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David Parsons writes in his book on Shropshire place-names that street-names ‘reveal the layers of history in a place’ and ‘fill the imagination with the sights, sounds, and smells of the past if we attend to them.’ We learn, for instance, that a high street in Shrewsbury formerly went by the name of ‘gumbestolestrete’ – […]more
Road is, of course, a pretty common word. It’s even left its mark on a couple of cult favourite novels, as I discovered when listening to somebody describing the plot of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road only to realize, when they’d rather thrown me by mentioning cannibals, that they were thinking of Cormac McCarthy’s The […]more
In these times of mass media and global communications, it is comforting to think that regional lexical variation in British English is alive and well—in fact it seems to be right up many people’s alley. When linguists set out to collect distinctive local vocabulary, one of the classic questions informants are asked is “What do […]more