How about sharing all these little things that strike us as unusual, odd, hilarious, characteristic and whatnot – in short, things that make English… how shall I put it, special? Some of you are already quite active in this area, thus allowing many of us to benefit from your ‘finds’.
You know how constitutionally and irremediably English-prone I am. How could I not be? I mean, almost everyday, if not more often, I stumble upon an amusing or amazing word, idiom, or other language component which I feel like sharing with someone. But I often back out arguing that I’d probably only manage to make a fool of myself, as most of you are bound to know the item in question (maybe even since nursery school, as one of my students’ joke goes – or, to coin one of Alan’s phrases, since right after ‘the gurgling and babbling indulged in in the initial years’).
Well, here go a couple of words I find funny (peculiar rather than ha-ha funny):
Would you believe there’s a word for the mass of unburnt tobacco at the bottom of a pipe? It’s called a ‘dottle’.
And something like the skill at finding your way about woods and forests and living in them has a name, too: it’s ‘woodcraft’.
Note the irregular plural of ‘still life’ (picture of flowers or objects, not people or animals): still lifes.
In toto: “adverb FORMAL - as a total or whole:
The available information amounts to very little in toto”. This one sounds totally informal to me!