The Cockneys & Rhyming Slang

The cockneys. Who are they and why do they speak so weirdly? The term cockney has had several distinct geographical, social, and linguistic associations. Originally a pejorative term applied to all city-dwellers, it was eventually restricted to Londoners and particularly to the “Bow-bell Cockneys”:  those born within earshot of Bow Bells, the bells of St Mary-le-Bow Church in the Cheapside district of the City of London. More…

The Linguistics of Pokémon

News of the release of Pokémon Go has been dominating social media and the mainstream media alike recently. Those born earlier than the 90s likely remember the phenomenon surrounding the Pokémon franchise in the late ’90s with the GameBoy games, TV show, trading card game that got loads of people obsessed with catching them all.…

Chaotic Overhead Cables in Japan

  When visitors first come to Japan one of the things that surprises them the most is the abundance of overhead electrical cables. Maybe it’s not evident at first, but as soon as you point your viewfinder to the sky you’ll surely notice the many electrical wires, transmission lines, TV cables, fiber optic lines and…

The Modern Scourge of Scientific Ignorance & Chemophobia

I was thinking of writing a blog post about the misunderstandings and misrepresentations of chemistry that chemophobes and the ignorant spread. I often have discussions with people who claim that something is best because it is “natural”, sometimes not realising that it isn’t really natural at all. Even worse are people (like anti-vaxxers, self-styled nutritionists,…