Category Archives: English Language

Punctuation Error Delays Murder Investigation

Confusion over punctuation led to a potentially vital piece of evidence in the Stephen Lawrence murder case being overlooked for 21 years, a senior investigator has revealed.

Chris Le Pere, the man now leading a fresh investigation into the 1993 killing, said the error led to a bag strap that may have been used as a home-made weapon being wrongly recorded as discovered almost 100 yards away from where Stephen was targeted by racist thugs.

Article in The Independent

Metaphorical Thinking

WindowSome people are literal minded – they think in black and white whereas others colour their worlds with metaphor. A new paper published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports on the first standardised measure of this difference, and it shows that having a proclivity for metaphors has real consequences, affecting how people respond to the world around them and even how they interact with others.

A summary of the paper in non-technical language can be found in The BPS Digest (from which this quote is taken).


Review of The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language

Perhaps the most famous invocation of Sapir-Whorf is the claim that because Eskimos have dozens of words for snow, they have a mental apparatus that equips them differently—and, one assumes, better—than, say, Arabs, to perceive snow.

from ‘A dozen words for “misunderstood”‘, a review of The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language

Snow Tracks
Snow Tracks (Photo credit: Chalkie_CC)