Peeves

Of course ‘girl’ can mean ‘woman’. It has done for centuries

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Sir Roger Gale sounds like an old-bufferish knight of the shires, but he once worked as a disc-jockey on a…

How I learned to live with ‘meet with’

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Don’t tell my husband, but I have been having doubts. (He never reads this column, so our secret is safe.)…

Why it’s time to abandon ‘trope’

11 February 2017 9:00 am

A law I’d like to see passed would exact severe penalties for the use of the word trope. It is…

Ghastly — sometimes no other word will do

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Tatler is turning its back on an irreplaceable word

Eight Americanisms you won’t be able to avoid in 2017

7 January 2017 9:00 am

Here are eight invasive Americanisms to continue annoying us in 2017. Running for office. Liz Kendall was ‘running for the…

Why I’m a convert to singular ‘they’

3 December 2016 9:00 am

‘When I asked the bank,’ said my husband, ‘they were no help at all.’ My attention was distracted from his…

I was wrong about ‘critique’. You may be too

8 October 2016 9:00 am

‘Americans,’ said my husband in much the same tone that Betsey Trotwood said ‘Donkeys’. It was his way of explaining…

The most annoying word in advertising

5 March 2016 9:00 am

There’s a plague of first-person advertising

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…

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…

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…

Why I hate ‘I love that…’

1 August 2015 9:00 am

I had never heard the Country (Red Dirt) singer Wade Bowen before, although his latest album Hold my Beer (Vol 1)…

Should you be prejudiced against ‘pre-’?

9 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Pre-diabetes is an artificial category with virtually zero clinical relevance,’ said an American professor in the Times. A friend of…

After ‘literally’, is it time to start a Neighbourhood Watch for the OED?

24 August 2013 9:00 am

There was outrage last week when it was found that the Oxford English Dictionary had listed one sense of literally…