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Quote of the Day

When a translation job, for which the green light was supposed to be given by EOD yesterday, failed to materialise, one of my team members stoically commented: “Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come“, which apparently was one of Wayne Dyer’s favourite phrases.

It actually goes back to Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, known as Rumi, who said:

Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come.
Some things that don’t happen
Keep disasters from happening.

Rumi
Artistic depiction of Rumi. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Today’s CPD reflections: “hard-worked”

A recent e-newsletter for language professionals contained the term “hard-worked”. It made me pause and reflect, possibly because at first glance I may have read it as “hard-working”, and I’m tired of politicians going on about “hard-working families”.

Further ‘research’ seems to indicate that the term isn’t particularly common, although – not entirely surprisingly – there is an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (see screenshot below), as a subheading under the very long entry for “hard”. Note in particular the oxen example in the OED. Read more

“spelt” vs “spelled”

Interesting discussion re “spelt” vs “spelled” at English Language & Usage Stack Exchange, which, incidentally, is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It starts with the question:  

In the following sentence, should I say spelled or spelt:
You spelt/spelled “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” [!!!] wrong.

See below for apparently authoritative conclusions from grammarist.com.

per cent or percent?

%

Across the board, dictionaries suggest that percent, written as one word, is American English, whereas per cent, written as two words, is British English. The European Commission (Directorate-General for Translation) English Style Guide concurs, although it is not prescriptive and notes that per cent is normally [blog author’s emphasis] written as two words in British English. Wikipedia even goes as far as describing the frequency of use of the two-word form in British English as “sometimes”. In any case, the online free dictionary suggests that the use of the two-word form is diminishing. No evidence is given for this statement, but it would be in line with the (in many case entirely ‘sensible’) trend of compounding. Not to mention the fact that, from a German Prozent perspective, the one-word form simply ‘feels more natural’.

Word of the day: twonk

Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com

In contrast to the Urban Dictionary, the OED seems uncertain re the origin of the term – see below. Discuss?