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100 Novels – personally recommended

100 Books (mostly FICTION)

The non-fiction choice, Book 101, is ‘The magnificent Mrs Tennant by David Waller’.

Having kept a diary since my early teens in which I recorded what I was reading (including school text books), I have an extraordinary insight into what was being put in front of my mind. What I find remarkable is how, if courtesty of the Internet and Ebay I dig out these books how quickly my mind can pick up where it left off 30+ years ago. This ‘window’ is a short one, at this level. In a few years I abandoned the set format of the ‘Five Year Diary’ with its specific pages to complete. On the other hand, are there not blog and social media platforms that go out of their way to encourage you to reveal something of yourself through what you read, watch and do?

This list is fluid and understandably incomplete. I have not put in Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci’ for example, as I feel it would have to come with a caveat – I read it to find out what the fuss was about. I felt as if I’d been made to play a game of snakes and ladders through an alternative and ridiculous world. It may also have put me off ever believing I could compete as a commercial author if this is what it requires. My excuse might be quaified by the French Movie Director Francois Truffaut who argued that you had to read everything, especially the ‘trash mags’ – indeed, the trashier the book the easier it is to turn into a film?

What attracts us to lists?

I should create a list of the books I’ve tried to read but could not: Ulysseys, War and Peace, Enid Blyton … any other Dan Brown! (Actually, Michael Crichton, even Stephen King, can be as daft and crass).

I see too there are still a few non-fiction works in here; I’ll filter these out in due course as I build my 100 Non-Fiction list.

I am also electing to leave out books that had to be read at school, so I ought not to have Thomas Hardy, T S Elliot or Shakespeare. Nor do I include a book if all I’ve done is see the film, which is how I suspect the ‘popular’ lists compiled by the likes of the BBC are created.

As an exercise, you make a list and immediately start to change it, indeed, I’ve just thought of a very important piece of ficton I read based on recommendation; these often turn out to be the best reads, from people who know you. All my reading of Haruki Murakimi is the product of being part of a writer’s group for a while.

As I edit I will be seeking to keep books in that matter to me, that I could discuss and defend and that I’d like others to read.

Some choices are informed by a friend who read English at Oxford; others from the Guardian’s ‘Thousands Books’ you must read before you die, which, where the library could supply them I would follow, though often having to read something else by the same author (or getting distracted by something else on the shelf).

I will also extract children’s books, those I recall reading as a child, but also those I have read to my children.

Now I’m starting to sound like a bookstore 🙁

1  Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3 Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller

4 Foundation Series – Isaac Asimov

5 Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel  Proust

6 Tides of War  – Steven Pressfield

7 Gates of War – Steven Pressfield

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9 Return to Arms – Ernest Hemmingway

10 Fatherland – Robert Harris

11 The  Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer

12 Harlot’s Ghost – Norman Mailer

13 The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer

14 Engelby – Sebastian Faulk

15 The Birds and other stories – Daphne Du  Maurrier

16 Sunset Song – Lewis Grassick Gibbon

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Regeneration Series – Pat Barker

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Life Drawing – Pat Barker

21 One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 The Gulgag Archipelago- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams

29 Vox – Nicholas Baker

30 The Decameron – Giovanni Boccaccio

31 How the  Dead Live – Will Self

32 Time Enough for Love – Robert Heinlein

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 The Foundation of Paradise – Arthur.C.Clarke

35 Enigma – Robert Harris

36 The Ghost – Robert Harris

37 Pompeii – Robert Harris

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Orlando – Virginia Woolf

40 Girl in a Coma – Douglas Coupland

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Space Trilogy series – C .S.Lewis

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

45 A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

46 The Wind-up Bird Chronicles – Haruki Murakami

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 The Time Machine – H.G.Wells

52The War of the Worlds – H.G.Wells

53 The Invisible Man – H.G.Wells

54 Tono-Bungay – H.G.Wells

55 The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

56 The Lords of the North – Bernard Cornwell

57 The Island – Victoria Hislop

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60 The Lost Continent. Travels in small town America – Bill Bryson

61 Mother Tongue – Bill Bryson

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce

65 Decline and Fall – Evelyn Waugh

66 Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller

67 Sexus, Plexus & Nexus – Henry Miller

68 Quiet Days in Clichy – Henry Miller

69 The Crimson Petal and The White – Michel Faber

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Under a Glass Bell – Anais Nin

72 House of Incest – Anais Nin

73 The Diary of Anais Nin (7 volumes) – Anais Nin

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson.

