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Top 10 Best Rhymes in Songs, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Best Rhymes in Songs

The Top 10 in The Independent on Sunday magazine yesterday was Best Rhymes in Songs, a sequel to Top 10 Worst Rhymes last year.
As ever, there is a bit of over-matter to be added to the record here:
“Two old ladies sittin’ in the sand, each one wishin’ the other was a man.” Lonnie Donegan. Nominated [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 10 June 2014 at 11:00 am

Pluralism, Eagle Eye

Pluralism

My Top 10 in the New Review, the Independent on Sunday magazine, today is Plurals That Have Become Singular. It is a guest performance by Rich Greenhill, a virtuoso of language curios, who supplied all 10, including his (and my) favourites, “dismal” and “Sweden”.
Greenhill had suggested even more, including the delightful fact that MMR, measles, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 1 June 2014 at 8:36 pm

Top 10 Metatheses: Orpah Winfrey, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Metatheses: Orpah Winfrey

This week’s Top 10 in the Independent on Sunday magazine is metatheses, the transposition of sounds in words.
Bird used to be brid (that’s not a misspelling, pictured, that’s etymology), wasp used to be waps and dusk used to be dox.
I could have had a separate category for people’s names. Matthew Bell says that in Nepal [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 19 May 2014 at 11:41 am

More Misunderstood Songs, Eagle Eye

More Misunderstood Songs

After posting last week’s Top 10 here, “Songs that mean the opposite of what most people think they mean”, I had some late nominations.
Stella Creasy: “In the Summertime”, by Mungo Jerry, as it’s about drink driving and date rape.
Tania Ziegler: “‏Young Girl”, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, about underage sex with older man.
James [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 9:08 pm

Top 10 Songs that mean the opposite of what most people think they mean, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Songs that mean the opposite of what most people think they mean

We had a problem with putting stuff from the Independent on Sunday magazine, The New Review, online last weekend. While the boffins labour with something mysterious called CMS, I’ll post an image of it here.

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 6:38 pm

Top 10 Malapropisms, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Malapropisms

My Top 10 in The Independent on Sunday at the weekend was Malapropisms.
As ever, I had a surplus of nominations, some of which did not make the final selection because they were not authenticated. They are still good, so here they are, with the best of the rest:
“We’ve passed a lot of water under the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 6 May 2014 at 1:35 pm

Top 10 Signs with Double Meanings, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Signs with Double Meanings

My Top 10 in the Independent on Sunday magazine last weekend was signs with double meanings. This was prompted by Mike Graham saying on Twitter that he would refuse to go into this room (pictured).
As so often, there were many good entries that didn’t make the holy of holies, so here is a round-up of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 April 2014 at 2:30 pm

Top 10 Unrelated Pairs of Words, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Unrelated Pairs of Words

My favourite Top 10 so far in The Independent on Sunday last weekend: surprisingly unrelated pairs of words. I started with male and female, which came to English from different Latin roots (masculus and femina), but which came close to rhyming in Old French (masle and femelle) and thus converged in modern English.
These kinds of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 April 2014 at 3:11 pm

Last Sentences of Novels, Eagle Eye

Last Sentences of Novels

I had a Top 10 Last Sentences of Novels in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine yesterday, a companion piece to Top 10 First Sentences. As I said, my rules about single, complete sentences shorter than 140 characters limit turned out to be quite restrictive.
Single sentences ruled out some promising entries:
Don’t ever tell [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 14 April 2014 at 10:36 am

Words With Opposite Meanings, Eagle Eye

Words With Opposite Meanings

I chose my Top 10 Words With Opposite Meanings in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, yesterday. I admit that many of them are not quite opposite. Buckle to join together and buckle to collapse are not at 180 degrees to each other.
Tom Freeman correctly points out that literally as an intensifier does [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 7 April 2014 at 8:44 pm

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