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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

Genuine Shop Names: the next 20, Eagle Eye

Genuine Shop Names: the next 20

Still they keep coming. I listed the Top 10 Genuine Shop Names in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, at the weekend, and posted an overflow list of another 20 on the blog. In no time, thanks to the genius of Twitter, I have another 20, taking us up to a total of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at 12:11 pm

Top 30 Genuine Shop Names, Eagle Eye

Top 30 Genuine Shop Names

I have a Top 10 Genuine Shop Names in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, today. Here is photographic proof of my favourite, Melon Cauli, Birmingham. And below is a picture of Sellfridges, in Stoke Newington.
I had so many good nominations, though, that it would be a waste not to list the next [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 7:00 pm

Top 10 Mixed Metaphors, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Mixed Metaphors

My Top 10 in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, on Sunday was mixed metaphors. The best was possibly Ernest Bevin’s:
I don’t like it. When you open that Pandora’s box, you will find it full of Trojan horses.
This was supplied by the great and wondrous Francis Wheen, at whose feet I learned depressingly [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 4:15 pm

Top 40 Lost Positives, Eagle Eye

Top 40 Lost Positives

I ended up with so many lost positives that I could have compiled a small dictionary of them. There are certainly enough to use in a story. Jack Winter has already done that: “How I Met My Wife“, brought to my attention by Toby Manhire.
I selected a Top 10 for The Independent on Sunday magazine last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 14 March 2014 at 10:18 pm

Top 10 First Sentences of Novels, Eagle Eye

Top 10 First Sentences of Novels

This Top 10, in The Independent on Sunday magazine, was always going to be hard to keep to just 10. Sure enough, I have received many representations on behalf of books that people thought should have been in the list.
Lots of people thought Anthony Burgess ought to have been in it. You know, the silly [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 6 March 2014 at 12:38 pm

Words That Used To Mean the Opposite, Eagle Eye

Words That Used To Mean the Opposite

I have a Top 10 Words That Used to Mean the Opposite in The Independent on Sunday magazine, The New Review, today. Too late for inclusion, Alison Graham pointed out that “oversight” has two, almost opposite, meanings, and my friend Francis Wheen (pictured) wrote to offer a word that deserves a blog post all of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 16 February 2014 at 4:57 pm

Top 30 Tautologies, Eagle Eye

Top 30 Tautologies

Following on from a piece in the Independent on Sunday, John Rentoul offers us some more tautologies

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 6 February 2014 at 7:54 am

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