Category Archives: Words

Bluenote

Heard today that the reason for naughty items being referred to as blue was down to the colour of the censor’s pencil, and also to the fact that ladies of negotiable affection wore blue robes in prison.

Gnothe sauton

It’s been a while since we had a dictionary delve, occasioned today by my idly wondering if “global pandemic” is tautology?

The dictionary in question was therefore temporarily relieved of its 21st century function as the prop for the iPad when Zooming, and duly interrogated.

We know that tautology itself* comes from tauto, the same, and legein, to speak – or logos, the word? As for pandemic, that in turn comes from pan – all and demos, people. So, it’s fairly safe to assume** that global means much of the same. It might be more correct to speak of a global epidemic, (epi, among) but right now pandemic seems to be the one that has caught the zeitgeist.

What a cheery subject. And it’s all empirical.

Broken shell, St. David’s Harbour, June 2021

*couldn’t resist

**it’s rarely safe to assume.