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  • Dear Dizraeli,

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate you for being an excellent poet performer. I was marvelled with your latest performances viewed on youtube.
    Now, I’d very much appreciate your brief explanation on whether we can use the English word “despise” as a meaning for “expressing anger by a sideways glance”…
    Many Thanks.

  • Now I realise how important this little word is. I’m going to highlight it in my Macmillan dictionary right now!

  • It’s amazing how the little words are the ones we miss when we’re using a different language. I spent some time living in Colombia, working with disadvantaged kids, and word I missed most – ‘cheeky’! There just wasn’t a word in Colombian Spanish that really captured the meaning of ‘cheeky’ in English. I spent hours one day explaining the idea of it to them, trying to find a suitable translation, but no-one could come up with anything. Such a shame – such a great little word!

  • I’m struggling to find an equivalent in Hungraian for the word naughty when communicating to my daughter that she’s doing something that’s not quite appreciated. Again, as with silly and cheeky the word naughty implies an element of ‘not quite seriousness’.

  • Totally agree with previous posters. In my trilingual family we speak a European patois (French, English, Italian) exactly for the reason that some words cannot be translated. I loved your performance on u-tube.

  • Very interesting indeed the article “My English-In praise of silly”.
    Well-done Dizraeli!

    Diana DORNER

  • We hardly use silly in Romanian, but when resident
    in England I used to hear and use it myself like
    on every opportunity.I like your points of view
    concerning a simple world with so many facets.
    Quite insightful your observations in this respect.

  • Living here in France I can think of other ‘missing’ words in French. I’m always amazed that they have no word for ‘cuddly’ or ‘icicle’ and what about ‘lap’ – they just don’t get the meaning of laptop!! The nearest is ‘genou’ or knee!!