The Coriolis Effect Myth

Were you ever told (or even taught) that water spirals down a drain in different directions in the northern and southern hemispheres due to the Coriolis effect? Weird how those things stick in your mind, isn’t it? Unfortunately that is… Read More ›


Meaning An accidental transposition of the initial sounds, or other parts, of two or more words. Origin The Rev. William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), who was a fellow and warden of New College, Oxford, is inextricably linked with the slips of… Read More ›

Very British phrases

There are several words and phrases I use on social media without realising that they are culturally or geographically niched. A few that spring to mind are ‘hamfisted’, ‘cheeky’ and ‘trainspotter’. Below is a selection from this Standard article which… Read More ›


The misuse of certain phrases in English is something that really gets my goat. Some examples: baited breath instead of bated breath here here instead of hear hear step foot instead of set foot it’s not rocket surgery instead of… Read More ›

Idioms about March

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb – the month of March usually starts with cold, unpleasant weather, but ends mild and pleasant. (Either part of the proverb can be used alone.) To be as… Read More ›

The Streisand Effect

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to… Read More ›