Archive for March, 2011

We’re delighted to correct our previous post on Itchy Coo press: happily, they are not closing down. Here’s their comment in full, to put the record straight: The story [published in Scotland on Sunday] is not accurate. Itchy Coo is NOT closing, and the books will continue to be available as long as folk continue […]

The title of my post on “bamboozled” comes from the wonderful song “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered“, from the Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey. From a language perspective, here’s the Online Etymology Dictionary again, on “glamour”: glamour (n.) 1720, Scottish, “magic, enchantment” (especially in phrase to cast the glamor), a variant of Scottish gramarye “magic, enchantment, […]

The Institute of Translation and Interpreting, in association with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), is hosting a full day’s conference in early April for both freelance translators and translation companies interested in bidding for DGT translation contracts. The aim is to demystify the tendering process (which seems daunting but is by no means the […]

Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has carried out a review of energy companies’ pricing practices. The review found that competition is being stifled by a combination of tariff complexity, poor supplier behaviour, and lack of transparency. The Chief Executive said: Consumers have told us that energy suppliers’ prices are too complicated. It is no surprise that […]

Back in October 2010 I wrote a post on Internet gems. One of the “gems” was DOSANKODEBBIE’S ETEGAMI NOTEBOOK, written by Deborah Davidson, an Etegami artist and Japanese to English translator. Since the earthquaki and tsunami of 11 March, Deborah has written a series of blog posts on “humanizing the quake”. They celebrate Japan’s people and customs, and […]

Two celebrations today: Italy’s birthday (150th anniversary of Italian Unification) and St. Patrick’s Day. To continue the theme of my last two posts, Kate Smith suggests in the blog Live in Full Colour that St. Patrick’s colour is not green, but blue. Indeed, the emerald tones of the Chicago river and celebratory St. Patrick’s day beer are […]

Tuesday’s post (15 March) was inspired by Newcastle University’s study of Japanese- and English-speakers’ perceptions of the word “blue”. From an English-Italian translation perspective, “blue” is an interesting word, and something of a false friend. The Italian “blu” refers to dark or navy blue, while “azzurro” is used for other shades of the colour. And […]

One of the messages I try to convey to school pupils when I talk to them about language learning is that languages are relevant and might actually help them in later life. So I was delighted to read about a study (by Panos Athanasopoulos of Newcastle University, and others) on how language affects the way we see […]



I wrote a post last June entitled “La plume de ma tante…”, about the associations of the word “plume”. In 2010 we had the ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull, in Iceland, and the plume produced by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And now we’re hearing about a radioactive plume from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear […]