This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Actually: a rant.

"Some of the prose in the novels [on the Mann Booker shortlist] actually glows."

So says Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and judge of this year's Man Booker Prize.

Really? Actually? Glows?

Well, I suppose if he were reading it on a screen it might do.

"If the English novel does nothing to renew the English language, then it really doesn't do anything."

That's another of Sir Peter's. Nothing? Actually? Well, Sir Peter is presumably the expert.

"In a normal year, you might read 20 novels"

Sir Peter again. Twenty novels a year? Good grief, that's only two thousand novels in a century.

Hm. Perhaps not so expert, then. 


Word To Use Carefully Today: actually. This word came to English in the 1300s. It comes from the Late Latin āctuālis relating to acts, practical, from Latin āctus, act.

It means existing in reality, as a matter of fact.

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