Monthly Archives: September 2018

philobiblist

Last weekend, Word on the Street happened at Harbourfront in Toronto. The lexically lascivious and philosophically bibulous went on a spree. Many a booth had many a book and many a buyer went on many a page bender, adding liberally to their bibliographic lists without the need of fiscal phlebotomy. Continue reading

Barrie Bean Counter

IMG_8707

Hello?

Listen to the podcast version of this on Patreon

On an early fall early afternoon, I found myself in Barrie and at loose ends. I had come to town to give a presentation in the evening, and did not want to drive up during rush hour. The truth is that there is no non-horrid time or route to drive to Barrie, but the timing of my engagement ruled out a train or bus. I installed my car in a lot and surveyed the main drag of downtown, Dunlop Street. I soon spotted my kind of place slotted between other weather-worn storefronts: Barrie Bean Counter. Continue reading

Pronunciation tip: N’Awlins, Worcestershire, and the “dropped R”

I filmed my latest pronunciation tip over several weeks, partly because it required some location shots that weren’t exactly walking distance and partly because reasons. It deals with something that comes up often with the names of certain places: If the “local” pronunciation “drops the R,” is that the true correct pronunciation? Also, what about when certain other letters of the name don’t get said?

(Just incidentally, this is also a little dig at certain dictionaries that give phonetic pronunciations as if they were phonological ones. I think every dictionary should have a trained phonologist on staff, or at least available freelance, as I am. 😀)

Protected: scunick

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

frain

OK, you know refrain, obviously. As in refrain from doing that, meaning ‘restrain yourself from doing that’ or, in common use, ‘I’m asking you not to do that again’. And as in sing the refrain, meaning ‘sing the part that you sing over and over again’. Which therefore means that refrain from singing the refrain means ‘I’m asking you not to sing the part you sing again again’.

So wait. Is the re– in refrain as in ‘restrain’ the re– that means ‘hold back’ or ‘go back’ – and thus ‘double back’ – while the re– in refrain as in ‘repeat’ is the re– that means ‘do again’ – and thus ‘double up’?

Why, yes, that’s right.

So the re and re in refrain from the refrain cancel each other out and leave us with frain from frain.

But what does frain mean? Continue reading

The Porch Light

IMG_8606

A place in the sun. Or near the sunbeam, anyway.

Listen to this coffice space review, complete with sound effects, on Patreon

I first came to The Porch Light in mid-winter, quite by whim and serendipity. I was on King Street near Jarvis and had intended to go to a coffice space just a bit farther east on King, but the streetcar that showed up was a 502 bound for Kingston Road and I thought, What the heck. I took it to Victoria Park and then walked back west along Kingston Road until I found this coffice space a few blocks along. It was – and is – bright, sunny, generally calm and quiet. People come here to work on their computers and just sometimes to be social. Continue reading

nimbus

Is nimbus a contronym? Continue reading