Cross-eyed bears and friendly ants

My late mother thought Gladly was rather a nice name for a bear, but as a child she could never imagine why they were singing about it in church, or…

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The 8 longest words in English

The longest word in the English language is a whisker under 190,000 letters long and would take over an hour to say out loud. Excuse me if I don’t reproduce…

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Using two words instead of one

Benjamin Dreyer has compiled a list of redundancies, surplus words to delete from your writing where you’ve used two words when one would do. Some are rather arcane (the word…

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12 Odd Idioms

Some years ago, a German friend – who speaks very good English – was visiting New Zealand and boarded a tour bus. The driver called, “How ya going?” to which…

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The Nautical Derivation of Well-known Words and Phrases

Many familiar English words and phrases have interesting derivations, and because England was once a great sea power, a surprising number come from the days of sailing ships … footlooseThe…

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