75 Boy – Roald Dahl

76 The Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

77 State of Fear – Michael Crichton

78  The Last Juror – John Grisham

79 A Painted House – John Grisham

80 The Testament – John Grisham

81 A Time to Kill – John Grisham

82 Duma Key – Stephen King

83 Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel

84 Stranger in Strange Land – Robert Heinlein

85 Going Solo – Roald Dahl

86 Crash – J.G.Ballard

87 Timeline – Stephen King

88 Super-Cannes – J.G.Ballard

89 Atomised – Michel Houellbecq

90 Platform – Michel Houellbecq

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 Steve Jobs: The Authorised Biography – Walter Isaacson

93 The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95  Macbeth – William Shakespeare

96 I, Claudius – Robert Graves

97 Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl.

100 Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sandak

Words. A call for simplicity in language

‘Communication is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from?’ Hutchings (2008)

The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English

Words matter to me very much

Their purpose is to communicate.

We are all prone to use jargon, and the first time we use it we feel we belong that tribe. Academic writers are prone to the greatest misdemeanours – they not only invent their own words, but they like to show off their command of words you/we have rarely come across, or they misappropriate words from other disciplines and force anew definition upon them.

Books on words appeal to me.

If Open Learning is to appeal to the broadest church, then clear, simple, language is required.

If you spot any polysyllabic bibble-babble, please do share.

Or is that me committing this very crime?

One long word, and another long word that might be of my own invention. My apologies.

So why use one word with many syllables which few people understand, when a sentence of short words would do a far better job?

Obfuscation or communication?

Showing off or joining the throng, who are your students.

And have I just done it again?

What I mean to say is, ‘it cannot help learning if a writer puts in a long word that they and their colleagues understand that the majority don’t.

Clear English, is simple English; anything more can be unnecessarily confusing.

Who do you present to the world when you’re online?

In the first moments of a conversation with Dr B Price Kerfoot on Skype did he not think what I was thinking? That the public images we had of each other were probably a decade old?

I didn’t take a screen grab, but the 30 something doctor in collar, tie and white coat taken in the sunshine, perhaps on the day of a promotion could have been his younger brother, when, if he can excuse me describing him thus, I saw the same person, a thick head of greying hair, a face, like mine, like the bark of a mature tree rather than a sapling.

As I write below, his spirit, like mine (I hope) remains that of an enthusiastic twenty-something.

The same occurred with the Elluminate session we had in H800 the other day … Shaun on the webcam (initially in a scratchy black and white image) is not the person who goes by in the General Forum. Are we all guilty of this. men included? We go with something in our late thirties or early to mid-forties?

What image should we use to portray ourselves?

Is their such as thing as best practice? Ought it to be like joining a gym, we have a snapshot taken on a webcam and this current image, no matter how it comes out, becomes who we are?

There’d be a riot of complaints.

Do so few of use dislike or distrust what we see when we look at our faces in the mirror each morning?

It has been the subject of research, role play in online education; I’d like to do some of my own.

I began a year ago with this. I liked the picture, felt it was healthy, robust and confidenct and reasonably confident. I should have looked at the date on it. August 2004. Happy and sunny days. You age under stress and from the mid-40s it doesn’t take much to add ten years -all that sun in the past, being unwell.

I then went with this.

An image I long ago used in my eleven year old blog. I wanted something that was indicative of the content and would last. I’m still inclined to run with this. It is indicative of what I think blogging is all about – the contents of your mind, what you think i.e. you ‘mind bursts’ as I call them on numerous blogs.

In my three Facebook personas I am in turn:

While on Skype I use a image taken with the webcam on the day of an online interview – this is a month ago, so as contemporary as it gets.

I have this image fronting Tumblr taken 21 years ago, in moments of euphoria having just successfully negotiated a 15m pond of slush on a pair of skis in front of a crowd of early May skiers below the Tignes Glacier, France. The day I proposed to my wife. We’d be ‘going out together’ for three days … we’ve now been together, well 21 years.

