rachel quin

9 weird and wonderful collective nouns

A pride of lions. A gaggle of geese. A murder of crows. The English language is full of peculiarities, but collective nouns are among the most remarkable. But what is a collective noun? Collective nouns are used to refer to a group of people or things, with some of the… Read More

Traversing the language of fantasy

With fantasy dominating the bestseller lists, it’s easy to imagine that major bestsellers such as Sarah J. Maas, Rebecca Yarros, and George R.R. Martin are a 21st-century phenomenon. In reality, fantasy writing has been capturing imaginations since long before the romantasy takeover. Human history is steeped… Read More

False friends: 7 deceptive English words

As a great actor once said, ‘You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.’ It’s universally acknowledged that English is a tricky language to master – even for native English speakers – thanks to its vast number of rules, illogical language patterns,… Read More

EXTERMINATE! 7 timey-wimey words for Whovians old and new

Whovians… assemble! It’s a landmark year for fans of the British science fiction show Doctor Who, as the BBC celebrates Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary with some very special episodes. The 60th anniversary celebration has involved three new episodes featuring the much-loved Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, and his companion… Read More

I’m A Celebrity… Teach Me The Vocab!

An annual staple of British reality television, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! debuted on our screens over 20 years ago and is still going strong. Each year, the TV powers that be ship a completely random group of celebrities – with past highlights including disgraced politicians, footballers,… Read More

The Barbenheimer effect: 9 portmanteaus you need to know about

It’s been a summer of cinema this year, with Greta Gerwig’s long-awaited Barbie movie finally hitting the screens at the same time as Christopher Nolan’s biographical thriller Oppenheimer. Barbie’s marketing team have been painting the town hot pink, from transforming London’s Barbican underground station into Barbie-can,… Read More

Around the world in 8 words: The changing language of travel

Not all those who wander are lost, and when it comes to travel, sometimes wandering is one of the most exciting things you can do. And if you live in the UK, you’re lucky enough to have access to many beautiful destinations on your doorstep. In a time when travellers… Read More

9 words of Tolkien terminology

Arguably one of the most epic high-fantasy novels ever written, The Lord of the Rings trilogy introduced fans to Middle-earth, a fantastical place full of hobbits, dwarves and elves in an imaginary period of Earth’s past. J. R. R. Tolkien’s books have captured the imagination of readers for nearly 70… Read More

7 music genres to spice up your playlist

As Shakespeare once said, if music be the food of love, play on. As we head into the summer, music festivals such as Coachella and Glastonbury dominate the airwaves and megastars such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Harry Styles embark on global stadium tours, entertaining thousands of adoring fans in… Read More