Language is one of my interests. That means using language to write effectively, foreign languages, linguistics and psycholinguistics.

My interest probably developed as a result of being taught French at the age of six, of attending a grammar school where they taught us not only Latin but (ancient) Greek in the top stream, and where I learnt Russian in evening classes for three years, of working in France and Germany in my twenties and of getting involved with a Russian lady (though she didn't teach me any Russian) was that I am interested in languages in general, and in the highest standards in the use of the English language in particular.

I like puns, in English and in other languages, and most of all multilingual puns of which I have invented one or two. They are not, as one of my friends has claimed, related or similar to blend language funnies like franglais. They do rquire you to know both languages in order to get the joke. As I like to say here and there: je suis de la calembourgeoisie. That is not itself a pun, just a sort of French portmanteau neologism.

Here are links to a few pieces I have written on this vast theme.

Miscellaneous topics

Linguisticians are not all linguists ... but they persist in misappropriating the term! Why? the lowest kind of intellectual snobbery, based on some criminally incompetent research in their own speciality
The polymath and the “Renaissance man” What so these labels really mean?
OuLiPo, lipograms, and pataphysics A look at a Parisian society of poets, mathematicians and other literary eccentrics.
Undefinitions A few original items of a type also known as Daffynitions puns that might be well suited to appear in the Uxbridge English Dictionary
The furore over “Paki” Fuss over a remark by Prince Harry released 3 years later (in 2009)


Metonymy or synecdoche? Both of these terms refer to a device where one thing is named to refer obliquely to another. However the precise distinction between them is apparently somehow problematic.


A writer's bibliography Some of the books about language and writing to be found in my shelves
Spoken English My pet hates regarding speakers from anywhere
Spoken British English My likes/dislikes from the UK
Spoken American English My likes/dislikes from the USA
Written English My pet hates regarding writers from anywhere

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