Tag Archives: language

how to rant: a practical guide

Ranting is an underrated part of this delightful 21st century world we find ourselves in. Don’t you think? It happens a lot – by me and to me, so to speak – and is a valuable, interesting and often amusing occurrence.

rant verb (rantedrantingintrans to talk in a loud, angry, pompous way. tr & intr to declaim in a loud, pompous, self-important way. noun 1 loud, pompous, empty speech. 2 an angry tirade. ranter noun someone, especially a preacher, who rants. ranting noun, adj. rantingly adverb.
ETYMOLOGY: 16c: from Dutch ranten to rave.

An angry tirade! Loud, pompous, empty speech! What could be better? I’ll tell you: nothing. Why wouldn’t you want to talk like that? I’ll tell you: you wouldn’t not.

But how should it be done? Fear not, friends – A Different Daylight is here with a handy guide for how to build this valuable skill into your social repertoire.

one Be accurate

Some people have built their careers out of ranting, as some simple googling will show. In fact, the Brooker of Charltonness has become so famous for his mastery of said skill that when I was attempting to explain the other day who I was talking about, I described him as ‘That dude on TV who rants.’ And the person I was talking to knew exactly who I meant. So, there’s that.

By Feline_Dacat [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What makes Charlie Brooker’s rants so popular? For a start, he’s devastatingly accurate, particularly when pointing out inaccuracies:

Aside from crowing about sartorial differences, the adverts also make a big deal about PCs being associated with “work stuff” (Boo! Offices! Boo!), as opposed to Macs, which are apparently better at “fun stuff”. How insecure is that? And how inaccurate? Better at “fun stuff”, my arse. The only way to have fun with a Mac is to poke its insufferable owner in the eye.

(This is pretty spot on, even though it makes painful reading for someone *cough* who recently bought an iPad *cough*. What? No, I still have my laptop..)

two Be sweary

What else makes a good rant? Let’s turn to another master of the craft, one Giles Coren. A longer quotation is justified here, I feel, so that you can appreciate the point I’m making. Continue reading



Filed under things i've seen

has the world literally ended?

If you’re reading this, then reports of our extinction have been greatly exaggerated.

The world has not ended.

So that’s a relief. 

Because as long as the world still contains takeaway menus which use the word ‘literally’, I’m happy.

not metaphorically

What is Pad Thai? I asked myself. Fortunately, there was a very basic answer:

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Filed under how not to write

is this it?

What did you think when you read the title of this post? Did you think – she’s disappointed because she expected more? Or – she’s excited because she thinks she’s found what she’s looking for?

(Or maybe you thought, she’s been listening to The Strokes.)

The question ‘is this it?’ can have two meanings. There’s the negative one: is this all there is? Can I not expect any more? Frequently uttered when eating in restaurants that serve ridiculously small portions for ridiculously large amounts of money. Or tapas bars.

And there’s the positive one: is this at last what I’ve been looking for all this time? Is this the culmination of everything I’ve worked for and longed for? Is this the Promised Land?

It does seem somewhat careless on the part of the English language to have a phrase that simultaneously means two things which are COMPLETELY OPPOSITE. Why is this? Stupid language. 

Because I couldn’t think of an appropriate photo to illustrate this point, you can have instead a photo of the Christmas lights in Regent Street last week. You’re welcome. Aaaaand – happy weekend! If you can figure out what day it is. I have no idea.

oh my days, check the sparklyness!

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Filed under how not to write

pancake-piercing thumbs, and other things which have annoyed me recently

my hands have minerals

My hands are normal. To dry. You know, normal hands, with occasional dryness. So I figured this moisturiser would be perfect for me, until I saw that it is for hands that also have sea minerals. I’m pretty sure mine don’t. Do yours? Wait..that’s weird. How does that even work?  Am I the only person whose hands don’t have sea minerals?

Related: that age-old problem of where to find a dog at short notice in the London Underground.

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Filed under the hysterical pedant