Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine

Stuff, explained.

Is there any word more versatile than the word ‘stuff’? It’s an informal way of saying ‘things in general’, for physical objects, such as all your worldly goods, “I put my stuff in storage and went around the world”, or just what you’re holding, “Where can I put my stuff?”.

It can also mean ideas [more…]

The Favourite Words of Many

A few months ago, I wrote about favourite words of famous people and I asked you puzzlers to tell me your own favourite words.

Puzzler Billie Halpin’s favourite word is onomatopoeia, which means the formation of a word from a sound associated with the meaning, such as sizzle, which sounds like a sausage frying in [more…]

Eponyms: What are they?

One of the many sources of our English vocabulary is the eponym – a word named after a person or place.

Some eponyms are obvious – I’m sure you can guess what Count Pavel Stroganoff lent his name to? Although he descended from wealthy Russian aristocracy, he was born in Paris, where a French chef [more…]

Change is a constant

One of the few things that are guaranteed in life – along with death and taxes – is change. Nothing stays the same, both in our personal lives and in the world itself. While we may bemoan today’s modern style and long nostalgically for the beloved way of life from our childhood, change is [more…]

Errors in news headlines

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 etymology, [more…]

Fashion through the ages

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 [more…]

The Favourite Words of Celebrities

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, epiphany and aurora.

I came across the favourite words of famous people. [more…]

Keeping up with our language

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…]