In the era of Facebook and Twitter we’re reposting all the time, so it’s no surprise a fellow editor would see someone refer to a clever repost instead of a clever riposte.
The word repost is a natural formation that goes back hundreds of years: To repost is simply to post again. Post, as in mail, referred originally to travel by relay of horses. But you could probably ask someone in the 17th century to repost a sign that fell down and you’d be understood.
We’ve gotten the phrase “God be with you” down to three letters over the years, with bye retaining the b from be and ye, the old plural pronoun. It’s unclear when we took the God out of goodbye, but we’ve been saying bye for at least 300 years.
Some weeks, everything I edit is a dream. Other weeks, well …
Last week was one of those “other” weeks. One stumbling block came from papers on the sharing economy. In a sharing economy, individuals and companies provide the use of products and services for less than the cost of owing them. Think of a vacation time-share, and you’ve got the idea.
When Winky the house elf was found unconscious in a field after the Quidditch World Cup, her employer raised his wand and said “Ennervate!”
Those familiar with the word enervate might expect Winky to continue to sleep it off, but the spell had the opposite effect, causing Winky to wake. If the elf from from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire were enervated, she would feel drained of energy.
Then, in a sentence that followed along naturally, he used the phrase “viable alternative,” and I marveled at how quickly he had learned the language of government. Longley likes the word “input” and on taking office accepted a $15,000 input to his salary.
I recently and unexpectedly acquired a Butterfly, a 12-foot sailing dinghy, and immediately signed up for lessons at a nearby sailing club. I’ve always had an interest, but now I need to learn my sheet from my stay and my bow from my aft.
Has the humidex got you reaching for a pop, dockside at the camp? You might be Canadian. That’s right, according to Only in Canada, You Say, these are uniquely Canadian terms. Katherine Barber, “Canada’s word lady,” wrote that book. She used to supervise development of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, when it was still under production.