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The Oxford English Dictionary contains 175,000 words in common usage and yet linguists estimate that a vocabulary of 3,000 is sufficient to cover ninety-five per cent of common usage in speech and print. Where have all those other words gone? The English language is a giant sponge, absorbing words from a multitude of different languages and cultures and yet it seems speakers of English are indolent at accessing the rich resources at our disposal. 1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary aims to ameliorate this issue by providing a fascinating lexicography to boost your word power. Alongside the elegant and archaic words are discussions of malapropisms and solecisms, words for which meaning has changed over time and words that have meanings often contrary to their common usage (and abusage). Each entry contains outlines of word origins, examples in context and a wealth of word related trivia. 1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary will help word lovers flaunt their prolixity without flouting the rules that govern correct meaning.
First issued to British airmen in the 1950s the beautifully illustrated Air Ministry Survival Guide provides invaluable practical tips and instruction on how to keep calm and carry on in any hostile environment.Whether you're lost in the desert, arctic, jungle, or adrift on the open ocean, you'll be better off armed with sensible advice on how to:- Build a structurally sound igloo - Pull faces to prevent frostbite (and when to expect bits to fall off should you fail)- Fashion a mask to prevent snowblindness- Make a hat out of seat cushions- Behave in the event of meeting hostile locals- Stay safe from poisonous reptiles and insects - Use a 'fire thong'- Punch man-eating sharks (which are cowards)
Quotations - or snippets from them - are commonly used in everyday speech, most often without the speaker knowing where they came from. From words of comfort to advice for the lovelorn, you can bet that someone, somewhere has come up with phraseology that perfectly sums up whatever situation you find yourself in - and put it more succinctly than you could ever dream of.In All That Glisters . Caroline Taggart presents some of the pithiest, wisest and most fascinating quotations we should all know, detailing where the quotation has come from and why it may be useful when searching for an elegant or informed line to illustrate a point, spice up conversation or impress one's friends.Part of the pleasure of this book is to reveal the provenance of the well-worn quote (or misquote) - my cup runneth over, ay, there's the rub, to err is human, the spice of life - but also to introduce some less familiar ones. Most of the quotations included are from classic sources - from the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, other poets, classical authors, Dickens (God bless us everyone, waiting for something to turn up, very humble), Charlotte Bronte (Reader, I married him) and George Bernard Shaw (who didn't actually say Youth is wasted on the young, but may have said something like it. Somewhere. No one seems to know for sure).This entertaining and informed - but not too serious - take on the wit and wisdom of the last 2000 years is ideal for modern readers who like their knowledge in tweet-sized chunks.
We all know that dogs have personalities as colourful and unique as any human. They can be confident and dominant born leaders or shy and timid. They can be obedient, laid back, cheeky or stubborn. They can be prima donnas, stroppy so-and-sos or lazy sods just like us. With so many characters youll recognise, and based on the Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers, Dog Personalities reveals ours canine counterparts, all with imaginative backstories and photographs guaranteed to make you smile.
Why, like, does everyone keep saying 'like'? Why do apostrophe's keep turning up in the wrong place? Why do we get confused when using foreign phrases - and vice versa?Is it 'may be' or 'maybe'? Should it be 'past' or 'passed'? Is it 'referenda' or 'referendums'? FFS, what's happening to our language!?Our language is changing, literacy levels are dwindling and our grasp of grammar is at crisis point, so you wouldn't be alone in thinking WTF! But do not despair, Have You Eaten Grandma? is here: Gyles Brandreth's definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century. Without hesitation or repetition (and just a touch of deviation) Gyles, the Just A Minute regular and self-confessed grammar guru, skewers the linguistic horrors of our time, tells us where we've been going wrong (and why), and reveals his tips and tricks to ensure that, in future, we make fewer (rather than 'less') mistakes. End of.(Is 'End of' alright? Is 'alright' all right? You'll find out right here . . . )Why not give the gift of good grammar this Christmas?And why not check out the Have You Eaten Grandma? podcast, starring Gyles and a host of other grammar and linguisitic lovers and experts
An accessible and succinct account of the story of Europe from its ancient foundations to the twenty-first century, The History of Europe in Bite-sized Chunks details the events, personalities, ideas and disasters that have shaped our continent.The book is broken down into six easily digestible chapters: Classical Antiquity (2600 BCE to 600 CE); Medieval (600-1500); Reform and Enlightenment (1500-1780); Age of Revolutions (1780-1914); the Wars (1914-45); and the Making of Contemporary Europe (1945 to present). It begins with the first ancient culture to emerge in Europe: the Minoans. It then proceeds chronologically to the present day, taking in not just significant historical events but also overarching social, technological and cultural trends and their impact.Throughout the book there are mini-biographies of notable individuals (such as Julius Caesar, Catherine the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte) who have been most significant in European history. It is also packed with amazing facts, details and maps that will give the reader a vivid understanding of Europe's past
From icons of British history to geography, and the economy to the legal system, I Should Know That: Great Britain covers a wide range of topics, filling in all those embarrassing gaps in your knowledge of this fair isle.Inspired by the UK citizenship test, this useful and interesting guide includes sections such as essential British history, the current political and legal system, migration to Britain, women's rights, geography and culture. Learn all about the Magna Carta, the House of Lords, the Old Bailey and the Commonwealth, and more light-hearted topics such as allotments, pets, haggis and marmite, while scoffing at the unfortunate but hilarious gaffes made by our politicians.Packed full of information, this entertaining and fact-filled guide to Great Britain is perfect for anyone who wishes that they were a more informed citizen.
