Dot Wordsworth

Beware of misusing ‘be aware’

13 February 2016 9:00 am

My husband pointed with his stick, which he carries not to steady himself but to cudgel pedestrians out of his…

2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Barbara Kruger And Quentin Tarantino Presented By Gucci - Red Carpet

How ‘Not even a thing’ became a thing

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Last summer Kim Kardashian, who already had a daughter called North (surname West), announced that she was expecting a boy.…

Are we at peak ‘peak’ yet?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Near Victoria Station in London they began to build a tower-block advertised as ‘The Peak’. I expected it to resemble…

Mind your language: Box set

23 January 2016 9:00 am

There is no chance whatsoever of box set being replaced by the more correct form boxed set. So stop seething…

Mind Your Language: Waybread

16 January 2016 9:00 am

‘Did you say “fabric”?’ asked my husband when I was telling him about words that have just been added to…

The words The Spectator gave the world

9 January 2016 9:00 am

When the much missed Frank Johnson (1943–2006), once editor of The Spectator, wrote in 1980 that ‘the peculiar need for…

Is your quotation secretly Nazi?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

I couldn’t help laughing when I found that an Australian senator, Cory Bernardi, had deleted all his tweets from Twitter,…

Why 'safe' is Dot Wordsworth's word of the year

12 December 2015 9:00 am

‘Makes me feel sick,’ said my husband, referring not to the third mince pie of the morning (in Advent, supposedly…

Mind your language . . . on commit

5 December 2015 9:00 am

My husband struck out with his stick at an advertisement in the street that said: ‘Commit to winter.’ He doesn’t…

(Photo: Getty)

The rise of the man bun, the Mancan and man boobs

28 November 2015 9:00 am

‘Ha, ha, ha,’ said my husband, as though he had learnt to laugh by reading Twitter. ‘Now they’ve got falsies.’ He…

‘Clean eating’ is a great word of the year… for 1906

21 November 2015 9:00 am

The word of the year, according to Collins, the dictionary people, is binge-watch. It means to watch DVDs consecutively or,…

Is ‘female’ still an insult?

14 November 2015 9:00 am

‘More deadly than the male,’ said my husband archly. He was knowingly quoting Kipling, though I don’t know why he…

How we ended up ‘cisgender’

7 November 2015 9:00 am

‘That’s not how you spell “system”,’ said my husband triumphantly, pointing with his whisky glass at a placard inveighing against…

Should we just stop using ‘fulsome’?

29 October 2015 9:00 am

It’s funny that two much misused words end in —some: fulsome and noisome. Noisome is the less often used at…

Whipsmart: a new cliché that’s beginning to smart

24 October 2015 9:00 am

A friend of my husband’s asked me to explain why the usually impeccable critic Francine Stock had recently used the…

Can politicians say ‘crusade’ again? David Cameron thinks so

17 October 2015 8:00 am

One thing grabbed my attention from David Cameron’s speech, long ago in the middle of last week. ‘We need a…

The weird truth about the word ‘normal’

10 October 2015 9:00 am

‘Is Nicky Morgan too “normal” to be the next prime minister?’ asked someone in the Daily Telegraph. That would make…

I was wrong to criticise using ‘critique’ as a verb

3 October 2015 8:00 am

I lost my husband on the way from Malabar. He is easily lost. We had been talking about the verb…

The remarkable discovery of Roger Fuckebythenavele

26 September 2015 8:00 am

A great discovery has been made by Dr Paul Booth, a fellow of Keele University. It is a 14th-century example…

A lesson in graceful Twitter style – from a resigning shadow minister

19 September 2015 8:00 am

‘Tweeting’s like text messaging, isn’t it?’ said my husband confidently, though not, as usual, from any knowledge of the matter.…

Why would Jeremy Corbyn want to be credible when he can be incredible?

12 September 2015 9:00 am

In a wonderfully dry manual of theology on my husband’s bookshelves, written in Latin and printed in Naples in the…

Think ‘migrant’ is an insult? ‘Refugee’ can be too

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Al Jazeera, the Qatari broadcaster, is going to use refugee instead of migrant in its English output. ‘The umbrella term…

Saints still beat Game of Thrones for baby-naming – but maybe not Mohammed

29 August 2015 9:00 am

We reached peak Charlie in 2012, when 5,571 baby boys were given the name. There were only 4,642 last year.…

‘Asexual’ used to mean something even creepier than ‘Edward Heath’

22 August 2015 9:00 am

There was a time when my husband, who often addresses the television, would habitually react to Edward Heath’s appearance on…

GMB union annual conference - Dublin

Why Liz Kendall isn't close to qualifying as 'Taliban New Labour'

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Toxic virus or Taleban: it’s funny how the mild-mannered Liz Kendall has attracted for her Blairite associations the most violently…