In my original diary we could create banner adds to publicise what we had to say to fellow writers. One of these has a spread as long as the contents of my diaries and blog: they run from a 13 year old Head Chorister in cassock and ruffs, though gap, undergrad, to ad exec, video director, with four woman I didn’t marry.

My first professional ‘portrait’ for the Worth Media corporate website was this:

Increasingly, I am thinking of using a self-portrait, that this attempt to capture myself through my minds eye is more telling that a photograph.

I could use the drawing I did of a 14 year old .. with sketched in variations of what I imagined I’d look like with a beard or moustache. What amuses me most here is how I superimpose these attachments as if I were in a school play, the beard is clearly on the soft face of a pre-pubescent boy – I should have looked at my grandfather for the face I’d get, with the more bulbous nose and pronounced chin.

Talking of which, I find it both intriguing and damming that I am the spitting image of my grandfather, that my own children see images of him age 20 and think it has to be me. All that changes as he ages into a 40 and 50 year old is he goes bald, whereas I am thus far limited to a thinning of the crown.

This I’m afraid, if the age of my children in the rest of the picture is something to go by, is some seven years ago 🙁

My only reason for picking it is that I haven’t renewed my contact lenses and am inclined, after twenty years wearing them to give up. Maybe laser surgery when I have the cash?

This is contemporary. It doesn’t say who I am, just ‘what’ I am. Wearing a child’s hat (he’s a dad), the head-set to record notes onto a digital recorder (for a podcast), a coat he bought for honeymooning in the Alps (we went skiing) 18 years ago …

I have of course. not changed much since 1979:

The Dracular Spectacula, People’s Theatre, Newcastle. The teeth were made from dentine and fitted by an orthodontist.I rather foolishly sharpened the fangs and bit through my own lip on the last night. I had to sing while gargling my own blood. The joy of memories.

Which rather takes me back to the original point – who are we? how do we representative ourselves online in a single image when we are all a sum of a complex of parts?

Is it any wonder that we present multiple selves online, the more so the longer we’ve lived?

I don’t remember my father being around to take this picture. though clearly he did. I do remember the great-big wellies though and the joy of water spilling over the top if I could find a puddle or pond deep enough. And the jumpers knitted by my granny (sleeves always too long). And the trees in the garden I climbed behind. And my sister and brother …

How set in were the learning process by then?

My behaviour and responses? What learning experiences would count? At home or school … had I even started, or was I climbing up the curtains at the nursery school at the end of Pollwarth Drive?

English is spoken by 80% of the population of the Netherlands and Sweden. But what about England?

English is spoken by

* 80% of the population of the Netherlands and Sweden
* 50% of the population of Germany, Slovenia and Finland
* 30% of the population of Italy, France and the Czech Republic

So what % of the population of England speak English?

Or of Leicester?

K.O. – Knock Out so OK … not so!

I’ve learnt something. And so simple. I thought it might be American Airforce derived. Code. I always wondered about OK.

What about F.A.B? From ‘Thunderbirds.’

There are 6,900 different, mutually unintelligible natural languages.

96% of the world’s languages are spoken by 4% of its inhabitants.

There are 750 languages in Indonesia.

Eleven languages account for the speech of more than half the world’s population:

1. Mandarin Chinese
2. Spanish
3. Hindi
4. Arabic
5. French
6. Bengali
7. Portuguese
8. Russian
9. German
10. Japanese
11. English

Only SIX may be significant in fifty years time:

1. Mandarin Chinese
2. Spanish
3. Hindi
4. Bengali
5. Arabic
6. English

English dominates in diplomacy, trade, shipping, the entertainment industry and youth culture.

English is the lingua franca of science and medicine.

Its position is prominent, if not dominant, in education and international business and journalism.

There are more fluent speakers of English in India, where it persists as ‘subsidiary official language’ than in Britain.

English as a second language is spoken by some 120 million non-British.

REFERENCE

The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English. Henry Hitchings. 2008

Fingerspitzengefuhl

Fingerspitzengefuhl

‘A feeling in the tips of one’s fingers.’ Courtesy of Henry Hitchings (2009)

My journey through the English language courtesy of Henry Hitchings has come to an end.

