It’s easy to take umbrage at the slithers of twee Doloreses and ...

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A WORD IN THE HAND: UMBRA

It’s easy to take umbrage at the slithers of twee Doloreses and Bathabiles

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

Since the superfine, superenormous, supergorgeous supermoon appeared in the night sky last week, “umbra” has been one of the most searched-for words on Google.

As an astronomical (which means “of the stars” and not “superlarge”) term, it comes from the Latin for shadow. In English, umbra originally meant a phantom or a ghost.

The coronavirus casting a shadow over all our lives right now is no phantom or ghost. It is all too real, and we are right in taking umbrage against its invasive presence...

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