Prose & Cons - by John MacDonald

 

"Prose & Cons began life in 1990 as a weekly column in The Mercury, the morning paper in Durban, South Africa. The pen-name Wordsworth is self-evident – you got your ‘word’s worth’ from the read. The column ran for about 10 years and pre-dated the internet, when not everyone had access to the full Oxford English Dictionary and other etymological reference books. Now, of course, anyone interested in the origins of words and phrases can find all they need to know with a few strokes of the keyboard. Many websites are dedicated to the theme and my thanks are due to Project Tesseract curator, Rohan Roberts, for bringing the Prose & Cons archives into the electronic era."  - John MacDonald

 

John is the host of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Talking of Books (103.8 Dubai Eye Radio). He is a journalist, a raconteur, and a voracious reader of books on science, literature, philosophy, and art. It is no exaggeration to say, John is one of the most interesting personalities in Dubai. 

24 Mar 2015

MOMBLISHNESS getting the better of us this Monday morning? Feeling a little gofish? Perhaps it was much of a jumwiskee over the weekend that accounts for such phantomnations.

 

Ah yes, the spurious words, the linguistic mongrels, the freaks of language which have enjoyed their brief hour of respectability-courtesy of the fevered imagination of "scholars".

 

Now they are consigned to a supplement at the end of the Oxford English Di...

10 Mar 2015

In the shifting sands of contemporary master-servant relationships in South Africa, the English language reveals some hidden depths of meaning.

 

Even in the hallowed corridors of London’s House of Lords, the peers of the realm might be shaking their coronets at the news that their titles literally mean nothing more than “bread keepers”.

Prose & Cons is indebted to reader Tim Dodson of Glenashley for this fascinating insight into...

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