I have read his ‘The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English’ from cover to cover. I’ll have to read his book on Dr Johnson’s Dictionary next. Or get my hands on Mencken’s book on ‘The American Language’ which the late Alistair Cook would often quote.

I’ve learnt about loan words, calques and coinage; words taken straight from a foreign language, expressions that are literal translations of a foreign language and invented words.

English is a language of constant invention.

I have a put down from the 16th century for any new fangled multiple-syllable techno babble I come across. I can call the author a ‘Controversialist – a writer who spurts out horrid polysyllables; and I might use the line, ‘such addicts of exotic terms would rarely use a short word where a long alternative could be found.’ From John Florio’s A Worlde of Wordes (1598)

I love the French loan word ‘Escargatoire’ which is ‘a nursery of snails’.

I am sure I can find a way to use it.

It amuses me that William Fox Talbot wanted to call photography ‘photogenic drawing’ while after Louis Daguerre we have ‘daguerreotype’ but pushed by Sir John Hersche ‘photography’ and ‘photo’ caught on. (Queen Victoria asked a grand-daughter for a ‘photo’ in a letter).

I thought of ‘stakeholder’ as a word that had to be 1970s corporate speak, only to learn that it was first used in 1850, along with ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘capitalist’.

Etiquette has become ‘netiquette’ online

This is a Georgian notion and appears in Johnson’s dictionary of 1818. One piece of advice given regarding etiquette is to ‘be discreet and sparing of your words.’

Hitchings leaves mention of the Internet to the last pages of the final paragraph ‘Online communities, which are nothing if not eclectic, prove an especially rich breeding ground for new words.’

* extremes

* deliriously ludic (sic)

* personalised

* localised

REFERENCE

The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English. Henry Hitchings. 2008

How English became English. E-words

24 August 2010

‘The language has a strange power of alchemy, the capacity to transform whatever it touches.’ Hitchings (2008:4)

Is ‘e-tivity’ – a ‘loan word’ or invention? And what about ‘e-lapsed’ time. The proof of a word brought into the English language could be how it performs as a verb or adjective. Try this then, ‘e-tivitate’ or ‘e-tivical’ or ‘e-type.’ Problematic, or a form of the language that defies what has gone before, yet follows the pattern of invention.

KEY

‘A new word is a solution to a problem. It answers a need – intellectual, experiential. Often the need is obvious, but sometimes it is unseen and badly felt, and then it is only in finding something to plug the gap that we actually realise the gap was there in the first place.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

‘Very few words are fresh coinages.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

KEY

‘We relish playing with words: making them up, acquiring them, tending them to new purposes.’ Hitchings (2008:6)

Pandemonium
Diplomacy
Shchekotik ‘half-tingle, half-tickle.’

‘One culture chaffing against another.’ Hitchings (2008:7)

Why?

“As an ‘analytic’ language – that is, one in which meaning is mainly shaped by word order and the use of particles such as prepositions and conjunctions – it has been able to absorb words without any concern for how to fit them into its grammar.’ Hitchings (2008:9)

KEY

‘A newly adopted noun can easily be turned into an adjective.’

e.g.
chimera
chimerical

KEY

And just about anything can be made into a verb

e.g. ‘Let’s sashimi the tuna.’

So e-tivity to e-tivical? E-learning to e-learnable?

‘There’s a way to e-learn everything?’

‘I e-learnt French through Open Learn.’

I feel not.

Wherein lies the unlikely longevity of these ‘e-terms.’

WORDS

“Words – or lexemes, as linguists call them – are ‘the means by which we make direct reference to extralinguistic reality, converting our basic perception of the world around us into language.’

and

they ‘serve as labels for segments of … reality which a speech community finds name worthy.’ Katsovsky (2006)

REF

Dieter Katsovsky ‘Vocabulary’, in Richard Hogg and David Denison eds) ‘A History of the English Language. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2006, 199.

new ideas and products are names
we can talk about something before it exists
the limits of our language mark the limits of our world (paraphrasing Wittgenstein).

How english became english

24-8-2010

‘The language has a strange power of alchemy, the capacity to transform whatever it touches.’ Hitchings (2008:4)

Is ‘e-tivity’ – a ‘loan word’ or invention? And what about ‘e-lapsed’ time. The proof of a word brought into the English language could be how it performs as a verb or adjective. Try this then, ‘e-tivitate’ or ‘e-tivical’ or ‘e-type.’ Problematic, or a form of the language that defies what has gone before, yet follows the pattern of invention.