'Charming, witty and cheerful, this is a delectable feast of the French language. Allez le Bleus!' Raymond BlancCelebrating the art of the French language with a charming collection of words and phrases to bring into everyday conversation. C'est parti!Have you ever wondered exactly what déjà vu is? Have you made a faux pas? Eaten an hors d'oeuvre? Voulez-vous an explanation of the above? Then voilà, here is a collection of les bons mots so you can start to learn that certain je ne sais quoi of the French language. Le Mot Juste contains 150 beautiful words and phrases that you'll love to say every day.
Many of us are already doing what we can to adopt a greener lifestyle. We recycle, try to reduce our waste and plastics, choose organic food when shopping, eat less meat and opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products. Yet we often wish we were doing more and it can be overwhelming to know where to start.Live Green is a practical guide of 52 changes - one for each week of the year - you can make to your home and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. Tackling all areas of your life from your cleaning routine, home furnishings, food shopping, fashion choices, natural beauty and Christmas, this book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable year.From making your own eco-friendly cleaning products, buying vintage furniture, making your own moth repellent and improving your natural beauty regime to creating a capsule wardrobe and creating your own ethical Christmas decorations - discover how to get the most out of life by living with intention.Live simply. Live Green.
Our memories are mysterious things. One moment we might remember a lengthy poem or the exact street address of a restaurant from our childhood. But the next moment we can struggle to recall where we've put our keys down or the name of the person we have just been introduced to. The human mind is not terribly good at remembering abstract data - but we can do it much more successfully if we create associations with more relatable bits of information, such as familiar people, places, colours, poems or jokes.The mnemonics that many of us learned as children are simply a shortcut to help locate information within your memory. For instance, rather than remember that the clockwise order of the points of the compass is North, East, South, West, we remember the mnemonic 'Never Eat Shredded Wheat', and the combination of humour and a visual reference provides an instant cue for our brains. This book is a cornucopia of mnemonics. Amusing as well as informative, it includes well-known examples that you might remember from school, some of which have been in use for centuries, as well as more recent ones and alternatives to the traditional versions. Ranging across history, science, language, numbers, business, art and much, much more, the mnemonics included here provide quick easy access to a vast amount of fascinating and useful information. In addition, there are sections on working out your own methods and systems to augment the existing mnemonics with your own aides-mémoire, which can help you with everyday tasks such as avoiding common misspellings, or remembering names, faces and numbers.
We all like to think we are pretty smart. New medical advances seem to come along every day; space travel suddenly doesn't seem so difficult; self-driving cars are no longer a thing of the future . but if we were stranded on a desert island tomorrow, most of us wouldn't know how to catch a fish or start a fire, let alone rebuild all that extraordinary technology we now rely on.The truth is that we're not necessarily more clever than our ancestors, we just have an accumulation of centuries of technological progress on which we can rely. As this book shows, many of the ancients were much more advanced that we realize - indeed there are recent inventions that had actually been discovered centuries earlier and then forgotten. And what about all those modern day devices and machines that rely on ancient inventions such as paper, levers and gears?From brain surgery in the Stone Age to Chinese whisky from the 7th century BC, to Damascus steel - once the hardest metal in the world, which we no longer know how to make - this insightful book collects together the stories of hundreds of ancient devices, inventions and breakthroughs from around the world and across the centuries, giving us a fascinating glimpse into past eras that were far more technologically advanced than we sometimes realize.
This delightful book takes the reader on a journey into the weird and wonderful world of nursery rhymes. Offering a selection of more than 100 of our best-loved and widely known rhymes, it delves beneath the surface of the verses to interpret their meaning and reveal their historical origins. The rhymes you'll find here are instantly recognizable and provide a comforting link to our past, however the stories behind them are often unknown and always fascinating - frequently telling the stories of true historical events from a time when the printing press was still a thing of the future and news was passed around verbally.With rhymes on topics ranging from the weather to the stars, journeys to sums and food and drink to wise ways, each chapter presents the full and best-known version of the rhyme, followed by an explanation of its meaning and origins, along with the wider references the rhymes make to such topics as foods and culinary customs, historical events or archetypes of folk and fairy tales. Whether you're a lover of nursery rhymes or more of a history buff, there is lots in this book for all to enjoy.
Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes has been fascinating generations of readers, watchers and listeners for over 130 years, since he first appeared in print in 1887. Now an internationally renowned cultural icon, his name appears on books, films, television dramas, radio plays, stage adaptations and the rest right across the world and he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as 'the most portrayed movie character' in history. With all this material readily available, one might think there's not much to find out about Sherlock, but in Sherlock Unlocked, Daniel Smith looks behind what we think we know about the well-known sleuth and reveals little-known facts of which every Sherlock aficionado should be aware. From the eccentric and odd characters to the bizarre plot twists, and from Conan Doyle to Moriarty, this book will appeal to Holmes' fans old and new.Full of fascinating facts, such as:- The shameful addiction of Watson's that Holmes kept secret - a dark gambling habit.- The part the legendary Langham Hotel played, in both Conan Doyle's literary friendships - including with Oscar Wilde - and in the storylines he created for Holmes and Watson.- The Real Moriarty? The true-life London underworld thief-taker, Jonathan Wild, was a model for Professor Moriarty- Holmes's retirement passion was bee-keeping.- One of Conan Doyle's childhood teachers, Eugene Chantrelle, became a notorious murderer.
This beautiful collection of poetry and prose through the seasons rhapsodises on the spectacle of colour and everything green and flourishing in the garden. The perfect book for a moments reflection, whether you are cooped up on a rainy day in your potting shed or admiring the fruits of your labour on a sunny evening from the pergola.
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