Articles, quizzes, and grammar tips for word-lovers everywhere

The Great British Summer of sport: 6 topical posts you won’t want to miss

The Great British Summer of sport: 6 topical posts you won’t want to miss

Regardless of heat or sunshine, the Great British Summer has now truly arrived. If you’re outdoors playing sports, or indoors watching them, here are a few of our game, set, or match-related blog posts to keep you full of fun facts. 1.  Anyone for tennis? Whether you were on team Murray or team Federer, this […]

Did you say macaroni? Why everyone can enjoy Italian opera

Did you say macaroni? Why everyone can enjoy Italian opera

On the third of August, 1778, one of the world’s most famous opera houses La Scala staged its inaugural performance. Sadly, opera isn’t as popular as it might be. It seems there are still negative preconceptions associated with it that haven’t changed in hundreds of years. Unlike the theatre, opera can’t seem to shake off […]

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Eponymous English: from Benjamins and John Hancocks to boycotts and Draping?

Eponymous English: from Benjamins and John Hancocks to boycotts and Draping?

We all strive to leave a legacy. We remember history’s greats through plaques and monuments, books and movies, songs and works of art. Another (often overlooked) way we pay homage to people of the past is through language. We might name a place, a theorem, or even a disease after the person who first visited […]

Five Shades of Grey? Colours and their connotations

Five Shades of Grey? Colours and their connotations

There used to be nothing erotic about grey. Until E. L. James it was, for me, the colour of John Major’s underpants because that’s how Steve Bell always drew them in his cartoons for the British newspaper The Guardian. Grey is the colour of brains (grey matter) but I don’t think that’s the point of […]

Anyone for Quidditch?

Anyone for Quidditch?

Looking for an alternative to the games that shall not be named? It’s J.K. Rowling’s birthday, so why not give Quidditch a go? Quidditch is a sport created by Rowling in the Harry Potter series of novels, which have now sold over 450 million copies and have been translated into 67 languages. The global popularity […]

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Wuthering Heights interactive text analyser

Wuthering Heights

Explore the text of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Emily Brontë’s masterpiece, and only novel, Wuthering Heights. Through the text analyser, you’ll be able to explore the relationships, love triangles, and bitter rivalries of one of the most revered novels of all time. Key words, such as ‘love’, ‘ghost’, ‘wind’, and ‘snow’ have been […]

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Don’t forget your pants!

Don't forget your pants!

Your response to today’s Take Your Pants For A Walk Day, assuming it has even crossed your radar, will probably be determined by your location. Perhaps you have conjured up an image of droves of people with boxer shorts, knickers, or Y-fronts attached to leads? Or maybe instead of underwear, you are seeing chinos, slacks, […]

Plain English in practice: writing instructions

Plain English in practice: writing instructions

In a previous piece, I looked at some guidelines for writing plain Engl­­­ish: that is, the kind of English that will get your intended meaning across most clearly. Here, I take you through an example. Warning: Instructions may contain lethal sesquipedalian lexemes There are times when clear writing can make the difference between life and […]

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