Bend it like Johnson

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Just as there are categories of vegans and vegetarians, locavores, too, have a strict classification. While ultra strict locavores avoid all ingredients that have not been grown and produced locally, the Marco Polo rule followers incorporate dried spices into their diet — items sailors could carry along while at sea, but keep all other ingredients local. Wild card locavores are less rigid. They bend their foodshed to include coffee, sugar, chocolate or any ingredients they feel they just can’t live without.

Learn a little

In 1755, Dr Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language, the first ‘true’ dictionary and one that had no competitor for more than a century. A one-man academy, he initially set out to ‘police’ the language in the spirit of Jonathan Swift but by the time the dictionary was nearing completion, he realised and accepted the fact that change in language is inevitable. This is borne out by his words from the Preface to his dictionary: ‘When we see men grow old and die at a certain time one after another, from century to century, we laugh at the elixir that promises to prolong life to a thousand years; and with equal justice may the lexicographer be derided, who being able to produce no example of a nation that has preserved their words and phrases from mutability, shall imagine that his dictionary can embalm his language, and secure it from corruption and decay...

Precise usage

Sometimes in daily life, people can confuse others without much of an effort. If a host asks a guest, ‘would you like some tea or coffee?’ and the latter answers ‘yes’, does it tell the host something? When this happens with me, I feel like serving both!

Intriguing words

‘Cavalry’, the word used for soldiers on horseback today refers to soldiers who fight in armored vehicles. It originates from the Italian ‘cavallo’ or ‘horse’. ‘Calvary’ is the name of the hill outside Jerusalem on which Jesus Christ was crucified and it originates from the Latin ‘calvaria’ or ‘skull’. Of course, time has given a metaphorical slant to this word by putting it in use for ‘any scene of intense anguish’.