Thursday, 14 August 2008

Dictionary corner – US special

1) Yesterday, on their early-evening Beijing highlights programme, the BBC showed how US television was choosing to cover the continuing success of swimfreak Michael Phelps. I think it may have been NBC who described him as 'the winningest athlete in history'. Apparently, 'winningest' is a perfectly legitimate adjective in the US – but not over here, of course, because it sounds COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS.

2) Meanwhile, Miss L and I are in a pre-holiday hotel-booking frenzy. Just today, Miss L received an automated reply to one email enquiry which read: 'I will be away from the office on a personal renewal returning Monday 18th August.' I do not know what a personal renewal is. Discounting baptism or gender reassignment, I'm assuming it's some kind of grandiloquising of the mythological 'duvet day', where the jaded office worker emerges from the chrysalis of their bedclothes to live again a butterfly. 

Next time in Dictionary Corner, I attempt to ascertain if grandiloquising is a proper word.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jonesy, have you seen the Guardian today? They have your Amy Greenhouse pic in – only it was taken by someone else and put on Flickr.


Miss Jones said...

Ooh, no. What section? x

The Callaghan said...

Grandiloquising, you say.
I shall try and use that in the pub later. It's not going to happen, is it? Eek.

Kristen said...

"Winningest" is an awesome word. You might say it is the bestest word ever. It's efficient, concise, and gets the point across. Love it.

R said...

I once had a heated online argument with an obnoxious worthier-than-thou car-obsessed LA resident blogger about the correct spelling of the word 'tyre', or 'tire' as he insisted. Apparently, the world has to bow to Americanised spelling all the time, as I was starkly informed, and any use of other regional forms is to be, and I think this is the term the kids are using, 'flamed'.

After quickly checking the Kwik-Fit website to make doubly my British spelling was correct, I proceeded to momentarily lose my English gentleman-style poise and may have told him exactly what to do with his 'tire'. I hope you'll agree that, in the circumstances, this was acceptable.

Miss Jones said...

I would go a step further, R, and say that this was your duty. Your dogged devotion to the cause is always welcome in this corner of the blogosphere, and I heartily commend your efforts.

Warmest regards

Miss Jones