Fiddler on the roof

Pied wagtail

Pied wagtail in winter plumage

Actually not a fiddler but a wagger.

This is a Pied Wagtail, a frequent sight by the house.

It wags its tail up and down to regain its balance after landing.

An apt name, which actually describes what something or someone does, is an oasis in the muddle of language.

The last drop

Raindrop on the sepal of a rose

Raindrop on the sepal of a rose

“Good down to the last drop.”

What’s wrong with the last drop?

Probably nothing, unless it’s got some grounds in it.

But the language is wrong, not making it clear whether the last drop is included.

Mellifluous

Half of a Cantaloupe melon

Half of a delumptious Cantaloupe melon

Mellifluous literally means ‘flowing like honey’.

Applied to the spoken or written word, it’s complimentary, saying it’s pleasantly rhythmic.

Strangely, the Anglo-Saxon honey-tongued has negative connotations – persuasiveness with treachery behind it.

But mellifluous actually sounds mellifluous, as do other words with ‘m’ and ‘l’ in them, like lemon, and melon, and honey in Latin-based languages (mel, miel, miele …)

Long live the melody of language.