Syntax is my Weekly Word: Can you guess my alternative meaning?



This weeks word comes courtesy of the lovely Stevie who was listening to me going through the dictionary to find something suitable; ‘it’s all just syntax really isn’t it‘ he quipped, and that was me hooked right in.

My alternative meaning for the word Syntax is probably quite obvious and that is ‘sex tax‘; and now, what would yours be?

Now, let’s get down to the serious business of finding out what the word really means.

This week’s word is SYNTAX, it is a NOUN and is pronounced ‘sin-tacs’

The word syntax is perfect for this particular section of my blog as it is most commonly used in linguistics and means the study of the formation and arrangement of grammatical sentences in a language. It can also refer to the study of the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words.
It is used less commonly in the study of Logic where it has a similar meaning via the study of patterns in signs within systems of logic.
Examples of the word Syntax
  • Please ensure that you use complete sentences, correct spelling, grammar and syntax when completing your answers sheet.
  • This page contains all possible syntax you may use when editing documents for the University.
  • Space syntax investigates relationships between spatial layout and a range of social, economic and environmental phenomena.

Origins of the word Syntax

Syntax originates in 1565–75;  and is short for syntaxis from the Late Latin and the Greek sýntaxis which means n arranging in order.

Why the Weekly Word?

The idea of the Weekly Word comes from Toastmasters International. At each meeting we have a Grammarian whose role is to encourage members to try out new words that stretch our vocabulary, as well as to monitor and report back on people’s use of language. If you’d like to find out more about Toastmasters groups in your area then you can visit their website at:

If you would like to see previous Weekly Words on this blog and try out your own alternative meanings, you can find them all listed here: the-weekly-word



  1. My spelling and grammar checker on the computer usually does tell me what is wrong, which is very useful, although I have a checker at home called Tim, who is even better! However, there are many other messages from the computer that are not as helpful.

  2. Hi, I think you might have worked out who I am by now but I am preferring to have a bit of mystery about me and dark glasses are sooo cool! Glad you liked my definition. – Rosemary from Chickerell

  3. Ah, of course, Hong Kong wasn’t it Michael when Syntax was last used in this way. Oh, and you’ve met me, I’d done the Grammarian role a few times at Toastmasters – does that count?

  4. That’s a good one and it will probably appeal to quite a few of the nation’s tax payers as well :-). I get the impression I ought to know you, but there are no clues on your blog and your photo is not recognised but I suspect you may belong to Casterbridge Speakers – would I be in the right area at all?

  5. On a more serious note, it’s also used in computer programming, hence the dreaded words ‘syntax error’ to denote that there’s something amiss without being helpful enough to tell you what you did wrong.

  6. I want to meet a Grammarian, just so I can say I have.

    I always thought syntax was that white power that dyslexic terrorists used, to try and poison the water supply.

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