In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera
In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

How a medieval health and safety initiative gave us the word ‘curfew’

  • The term used to denote the ringing of a bell that told townspeople to extinguish the embers in their hearths

In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera
In the era of Covid-19, ‘curfew’ is considered an extreme measure for containing the spread of the virus. Illustration: Mario Riviera
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Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim has worked in Singapore, Britain, Amsterdam and Sri Lanka, and until June 2018 was Associate Professor and Head of the School of English at the University of Hong Kong, where she still holds an Honorary position. She now is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. She is co-editor of the journal Language Ecology, founder of the website linguisticminorities.hk, and co-author of Languages in Contact (Cambridge University Press, 2016).