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The worst job I ever held was as a driver in the then-emerging realm of largescale food delivery by bike. At the end of each month, we received a ranking of all drivers according to aggregated, speed-related stats - including, for some reason, how long we waited at a restaurant before receiving the food. Appear three times in the bottom...

In February, Chris looked into the democracy of language, the process by which rules evolve through a general willingness to let errors slide. But how about the reverse: the death of words due to a complete lack of usage? According to linguist Morris Swadesh, the languages of 20,000 years from now will retain just 1% of the core vocabulary...

Global warming has led to severe flooding and fires around the world, and the consequences on humans, animals and the environment are only just beginning. While the jury is not out in full, it is straining at the exit door to point the finger at greed and indiscrimination, from the profit-mongering multinationals (Amazon) to denial-posturing...

Having just got to grips with the concept and operation of 'blockchain' and 'cryptocurrencies' at the beginning of 2021 - I know because after translating a paper on the subject and editing a further couple of articles, if I ever come across blockchain or bitcoin, I won't have to think 'what is that again?' - I happened to read a...

The use of colours to express emotions is pretty universal. Evoking a colour can be a striking way of conveying a vivid impression of the mood or physical appearance of an individual. Green with envy, red with rage, white with fear, feeling blue. All languages do this since colours have strong connotations (even if, in different cultures, colours...

What do Fred Nurk, Joe Bloggs, John Doe, Jan Perez and Mario Rossi all have in common? They are the proverbial men in the street in Australia, the UK, the US, Italy and Latin America respectively. Or, placeholder names as they are also referred to. We use them without really thinking. Of course, if you were to actually meet...

Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile. How many times have you heard that expression used to warn about conceding even a little to someone who is likely to take excessive advantage of your generosity? Better, then, not to give an inch. We frequently seem to quite literally measure moments in our lives through idiomatic expressions (often...

German Green MEP Terry Reintke commented that "Euro English is the everyday, pidgin version of the language, as spoken by the people working in the EU's institutions - an amalgam of jargon, British English, the English spoken by non-native speakers with all its inherent quirks and common mistakes, and terms borrowed from the 23 other official...

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