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Some trending stories this week taught us lots of new words. We felt for a man who went to hospital for thunderclap headaches (which are sudden and intense) after eating the world’s hottest pepper. We learned about a how historical confusion of cryptogamist (a specialist in cryptogams, or plants like algae) for cryptogrammist (code-breaker) may […]more
‘The best way to lose weight is to eat clean’, my gym instructor informs me. There’s a linguistic crime in this sentence, but it isn’t the awkward non-adverb at the end. It’s the word ‘clean’. It’s part of a broad and largely accidental linguistic phenomenon: language that shames by default. A brief modern etymology The […]more