KEY

‘A new word is a solution to a problem. It answers a need – intellectual, experiential. Often the need is obvious, but sometimes it is unseen and badly felt, and then it is only in finding something to plug the gap that we actually realise the gap was there in the first place.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

‘Very few words are fresh coinages.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

KEY

‘We relish playing with words: making them up, acquiring them, tending them to new purposes.’ Hitchings (2008:6)

Pandemonium
Diplomacy
Shchekotik ‘half-tingle, half-tickle.’

‘One culture chaffing against another.’ Hitchings (2008:7)

Why?

“As an ‘analytic’ language – that is, one in which meaning is mainly shaped by word order and the use of particles such as prepositions and conjunctions – it has been able to absorb words without any concern for how to fit them into its grammar.’ Hitchings (2008:9)

KEY

‘A newly adopted noun can easily be turned into an adjective.’

e.g.
chimera
chimerical

KEY

And just about anything can be made into a verb

e.g. ‘Let’s sashimi the tuna.’

So e-tivity to e-tivical? E-learning to e-learnable?

‘There’s a way to e-learn everything?’

‘I e-learnt French through Open Learn.’

I feel not.

Wherein lies the unlikely longevity of these ‘e-terms.’

WORDS

“Words – or lexemes, as linguists call them – are ‘the means by which we make direct reference to extralinguistic reality, converting our basic perception of the world around us into language.’

and

they ‘serve as labels for segments of … reality which a speech community finds name worthy.’ Katsovsky (2006)

REF

Dieter Katsovsky ‘Vocabulary’, in Richard Hogg and David Denison eds) ‘A History of the English Language. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2006, 199.

new ideas and products are names
we can talk about something before it exists
the limits of our language mark the limits of our world (paraphrasing Wittgenstein).

Words matter to me. Let’s make some up.

‘Communication is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from?’

Hutchings (2008) The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English

Words matter to me.

Their purpose is to communicate. We are all prone to use jargon, and the first time we use it we feel we belong that tribe.

Academic writers are prone to the greatest misdemeanours – they not only invent their own words, but they like to show off their command of words you/we have rarely come across, or they misappropriate words from other disciplines and force anew definition upon them.

Books on words appeal to me.

If Open Learning is to appeal to the broadest church, then clear, simple, language is required. If you spot any polysyllabic bibble-babble, please do share. Or is that me committing this very crime? One long word, and another long word that might be of my own invention.

My apologies.

So why use one word with many syllables which few people understand, when a sentence of short words would do a far better job?

Obfuscation or communication?

Showing off or joining the throng, who are your students. And have I just done it again? What I mean to say is, ‘it cannot help learning if a writer puts in a long word that they and their colleagues understand that the majority don’t.

Clear English, is simple English; anything more can be unnecessarily confusing.

REFERENCE

Hutchings (2008) The Secret Life of Words. How English Became English

Hitchings and language

‘The language has a strange power of alchemy, the capacity to transform whatever it touches.’ Hitchings (2008:4)

Is ‘e-tivity’ – a ‘loan word’ or invention? And what about ‘e-lapsed’ time. The proof of a word brought into the English language could be how it performs as a verb or adjective. Try this then, ‘e-tivitate’ or ‘e-tivical’ or ‘e-type.’ Problematic, or a form of the language that defies what has gone before, yet follows the pattern of invention.

KEY

‘A new word is a solution to a problem. It answers a need – intellectual, experiential. Often the need is obvious, but sometimes it is unseen and badly felt, and then it is only in finding something to plug the gap that we actually realise the gap was there in the first place.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

‘Very few words are fresh coinages.’ Hitchings (2008:5)

KEY

‘We relish playing with words: making them up, acquiring them, tending them to new purposes.’ Hitchings (2008:6)

Pandemonium
Diplomacy
Shchekotik ‘half-tingle, half-tickle.’

‘One culture chaffing against another.’ Hitchings (2008:7)

Why?

