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.
Learn some of the tricks of solving those weird cryptic crosswords on my tutorials page.
If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.
Read about the puzzling but positive effect Lovatts has on your health in Puzzles & your Health. We’d love to hear from you, so write a letter to Christine’s Mailbag. You might want to comment on my regular column @ Christine’s Hello.
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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…]
The English language is constantly on the move, and it can be quite a challenge to keep up with the flow of new words and phrases entering our vocabulary.
Some of these verbs you may be familiar with. For instance, you may have heard of the verb to binge-watch, meaning to watch multiple episodes of a TV serial in succession. To upcycle [more…]
I was lucky enough to spend a week in the Apple Isle recently, also known as the Holiday Isle or Island of Inspiration. How appropriate – Tasmania’s ancient landscape is a place of rare beauty and diversity, uncrowded and unspoilt.
We were rocked to sleep by the waves while crossing the Bass Strait overnight, aboard the Spirit of Tasmania.
One of the first [more…]
We all have one, you may hang yours or hold it high. You may shake it, turn it or scratch it. Lose it, keep it or bang it against a brick wall.
I’m talking about your head, also known as bonce, noggin, loaf or nut. Loaf comes from Cockney rhyming slang ‘loaf of bread – head’.
Head comes from Old English heafod. Maybe [more…]