"Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." - The Bible (1611)

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black friday shopping

The origin of Black Friday and other Black Days

Across the US, those who are not too replete with their Thanksgiving feast will be braving the crowds in order to secure themselves one of the bargains associated with Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving which is often regarded as the first day of Christmas shopping in the US. Even on the Thanksgiving-less shores of […]

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Thanksgiving sides

The many ‘sides’ of Thanksgiving… and the English language

We may talk a lot of turkey during the holiday, but US Thanksgiving is really all about the sides. Yes, we pile our plates with mashed potatoes and green beans, but we also feast on the many other great sides the English language has to offer. From all sides During the holiday, both sides of a family may gather together out in a relative’s home in […]

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thank you

How to say ‘thank you’ in 28 languages

Thanksgiving may often be seen as a thoroughly American affair, but variations of this celebration exist in other parts of the world as well. So, to honour the international character of the harvest festival, why not take out a few minutes in between stuffing your face with turkey and sweet potatoes to learn how to […]

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Which Alice in Wonderland character am I?

Which ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ character are you?

Are you the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, or one Lewis Carroll’s other surreal creations? Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by taking our quiz and finding out which character you are most like. We hope you weren’t disappointed with the result! Whether or not you got the character […]

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‘Advise’ and ‘advice’: what’s the difference?

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Louise Brooks was an American actress and dancer widely known as a 'flapper'.

And the Word of the Year 1915 is… flapper

True, as best we can tell, there was no actual selection of a Word of the Year a century ago. The modern phenomenon of choosing a Word of the Year began in 1990 with the American Dialect Society. The idea came from Time magazine’s choosing a Person of the Year each year, not by some […]

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An image from Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach

Which Roald Dahl character are you?

The works of Roald Dahl abound with indelibly-drawn characters, from the magnanimously awful Trunchbull to the suddenly youthful Grandpa Joe. In the realm of children’s literature, his books are notable for their treatment of children as more like small adults who are, it should be noted, often more capable than their actual adult counterparts. Take a trip […]

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