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December 17, 2020

A neighbour recently asked if we’d like to meet for ‘bin-drinks’ over the Christmas period. Isn’t that a great new coinage? It means, obviously, having drinks in the front garden next to the wheelie-bins. Of course we accepted the invitation. Who would turn down bin-drinks? It makes me want to invite the whole neighbourhood over just so I can use that expression. Can’t help feeling rather sad that it will lapse into disuse when the covid-crisis is over… 


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  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Sounds like a new tradition chez Robshaw.
    Now they are the norm when will wheelie bins just become bins? No idea when the last time was that anyone said New Pence but it went on for a long time.

  2. auke permalink

    Dear Mr Robshaw (Brandon),
    I noticed you gave up on your twitter account, and now that you have not posted here for a month, and so wondered if you are all right. I hope you are, obviously!
    Well, at least let me belatedly wish you a happy new year. Let there be many new posts.
    Thanks & all the best,

    • Dear Auke – thanks for your concern! Yes, I’m all right. I left Twitter because I got fed up with it. I haven’t posted on here for a while because, to be honest, I am wondering about giving the blog up too. I have been doing it for ten years now and I don’t know if I have much more to say.
      Best wishes

  3. auke permalink

    Oh, that’s a pity. (‘That’s a pity’ – that sounds terribly old fashioned, doesn’t it?) I’ve become a bit accustomed to your voice in the past few years or so. I will try to follow your columns in other places. And a suggestion could be: make it a full ten years, and KBO until september 2nd!

  4. Simon Carter permalink

    Can only echo Auke’s sentiments Brandon. If nothing strikes your fancy maybe rehash some old posts and see what, if anything, has changed.

  5. Please don’t give up altogether, even if you just post every once in a while it’s always a rewarding read. I thought of you just yesterday when I saw an article in The Guardian about new terms that have entered the German language as a result of the pandemic. One of them – Abstandsbier (distance beer) – instantly brought to mind your bin drinks. Maybe you could widen your brief to include more musings on literature as well as language. But obviously, it’s up to you and all I can do is thank you for the pleasure you’ve given us with your blog.

  6. Simon Carter permalink

    Nothing tickled your fancy yet Brandon? I miss your observations.

    • Oh, that’s nice to hear, Simon. I’ve been taking a break for the last few months – I had been doing the blog for about ten years and was feeling a bit jaded. I didn’t want to start repeating myself. But I think I will start posting again soon.

  7. Simon Carter permalink

    Oh, that’s great news. Glad you’re feeling recharged/freshed/invigorated!
    Here’s one to consider from the OED list of new words in March. One of the ugliest formations I’ve come across.
    Dogfooding: The use of a company’s product or service by the company’s employees, as a means of testing it before it is made available to customers.

    • Simon Carter permalink

      Hi Brandon. Another one to ponder – from the advert for the National Lottery,
      “Your numbers make amazing happen”.

  8. auke permalink

    Or what about ‘peruse’ : examine, study with care / browse through, leaf > which one?? And why the evolution?

  9. Simon Carter permalink

    Hi Auke. Peruse means to read carefully. It’s a word more often written than spoken.

  10. auke permalink

    Hi Simon. Yes, but not exclusively. At least not anymore, see this (from thefreedictionary):
    “Usage Note: Peruse has long meant “to read thoroughly,” as in He perused the contract until he was satisfied that it met all of his requirements, which was acceptable to 75 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2011 survey. But the word is often used more loosely, to mean simply “to read,” as in The librarians checked to see which titles had been perused in the last month and which ones had been left untouched. Seventy percent of the Panel rejected this example in 1999, but only 39 percent rejected it in 2011. Further extension of the word to mean “to glance over, skim” has traditionally been considered an error, but our ballot results suggest that it is becoming somewhat more acceptable. When asked about the sentence I only had a moment to peruse the manual quickly, 66 percent of the Panel found it unacceptable in 1988, 58 percent in 1999, and 48 percent in 2011. Use of the word outside of reading contexts, as in We perused the shops in the downtown area, is often considered a mistake.”
    So I thought the cause of its evolution might be an excellent topic for a post by Brandon!

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