Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine – click here for more information

Hello Christmas 2018

When I come across a news item with a common error, I make a note of it. Here are some recent ones:
“There are many versions of the history and entomology of the words used in fairy tales…”
Entomology means the scientific study of insects, so I’m hazarding a guess the writer meant to say [more…]

Hello December 2018

The fashion catwalk sometimes features strange outfits, with designers vying to invent the most edgy creations.These are not necessarily the outfits that catch on – at least, I’ve never seen women wearing dresses made of plastic garbage bags or men wearing crochet tights.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, although I [more…]

Hello November 2018

Everyone has a favourite word or two. In some cases, it’s the sound or the look of the word that appeals, in others it’s the meaning.
Some examples of favourite words chosen in a recent online survey are: NEFARIOUS, INEFFABLE, EPOCH, EPHEMERAL, SONOROUS, IRIDESCENT, EPIHPANY and AURORA.
I came across the favourite words of famous people. [more…]

Hello October 2018

The English language is constantly on the move, and it can be quite a challenge to keep up with the flow of new words and phrases entering our vocabulary.
Some of these verbs you may be familiar with. For instance, you may have heard of the verb to binge-watch, meaning to watch multiple episodes of [more…]

Hello September 2018

I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Apple Isle recently, also known as the Holiday Isle or Island of Inspiration. How appropriate – Tasmania’s ancient landscape is a place of rare beauty and diversity, uncrowded and unspoilt.
We were rocked to sleep by the waves while crossing the Bass Strait overnight, aboard [more…]

Hello August 2018

We all have one, you may hang yours or hold it high. You may shake it, turn it or scratch it. Lose it, keep it or bang it against a brick wall.
I’m talking about your head, also known as bonce, noggin, loaf or nut.  Loaf comes from Cockney rhyming slang ‘loaf of bread – [more…]

Hello July 2018

We all have one, you may hang yours or hold it high. You may shake it, turn it or scratch it. Lose it, keep it or bang it against a brick wall.

I’m talking about your head, also known as bonce, noggin, loaf or nut. Loaf comes from Cockney rhyming slang ‘loaf of bread [more…]

Hello June 2018

I am sometimes asked why people do puzzles, especially by non-puzzling people who can’t understand why we spend time struggling with crosswords or sudoku puzzles when we don’t have to. It’s a good question, and finding the answer to that is a puzzle in itself.

First of all, humans have an innate urge to discover [more…]

Hello May 2018

Although we might think of the word blog as a recent addition to the dictionary, it’s nearly 20 years old.
It comes from the term weblog, coined in 1997, which means an online personal diary, where people write about day-to-day events in their lives – literally a web log.
In 1999, blogger Peter [more…]