“As an ‘analytic’ language – that is, one in which meaning is mainly shaped by word order and the use of particles such as prepositions and conjunctions – it has been able to absorb words without any concern for how to fit them into its grammar.’ Hitchings (2008:9)

KEY

‘A newly adopted noun can easily be turned into an adjective.’

e.g.
chimera
chimerical

KEY

And just about anything can be made into a verb

e.g. ‘Let’s sashimi the tuna.’

So e-tivity to e-tivical? E-learning to e-learnable?

‘There’s a way to e-learn everything?’

‘I e-learnt French through Open Learn.’

I feel not.

Wherein lies the unlikely longevity of these ‘e-terms.’

WORDS

“Words – or lexemes, as linguists call them – are ‘the means by which we make direct reference to extralinguistic reality, converting our basic perception of the world around us into language.’

and

they ‘serve as labels for segments of … reality which a speech community finds name worthy.’ Katsovsky (2006)

REF

Dieter Katsovsky ‘Vocabulary’, in Richard Hogg and David Denison eds) ‘A History of the English Language. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 2006, 199.

new ideas and products are names
we can talk about something before it exists
the limits of our language mark the limits of our world (paraphrasing Wittgenstein).

Hitchings on the wonders of English

Whenever you read, take notes, written on a notepad, or voice into a digital recorder. Do it. Store it. sue it. Empower the contents of your mind.

Do this for a few months and be rewarded … for a decade and be enriched. We don;t all have photographic recall.

There is meaning that prompts me to act thus; my mistake is not to note these prompts as it is here I am coming to understand where my deeper understanding lies.

Why?

This is what Hitchings asks over and over again. I’d do the same. I enjoy what he has to say as he appeals to my nagging curiosity. I want to know why.

Two kinds of loan. Hitchings (2008:12)

1. Words to denote phenomena that have never before been given expression.
2. Words to denote phenomena for which their already exists a quite adequate term.

We must find a way of expressing what it is that we think, feel or see. Words give ideas and things credence. It is the human experiment in which ideas in the form of words are tried out until they either survive repeated use or fail

JARGON

‘Specialists worry about their language being cheapened by everyday use and the layperson worries about being swamped by jargon.’ Hitchings (2008:12)

A word that is unused is a word on its last leg if it ever had a leg to stand on.
NEW WORDS

‘It has always been accepted, and always will be, that words stamped with the mint – mark of the day be brought into currency.’ Horace, trans T.S. Dorsch 1986, 80-81 ‘On the Art of Poetry.’

‘It is usage which regulates the laws and conventions of speed.’ Horace.

‘More than this, usage is what makes words live. And usage will always prevail over theory.’ Hitchings (2008:12)

Are writers in e-learning guilty of this?

‘Loans tend to enjoy a certain mystical allure, and sometimes they are used to endow ordinary thoughts with extra ordinary lustre.’ Hitchings (2008:15)

‘At times I feel and behave like a fairground boxer hoping people will come into the ring for a round. My mistake is to give an impression that I am either a prize fighter or that I wish to win the argument – all I want to do is to engage with the material the better to understand it.’

Are writers in e-learning guilty of this?

‘Elites, or those who consider themselves elite, reach for exotic vocabulary to impress those they consider their inferiors or to signal their distance from them.’ Hitchings (2008:15)

Schadenfreude

‘It expresses in very compact form an idea that would otherwise call for several words – along the lines of ‘a nasty pleasure in other people’s misfortunes.’ Hitchings (2008:15)

This German word is more succinct than anything English can otherwise muster.

* concision
* spruce

The loan translation or ‘calque.’ Hitchings (2008:17)

i.e. some French phrases DO translate directly into English.

e.g. to hold one’s peace (tenir sa paix)

‘Words frequently do not slip into a language unnoticed; their arrival may be only gradual, but it is keenly felt.’ Hitchings (2008:19)

‘A loan-word’s level of acceptance is manifest in the way we articulate it.’ Hitchings (2008:19)

Afford is a term that academics in e-learning (education online) need t justify, and yet it is used liberally in other fields. It seems that the more these academics try to justify the use of a word in a certain new way, the more flawed it may turn out to be.

‘We will happily use a word or recognise as borrowed to afford in what we think is insight into the culture it originated.’ Hitchings (2008:19)

A kind of shorthand.!

REFERENCE

Hitchings, H (2008) The Secret life of words. How English became English.q

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