Instead of swearing, some people say “Gordon Bennett.” But why? Did he exist and, if so, who was he?
Today the Guernsey milk-can has almost disappeared. We still see them of course, but we see little silver ones in jewellers’ shops and bigger ones in copper in old houses and in antique shops. However there are still some people who make them in the old way.
English is truly the international language of the world. It’s rise to prominence is due in no small part due to the British Empire and now to the all pervading American cultural hegemony. But what about the evolution of the language itself ?
Behind every nursery rhyme is a history and story that’s every bit intriguing as the rhyme itself : Three Blind Mice; Mary Mary Quite Contrary; Pease-pudding Hot; Little Miss Muffet; Little Jack Horner
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Cracker. That extra piece of trimming that helps make up the Christmas table with it’s paper hats, silly (sometimes usefull) gifts and jokes and mottos that we all like to groan at. Here we look at how the man behind this tradition, Tom Smith, developed them.
Guernsey Patois is a very ancient tongue indeed. A descecdant of old Norman French and developed in splendid isolation within the island it has become a true ‘language apart’.
Punctuation really does add more meaning to the written word than we often give these little characters credit for. But when was punctuation first used in any language ?
Writing – The invention that enabled science and knowledge to flourish. However it seems that is wasn’t invented for prose or love poems or literature but for the more mundane and prosaic task of taxation and bookkeeping.
From prostitution to dealing on the stock exchange, trading has been around for tens of thousands of years. But when did mankind move from a barter system to exchanging goods for bits of metal and paper ?
Rubber is a unique a wonderous material. However processing the raw latex into a durable and useful form proved very difficult. Charles Goodyear was a man obsessed with it. Here’s an account of his struggle.
It may surprise you to know that the origin of the modern moggie, one of the mysteries of veterinary science, has only very recently been solved by researchers.
Such a small thing, as symbols go, but it can make all the difference in meaning and understanding when used in a sentence. But wher did it come from ?
Emoticons … those little smiley characters crop up everywher , texts emails , twitters. They instantly convey a whole gammat of meaning. Today you even get some representing Elvis, a rose and Homer Simpson. But who invented them and when ?
The screw thread … a simple device that cranked technology to new levels. Without the humble screw thread our world would literally fall apart.