Cometh the hour, cometh the growth opportunity

by Rashmee

Posted on March 20, 2020


Three sectors are flourishing in the age of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19: New words and phrases New crimes of opportunity New openings for commerce Yesterday, I wrote about the crop of words and phrases already being harvested from the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to read it. If you don’t, here’s a reminder of some of … Continue reading “Cometh the hour, cometh the growth opportunity”

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Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral

by Rashmee

Posted on March 17, 2020


Once upon a time, it was Brexit that added new words to the dictionary. “Brexit” – a portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit” – was Brexit’s first linguistic contribution, soon after the referendum of June 23, 2016. Then came “leave”, “remain”, “hard Brexit”, “soft Brexit”, “crashing out”, “backstop”, “Remoaners”, “flextension” and “Henry VIII powers”. … Continue reading “Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral”

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Mind your language in this slacktivist, post-truth world

by Rashmee

Posted on May 4, 2017 / The National


Political junkies, lexicographers and social media users recently enjoyed a rare, shared moment of levity. It was over the terminology employed by a well known British politician to describe the leader of the UK’s main opposition Labour Party. Boris Johnson said that Jeremy Corbyn was a “mutton-headed old mugwump”, sending smooth-talking politicians and skilled wordsmiths … Continue reading “Mind your language in this slacktivist, post-truth world”

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Some Americans took the ‘haboob’ advisory to signal a takeover by Arabs

by Rashmee

Posted on June 4, 2016


Texan anger at their weather service’s description of the duststorm as “haboob” was a reminder of the profound limitations imposed by ignorance. And of Islamophobia. To those who know (or have read that wonderful novel ‘The English patient’) a haboob is a very particular kind of dust storm. It refers to a situation in which … Continue reading “Some Americans took the ‘haboob’ advisory to signal a takeover by Arabs”

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Please don’t say ‘I feel like’. The phrase is a sign of a cultural sickening

by Rashmee

Posted on May 6, 2016


When Molly Worthen @MollyWorthen suggests we should all stop saying “I feel like”, I feel like it’s time to listen. Ms Worthen recently wrote an excellent piece on the subject of “vague intuition” in The New York Times’ Sunday Review. She described the “I feel like” school of decision-making as a “broad cultural contagion”. Ms Worthen should … Continue reading “Please don’t say ‘I feel like’. The phrase is a sign of a cultural sickening”

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English is devilishly hard: If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 20, 2015


English is really devilishly hard – for foreign learners, not to speak native ones as much as non-natives required (or nudged towards) learning. The last category includes trading partners and conquered subjects and the like. This was true in the days of the British empire, continued in the “American century” and remains valid today. The … Continue reading “English is devilishly hard: If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK