Before mass media, public shaming required a lot of gossip and maybe a skimmington.
A skimmington was a parade to shame somebody in mediaeval England, so named after the skimming ladles used to whip the shamed one. Traditional targets were adulterous husbands and nagging wives.
We have Twitter now, and nagging wives are the new aristocracy, so that leaves you, Harvey and Kevin!
PETER THE PROOFER WILL DRAG YOU OUT OF THE MIDDLE AGES!
In the old Maori language used in Aotearoa, our NZ cousins call a nose-rubbing welcome a hongi and a pit barbecue a hangi.
They are both warm, that's for sure.
If you encounter Maori people and they give you a hongi and a hangi, you are in for a great time. If, on the other hand, they do that war haka with the throat-cutting gesture, run away quickly unless you are watching the All Blacks!
Anyway, the British Empire arrived and now these words are part of English too. The sun will never set on the English language, even if England itself is a shrinking state of mind!
VEXED BY VARIATIONS IN VOCABULARY?
PETER THE PROOFER IS HERE FOR YOU!
Good grief, here we go again, 'abolishment' is not a word! The noun from 'abolish' is 'abolition', OK?
'Abolishment' is an abomination which doesn't even use less letters. It has no excuse for existence!
Right, after that admonition (wait- is that admonishment? I'm getting confused) you can go back to the good old-fashioned nouns and behave! Any slip-ups and you will all be on detention. Don't even get me started on 'detainment'!
MUDDLED BY MALAPROPISMS?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL SAVE YOU!
And it's gold, gold, gold as the Aussie medals.
What? Medal is a noun, not a verb! Not anymore. You can now medal by winning a medal.
I really don't want to consider the military version! When you medal in the defence forces, you're quite often dead or horribly wounded.
I think I'll just stick to meddling.
DAZED AND CONFUSED?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL KEEP HIS HEAD!
It doesn't sound that way, does it?
From the Greek, a happy ending.
The cynic might remark that it might be good but it's still a eucatastrophe. Like euthanasia, it might be a good death but you're still dead!
IS IT ALL GREEK TO YOU?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL SAVE HOI POLLOI!
No, no, no, I am getting old! Agreeance is not a word!
This innovation has nothing to recommend it. It's not shorter, it's not clearer, it's not anything but wrong. The word is 'agreement', dammit.
Mind you I never understood that other abomination, 'admittance'. This could often be seen written ('No Admittance') in gold paint on wooden doors in past decades. Nobody ever spoke the word though, which had a calming effect on me I suppose.
NEED A PEDANT?
PETER THE PROOFER COULD TEACH THE QUEEN THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH!
Haven't learnt a thing for decades? You must be a late learner, an opsimath.
There you go, you just learnt something, no matter how late!
DAZED AND CONFUSED?
PETER THE PROOFER IS HERE!
The poor trout is just taking a rest from all that relentless swimming about, so it pops under a ledge or rock. Along comes the guddler or tickler, slides his hand in under the fish, and begins to stroke its belly. After a minute or so, according to the theory, the fish is 'hypnotised'. Then the guddler grabs the fish and gets his dinner without even needing a line.
In Scotland this is called 'guddling', in England it is 'tickling', and in the US it is 'noodling'.
It is illegal and was favoured by poachers, who didn't want to march around with lines and poles.
DAZZLED BY REGIONAL VARIATION?
PETER THE PROOFER IS HOME TO EVERYONE!
Old habits may die hard, but sometimes the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Many quaint twentieth-century habits, like tobacco smoking and casual sexual assault, may soon fall into desuetude, or disuse.
From the Latin for 'I've grown unaccustomed to your face'.
When Harvey said, "but I'm used to it" to the nymphet he was groping, he was right there in 1974, in his dreams. For goodness' sake, can somebody inform Harvey that it's 2017 and you have to pay actual money for it now!
A law which is not enforced, or openly flouted, for ages can also fall into desuetude. Like that stupid old law prohibiting the droving of sheep on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Nobody has ever been charged!
CONFUSED BY EXCESSIVE VOCABULARY OPTIONS?
PETER THE PROOFER REFUSES CONFUSION!
I have no idea why people call bald heads 'chromedomes'.
The proper word is 'glabrous', hairless. From the Latin.
Now that I think of it, you never see a glabrous Roman statue. Caesar and his minions always have perfect heroic hair, despite marble's natural affinity with all things glabrous.
VEXED BY VOCABULARY?
PETER THE PROOFER WILL UNHEX YOU!