Welcome to the Wordlady blog!

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.
You can also order my best-selling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs and Only in Canada You Say. Fun and informative!

Subscribe!

Subscribe! Fun facts about English delivered weekly right to your inbox. IT'S FREE! Fill in your email address below.
Privacy policy: we will not sell, rent, or give your name or address to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any point.

Follow by email

Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New words

Reading the paper this morning, I saw the following headline: "Groban gets intimate. Baritone popera star finds spontaneity in small concert gigs". "Popera", designating a blend of pop and opera typified by singers like Andrea Boccelli, Il Divo, and so on, was a new word to me, but as with so many new words, it's older than you might think, dating back 23 years, and also has a Canadian connection:

Article: LIPTON STIRS UP THE CLASSICS WITH 'POPERA'

Article from:
The Boston Globe (Boston, MA)
Article date:
September 27, 1989

NEW YORK - Some call it corrupting the classics. But conductor Daniel Lipton calls it Popera.

Popera is a program he started at Opera Hamilton, a suburb of Toronto, which plays well-known operatic pieces for people who don't normally attend opera.

Lipton introduced the successful 'Popera' concerts in 1987 to showcase leading operatic soloists, including many Canadians, in concert performances of popular operatic excerpts.

Another new-to-me word in the news was "pocket dial" or "butt dial", designating the act of accidentally calling someone when you sit on the cellphone in your back pocket and set off the autodial function. Apparently, in Toronto, the emergency services get 300 of these a day.

1 comment:

  1. I Just Pocket Dialed The Other Day. Excuse The Caps Mid Sentence...My Phone Is Terribly Acting Up. And I'm DiSabled, Would Take Forever To Correct Vs. Simply explainAtion.
    Also, been Loving Your Blog This Morning. Enjoying The ReadingS. Loved The Flu STory About The "Influencing FromThe Heavens" And How It Started From The Italians To The English. I Enjoy Learning Old English Stories As I'm PArt WElsch. But Thus Phone Is Driving My Crazy. So I'll End.
    Oh, The Fungu... Tried TheM Once... Didn't Enjoy The Black Mushrooms.. Was Supposed To Taste Like Truffles I Was Told... They Lied. lol.
    BYe For NoW!
    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete

About Me

My photo
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.