There are 30 posts.
Although certain Latin words and phrases have been accepted wholesale into English – think of de facto, per capita, magnum opus, etc. (et cetera is another one!) – Latin is still capable of providing a certain gloss to a statement. When a politician talks about the vox populi rather than the ‘voice of the people’ […]more
Hey, English speaker! Congratulations. You speak a language that straddles the globe like nothing before. Statistically, English is unlikely to be your first language and you are likely to be from an educated background. Again, congratulations. Here are ten things that you may not have known about this wonderful language of ours: 1. It is […]more
Absolute privilege, ad hoc, aforementioned, affidavit, arraignment, arbitrage: the language of law can be dense, demanding, and downright intimidating, and these are just a few of the words and phrases that begin with the letter a. For all the difficulties of legalese, a great number of common words have a surprisingly legal record, so to speak. Mayhem Dating back […]more
Readers of a certain age—and I would count myself among them—regard Latin as a noble thing of antiquity. The language is not nearly as widely studied as it once was. Indeed, Latin was once taught in grammar schools and familiarity with it—if not mastery of it—was a prerequisite for university admission. Today, even those who […]more
The English language has a varied and ever changing vocabulary, which makes it an ideal candidate for etymological studies. In this list below, we take a look at the interesting histories of some common English words. For more interesting word facts and origins, browse our ‘Explore’ section and follow us on Twitter. 1. squirrel 2. awkward The adjective awkward is […]more
Check out our alphabetic list of instruments, from accordion to zither. As far as possible, we’ve tried to stick to common instruments you’ll already have heard of – but some of the letters proved more challenging… Accordion Accordion is from the German Akkordion, a derivative of Akkord ‘harmony’, and so named because some of the buttons on […]more
In the early hours of 7 August 1974, after six years of planning and months of subterfuge, Philippe Petit stepped out onto a high wire between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York. A crowd of thousands gathered to watch the breathtaking 45 minute display, as Petit walked, danced, and even […]more