Archive

World Music Day

‘If music be the food of love, play on’ must be the second best-known quote from the Bard. These words uttered – or crooned in some performances – by Duke Orsino, who is in love with love itself, constitute the very first line of Twelfth Night. 21 June marks not… Read More

Say Something Nice Day!

Nada cuesta añadir una sonrisa, ‘It costs nothing to add a smile’, is a Spanish phrase imprinted on my memory from when, years ago, I taught myself to touch-type in Spanish and it was one of the practice phrases. It’s an apt recollection, for 1 June is Say Something… Read More

National Limerick Day

There was an old dictionary buff Whose dog snorted mountains of snuff. Himself, so we hear, Preferred to quaff beer, A brew it found frightfully duff. Ah, limericks! The verse form that trips off the tongue like no other. Once particularly popular with rugby teams and the forces, they are the one kind of… Read More

Restore Our Earth

April 22 is Earth Day and this year’s slogan is ‘Restore Our Earth.’ Earth Day is older than you might suspect. So attuned are we now to environmental anxiety, aka solastalgia, that it’s easy to presume such an ecologically aware event must be a recent institution. Read More
research yellow

Lockdownversary

The twenty-third of March marks the anniversary of the first UK lockdown, that fateful Monday evening when the PM announced drastic measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. On social media there is talk of a lockdownversary, a portmanteau word which shows how elastic English is. Read More

World Book Day: read up on the language of books

Thursday marks UK World Book Day. Fifteen million UK primary and secondary pupils will receive a £1 voucher to cash in for a book priced by publishers at a nominal £1. The aim is to encourage reading for pleasure. Reading for pleasure is, paradoxically, not pure and simple pleasure. Read More

Word exploration: vaccines, vaccinations and jabs

In what the PM has described as a ‘final sprint’, the new year got off to a flying start with a COVID-19 vaccination rollout underway across the UK. In early January, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh were vaccinated. The Palace decided… Read More
talking orange

New hope for the New Year

New Year’s Eve is traditionally when we fix our gaze firmly forward in hope, having cast a backward glance at the year just ended. Which, despite the negatives, saw a healthy increase in good-neighbourliness and kindness as demonstrated, for instance, by caremongering. I feel hopeful that… Read More

Food for thought this Christmas

I don’t know about you, but I’m already salivating at the prospect of Christmas food. The first pangs start early in December with the nostalgia rush I get upon spotting dinky net bags of mixed nuts for sale. Perhaps folk are deterred by the faff of cracking them open to… Read More