ‘why didn’t the skeleton go to the ball?’ as if you didn’t already know. But how old is joke itself in the English language, and what about other words in our comedic vocabulary? Joke The word joke, or rather ‘joque’, first […]more