Welcome to my Desk, where you’ll find all sorts of items to hold your interest. Unlike my real office desk, which is cluttered with books, files, news cuttings and the remnants of my lunch, this Online Desk will be efficient and easy to navigate.
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If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.
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The most famous Irishman was actually the son of a Roman official born and bred in South Wales. The legend goes that he was captured by Picts and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul, where he became a priest and is credited with bringing Christianity to western Europe.
Many countries celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17th March [more…]
One of the many sources of our English vocabulary is the eponym – a word named after a person or place.
Some eponyms are obvious – I’m sure you can guess what Count Pavel Stroganoff lent his name to? Although he descended from wealthy Russian aristocracy, he was born in Paris, where a French chef concocted a blend of French and [more…]
One of the few things that are guaranteed in life – along with death and taxes – is change. Nothing stays the same, both in our personal lives and in the world itself. While we may bemoan today’s modern style and long nostalgically for the beloved way of life from our childhood, change is inevitable and we can choose to complain [more…]
When I come across a news item with a common error, I make a note of it. Here are some recent ones:
“There are many versions of the history and entomology of the words used in fairy tales…”
Entomology means the scientific study of insects, so I’m hazarding a guess the writer meant to say etymology, the study of the origin of [more…]
The fashion catwalk sometimes features strange outfits, with designers vying to invent the most edgy creations.These are not necessarily the outfits that catch on – at least, I’ve never seen women wearing dresses made of plastic garbage bags or men wearing crochet tights.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, although I can’t help noticing the expressions on the [more…]
Everyone has a favourite word or two. In some cases, it’s the sound or the look of the word that appeals, in others it’s the meaning.
Some examples of favourite words chosen in a recent online survey are: NEFARIOUS, INEFFABLE, EPOCH, EPHEMERAL, SONOROUS, IRIDESCENT, EPIHPANY and AURORA.
I came across the favourite words of famous people. The word YES was chosen by Dustin [more…]