English Language History : What Caused the Great Vowel Shift?
Oct04

English Language History : What Caused the Great Vowel Shift?

English is arguably the single most important and influential language in today’s world. It does however contain many vagaries and annoying inconsistencies. One of which is the variations of how vowel combinations should be pronounced. For example, the ‘ea’ in ‘bread’ is pronounced the same as the ‘e’ in ‘bred,’ and not the same as the ‘ea’ in ‘break. This is down to “The Great Vowel Shift”

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5 Words Introduced to the English Language by Rudyard Kipling
Jun21

5 Words Introduced to the English Language by Rudyard Kipling

Shakespeare is often credited as a the most prolific contributor of many of the words we use today in the English language. However he’s not the only venerable writer to do so. Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book, was also a highly prolific contributor, coining and popularising many words and phrases still in use in modern English.

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English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today
May24

English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today

How would you rate your vocabulary ? Average; Better than Average ; Exceptional ?
It may not matter how good you think your command of English is because in this article we reveal some surprising revelations about some of the words, you may have thought you had a thorough understanding of, had, in point of fact, some VERY different meanings in the past.

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English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today
Dec28

English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today

How would you rate your vocabulary ? Average; Better than Average ; Exceptional ?
It may not matter how good you think your command of English is because in this article we reveal some surprising revelations about some of the words, you may have thought you had a thorough understanding of, had, in point of fact, some VERY different meanings in the past.

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Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – more than just a good story
Dec07

Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – more than just a good story

Scrooge’s transformation from miser to generous spirit is an uplifting tale. In fact, it’s so cheery that it’s one of the few books that has actually changed
society.

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From Robot to Airy-Fairy to Cyberspace – 10 Beautiful Words Coined by Famous Writers
Oct23

From Robot to Airy-Fairy to Cyberspace – 10 Beautiful Words Coined by Famous Writers

If you look at the number of words in the English language you’ll find that estimates vary between 500,000 and just over 2 million, depending on how you count them. You will find that some of these words were simply “made up” by various authors at one time or another but they’ve proved so popular that they’ve entered our everyday lexicon like Robot, Airy-Fairy, Banana Republic, Cyberspace, Co-ed and many more.

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Insults We Should Bring Back
Sep04

Insults We Should Bring Back

There’s something deliciously satisfying in a well timed, properly placed insult or barb. In this article we look at a rag tag collection of insulting words and phrases we think should be brought back along with a miscellany of insulting zingers and factlets.

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Emoji Shakespeare – Can you Guess what the Shakespeare Quote is from these Emojis ?
Jul31

Emoji Shakespeare – Can you Guess what the Shakespeare Quote is from these Emojis ?

Shakespeare’s plays and quotes are always a good source for visio-cryptic style quiz questions. So in this article we’ve gathered together some cryptic Emojis we found floating around the internet, so see how many of Shakespeare’s eponymous quotes, or names of his plays you can name

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English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today
Jul10

English Words that Used To Have Vastly Different Meanings To What We Understand Today

How would you rate your vocabulary ? Average; Better than Average ; Exceptional ?
It may not matter how good you think your command of English is because in this article we reveal some surprising revelations about some of the words, you may have thought you had a thorough understanding of, had, in point of fact, some VERY different meanings in the past.

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What did Middle English (the language of Chaucer) Sound Like ?
Apr17

What did Middle English (the language of Chaucer) Sound Like ?

English, with all its vagaries and annoying inconsistencies, remains the single most important and influential language in today’s world. English language has been subsequently divded into about 5 distinct periods. Middle English, the language of Chaucer, is one of the most notable. But what did it sound like ?

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Are you an April Fool or April Wizard : Can You Spot the Fake from the Real ?
Apr03

Are you an April Fool or April Wizard : Can You Spot the Fake from the Real ?

A lot of what we think we “know” to be true can sometimes turn out to be no more than clever fiction. In this article we’ve got a list of literary facts (or not) as the case may be. But can you tell the truth from the fiction ?

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20 Old English Words to Revive : From Apricity to Jargogle to Widdendream
Mar20

20 Old English Words to Revive : From Apricity to Jargogle to Widdendream

As language evolves, new words are born and others die out. In this article we look at some delightful English words that time has forgotten.

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Aroma Chemistry : What Causes the Smell of Old & New Books?
Mar13

Aroma Chemistry : What Causes the Smell of Old & New Books?

Are you a Bibliophile, someone who loves books? If you are you’ll know the joy of buying, collecting, owning, (smelling?), touching and of course reading these textual marvels. As a bibliophime, is one of your favourite pecadillos the scent of a new book or the musky thrill of an old books smell? In this article we look at the chemistry behind that guilty little pleasure otherwise known as Bibliosmia.

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Twas the Night Before Christmas – A Poem that Shaped Modern Santa
Dec22

Twas the Night Before Christmas – A Poem that Shaped Modern Santa

Much of our modern idea of Santa Claus comes from a very famous poem, the 1823 work ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. More commonly known by its first line, ‘’Twas the night before Christmas’

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Interesting Factoids about Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”
Dec15

Interesting Factoids about Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

A Chrismas Carol’ is a story firmly embedded into the British psyche and traditions surrounding Christmas. In this article we’ve gathered together some of the more curious, and rather interesting factoids about Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”

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