Every month, we take a look at a word in the headlines, in English, for your English. See more at The Word of the Month.
A toll: money paid to use a road or bridge.
A death toll: the number of deaths caused by a war or disaster.
To toll: to sound a bell.
Tolls in the News
On November 11th, the bells tolled to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I.
The bells tolled, but no one “lolled”. With a death tollof 17 million people, it’s going to be a while until we can joke about this one.
Don’t confuse “toll” with:
Troll. Folkloric creature. Hides in caves, under bridges, or behind computer screens.
Stroll. A short walk. No toll currently, but the government is working on it.
Roll. Small loaf of bread. Goes well with butter, but so does everything.
Wars that took a toll
Napoleonic Wars: 7M deaths. 5 feet of megalomania is surprisingly efficient.
Mongol Conquests: 30-40M. Genghis says: “Yes we Khan!”
WWII: 85M. WTF?
WWIII: (???) World leaders, please, let’s not find out!