Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Why  not  'The Revenants'? They could even have saved on the Letraset™  and left it as Revenants. Admittedly, it's not a common word in British English – BNC contains only five instances – but it's been knocking around in the English language since the early 19th century. COCA, a larger corpus including American usage, has a much healthier 56 instances. My suspicion is that the US distributors insisted on something folksier; so we have The Returned – not unlike The Madness of King George, renamed lest an American audience think they'd missed 'The Madness of George II' (duh?!) Per contra, COCA is more than four times as big as BNC, while its 'revenant'-count is more than ten times as high. Which suggests – as COCA's 'revenants' coverage is more than twice as dense as BNC's – that the problem was this side of the Atlantic. Yank-bashing is a facile sport.

This seems to me yet another proof of Frank Muir's Weak Sausage principle, whereby modern society militates against strong and recognizable flavours. So strongly-flavoured sausages lose out to the latest McBlandBurger. In fact, the late great Mr Muir adumbrated this theory on My Word many years ago, before the advent of 'Farmer's Markets' and possibly even before the Food Programme saw the light of day (Shouldn't a radio programme see the ionosphere?), and he was explaining the derivation of the couplet
This is the way the world will end
Not with a banger but with a wimpy.

News from the word-face

Anyway, the main item on the agenda today is the new release of #WVGTbook.  It includes everything that was in V2.0, with two new sections – IA nd IE; and it's FREE for the next two(ish) days. It should stay free until Thursday midnight, PST. So if you're far  enough east you could maybe leave it until Friday breakfast time. But why wait?


Update 2013.06.13
And while we're on the subject  of dwindling standards, what about the latest Sky Sports graphics – that reduce even further the attention requirements of cricket coverage, below those of a fruit-fly on speed. Previously, the viewer just had to look for the WICKET swoosh, but still had to have attended enough to know a bit of the context – like who  was in, was it an LBW appeal or a catch or a run-out?
Now some helpful graphics ring the players involved and indicate the flight of the ball before anything happens. So there isn't even the What-am-I-looking-at? factor. The viewer is spoon-fed from start to finish of the 'highlight'. What would John Arlott OBE, RIP, have said?

Update 2013.09.30.11:05
Header updated:

 Mammon (When Vowels Get Together V4.0: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs – AA-AU, EA-EU, and  IA-IU, and – new for V4.0 – OA-OU.  If you buy it, contact  @WVGTbook on Twitter and I'll alert you to free downloads of the forthcoming volumes; or click the Following button at the foot of this page.)
And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.

Freebies (Teaching resources: nearly 32,400 views**,  and  4,400 downloads to date. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1570 views/700 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)

** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.

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