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Flying too close to the sun: how idioms originate

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This week while sipping on a warm Coke Zero at lunch with a friend, we began to discuss the wonders of Greece. She reminded me of the fable of Icarus.

Icarus had wings fashioned out of feathers and wax to assist his escape from the prison where he and his father were captive.

Robo dog delivers in driverless car: AI is in our world


While updating myself with news of the day I happened across the headline
“This robot delivery dog will hitch a ride in a driverless car to deliver your packages.” https://www.verdict.co.uk/robot-delivery-dog-continental/

Two things struck me:

  1. The reality of AI and the number of jobs that are lost to mechanisation and 2. my mind travelled back to the article I read this morning about the 10 000 jobs lost in newsrooms over the past 10 years

    For us as writers it only means one thing – we have to be more and more creative and put our minds to writing content – that not just sells but sizzles and stirs mouth-watering responses.
    Hire me. I’m your gal …

    (sorry it’s about dogs again)

Can writers be replaced by Artificial Intelligence?

Doggerel: How words originate

With no less than eight beautiful loving dogs at home, and witnessing the birth of three perfect puppies, I am rather distressed to learn that the origin of the word ‘doggerel’ originates from a time when people thought dogs were less than honorary human beings.

Can you just image living in such a heartless age?

Talking the hind legs off a donkey: How idioms originate

Last night while watching an excellent wildlife programme, I saw an antelope give birth, apparently a two-hour stint, to get the eager youngster out.

While I was engrossed in the final minutes, a friend called and took away my attention. She was complaining about her friend who talks the hind legs off a donkey. While doing that, she was guilty of the same offence – and I wanted to get back to ‘my’ antelope.

Last roll of the dice: how idioms are used

It’s all fair in love and war and friendship too.

I felt I was losing ground with a friend and that we would soon be going our own separate ways, so I asked her to do something for me which would require her to commit to making an effort in a very specific way.

Money in my salad: slang in language

Eat your greens, earn your bucks
Photo by Hector Bermudez  – Unsplash

This week while working on a copy assignment for a bank, I looked up other words that mean money.  I was surprised by what Google returned. In addition to a few formal words, five or so, there were a large number of slang words – probably more than 80.

Of Smoke and Mirrors and other idioms

A good friend told me this week – her ship had come in.

This means a change in luck, a sudden shower of good fortune or a great success.

When I heard this news, I was delighted for my friend, but also sceptical. So, I kept my distance and held off on the back-slapping and celebratory dancing.

Making mountains out of molehills: idioms

If you’re from a family who tends to exaggerate, you will be familiar with the term making a mountain out of a molehill.

This may come about in a number of ways. If you forget to bring a cake to a tea party, your host might show a great deal of distress over your forgetfulness. The guests might think her performance is unnecessary as  most of them are on a raw-foods diet.

Chinese Wall is moral dilemma: How idioms originate

Chinese Wall in Poker
Poker is the perfect example of not showing your hand (photo by Raymond Tan)

As I contemplate my next travel destination, my enthusiasm starts with a trip to Russia, then Egypt and Morocco and finally India, again.

Then it occurs to me, having just finished reading Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin, why not China?

Dual opinions come to blows: how words are misused

Working as a writer and copy editor, I have noticed how the brain tricks you, or me. If the word sounds right in the mind it’s easy for it to be mistaken as the right word.

For example, earlier this week, in the final proofread of my book review I wrote about a ‘smaller waste’ and the context was food so it was even easier to miss. Just moments before submitting the final draft, I realised that what I meant was ‘smaller waist’.