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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

In one's stalking feet?

Yesterday I quite coincidentally saw two confusions of "stock" and "stalk". One referred to "short, stalky ballerinas" (no, stocky ballerinas don't really exist) and the other to "broccoli stocks". It's not surprising that these two homophones get confused, especially as there are over 60 meanings of "stock" alone listed in the OED. What lexicographers call a highly polysemous word. That's your bit of lexo-jargon for the day. In another post, I'll explain when to use "stock" and when to use "stalk".

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About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.