Author Archive

  • Thou Shall Not Starve

    Posted by on December 22, 2009

    Big news today in the UK. A Church of England Priest has rocked the Christian community by announcing publicly that it is OK to steal, if you really need to. Tim Jones is quoted in the Guardian newspaper as having said “My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift.” So I just thought I’d […]

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  • Of Trotskyism and skateboarding

    Posted by on December 02, 2009

    Ever read a book that mentions another book, so you then read that book too? This happened to me recently while reading Slam by Nick Hornby. In the book it mentions the autobiography of Tony Hawk. Not the British guy, the professional skateboarder. Tony is one of my heroes, so I immediately bought it too. […]

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  • Dude, where’s my definition?

    Posted by on November 18, 2009

    Is there a single word that you use in normal conversation that can define what sort of person you are? Apparently, I am defined by my regular usage of the word ‘dude’. I was recently introduced to a friend of a friend. I greeted this person with a friendly ‘Hi Dude, how’s it going?’ The […]

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  • What’s so real about reality TV?

    Posted by on June 09, 2009

    The commencement of Big Brother UK’s 10th series this week has made me consider more closely the term ‘Reality Television’.  The Macmillan Dictionary tells me that reality is ‘a fact, event, or situation as it really exists’ but the MED’s entry for reality tv is says ‘television programmes that do not use professional actors but […]

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  • Brazil Bonfire Festival – Not Just ‘Good Fire’!

    Posted by on June 01, 2009

    The upcoming June Bonfire Festival (13th to 29th June) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has me thinking about the word bonfire itself. All over the world people use bonfires to celebrate local events. In the United States it is tradition to mark a community’s Homecoming Day by a gathering around a bonfire. In the UK […]

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  • Sorry I bought it up!

    Posted by on April 22, 2009

    I was recently visiting a primary school and had the great pleasure of sitting in on an assembly that was to be a celebration of some of the children’s fantastic work. It was also a chance for the pupils to bring in things to show to their peers as well. In a nice clear voice, […]

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  • The (poor) language of journalism – a lot less bad?

    Posted by on April 08, 2009

    Why is it that journalists seem to think that they are allowed the greatest licence when using the English language? Why do they not feel bound by the same linguistic restraints as the rest of us? Often they make up brand new words to describe something in a way they feel that no existing word […]

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  • Why do the British refer to their eggplant as an ‘aubergine’?

    Posted by on March 25, 2009

    Why do the British refer to their eggplant as an ‘aubergine’? This Canadian wants to know. Upon my arrival in the UK, I was astounded to find that the Brits not only pronounce the names of some vegetables incorrectly (e.g. tomato) but they even use the wrong words for some. Could this be their desire […]

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