An Oronym is a group of words which sound similar to another group of words.



Ice cream, I scream

If you prick us, do we not bleed?


In act 3 scene 1 of Shakespeare’s The merchant of Venice on the equality and humanity of Jews a famous speech takes place,

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

The current reality could have one replace the word Jew with Muslim.

English a global lingua franca

Currently studying the implications of English as a global lingua franca and it’s a very interesting discussion. Below is a good set of podcasts that give a balanced overview of the subject:

Course Description
‘Britain and America,’ wrote George Bernard Shaw, ‘are two countries divided by a common language.’ That witty comment summarises the problems and complexities of English. It has ended up as a world language, the widely used language of commerce and the internet.

But today’s widespread adoption and use of English is a complex story. Grammatically it’s hard to learn, it has many variants and comes with its own history. Its global distribution is largely due to its imposition through British colonial expansion, where it became the language of authority, control and oppression. Those malign beginnings still carry resentments around the world, and continue to pose questions. Is it arrogant to expect other countries to learn it while Anglophones don’t bother to learn their languages? Or is it a good thing that we’ve found common ground in a multicultural world?

The idea of English as a global language is controversial, particularly for people in non-English-speaking countries. This learning pathway examines that controversial nature as well as its cultural and economic importance. Using text, video and audio it explores what English means to those who use it and what it means to learn English, both as a mother tongue and an additional language.…sy/id495059946

Yet, what makes this even more interesting, especially from the viewpoint of a Muslim would be to research how Arabic achieved being a global lingua franca for the mMuslimempire, and to study the causation of its downfall in the modern world, while considering pedagogues that could be adopted to regain its past glory. Allah knows best

SMS and the English language


Currently researching how digital talk has affected the English language, in particular the use of SMS. There is much that can be said for and against, but in the nature of digital talk and its love of abbreviations I will just post one of each.

“The convenience of electronically-mediated language is that it tempts us to make a Faustian bargain of sacrificing thoughtfulness for immediacy”



wordline, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward,

as Madam, I’m Adam

When mass literacy was feared by British politicians..


I am currently studying the affects of technology upon the English language, in particular the printing press. I came across this interesting quote:

“..the possibility of mass literacy was feared by British politicians, and when modern literature began to come within the economic reach of ordinary people, church leaders did everything possible to discourage them from reading it. Moreover, with the Stamp Act of 1712, the British government deliberately prevented poor people from reading the news by imposing a heavy tax on newspapers – a tax that was not abolished until 1855.”

For further reading:

Professors Paul Grice’s four maxims for effective communication

For those interested in the studies of pragmatics:

The four principles are:

Grice’s Maxims


  1. The maxim of quantity, where one tries to be as informative as one possibly can, and gives as much information as is needed, and no more. 


  2. The maxim of quality, where one tries to be truthful, and does not give information that is false or that is not supported by evidence.


  3. The maxim of relation, where one tries to be relevant, and says things that are pertinent to the discussion. 


  4. The maxim of manner, when one tries to be as clear, as brief, and as orderly as one can in what one says, and where one avoids obscurity and ambiguity.

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