Why are people described as “bookish”? You don’t describe other people as like the objects they enjoy. No one is ever called “filmish” or “gardenish” or “golfish” or “boatish”. What is it about books that makes us describe people who like them as if they are mere human hardcovered volumes instead of people?

The World Seems to Think I am an Idiot

As well as being a top scoring word in Scrabble, anthropomorphising appears to be an increasingly popular activity. We have come a long way since Johnny Morris would burble happily over a shot of some monkeys having a fight. Back then, we settled for ascribing human voices and characteristics to animals. Now, we do it […]

Sometimes, a barking dog is just a dog

Cycling through the park today, my eye was drawn towards a dog. It was an exuberant dog, hammering its tail back and forth and producing a stream of high-pitched barks. As I watched, it raced towards a tree and planted itself firmly at the base, yelping upwards and looking as if it might launch itself […]