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It’s time to hop aboard the Word Watch, and this week, you can get a third off the article if you present your #Avocard – only if you, um, read it before Tuesday next. #Avocard It’s official. We’ve reached peak portmanteau. And peak hashtag. And peak avocado. And all in one scheme by Virgin Trains: […]more
When the lens cap comes off, the ritual to say cheese! and grin as the camera clicks has become second nature. Saying the word cheese, with its elongated ‘e’ sound, is supposed to turn the curves of our mouths upwards into a toothy grin, ensuring that everyone in the photo looks happy in that particular […]more
The Bolsheviks knew the power of words, from Vladimir Lenin’s famously fiery speeches to popular slogans like ‘Peace, land, bread!’ and ‘All power to the Soviets!’ (To be fair, they sound catchier in Russian.) To mark the passing of a century since the October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks seized power on 7 November 1917 (25 […]more
In 2015, people across the globe commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In Russia, the grand public holiday that marks the end of this ‘Great Patriotic War’ (Velikaya Otechestvennaya voina/Великая Отечественная война in Russian) is one of the highlights of the calendar year. Victory Day (Den’ Pobedy/День Победы) celebrations […]more
Forget Christmas! In Russia – and in some other former Soviet countries – Novyi God (Новый Год, ‘New Year’) is arguably the most popular holiday of the year. Christmas was banned by the Bolsheviks following the 1917 Revolution and, although it is celebrated nowadays (more on that later), Russia’s biggest winter holiday remains a secular […]more
Pushkin 6 June is UN Russian Language Day, which coincides with the birth of Aleksandr Pushkin (Александр Пушкин), possibly the most well-known Russian poet, and often referred to as the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin was exceptional for not only writing about life as it was known, something unusual at the time, but also […]more