Category: language

Three words I learnt last weekend

Buzzard: a large hawk-like bird of prey (unless you are in the US where it is some sort of vulture). Not an uncommon word, but I’m a city mouse so I just gathered it is a bird, and that it

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They did not teach me zouk in school

It was the end of summer 1991. I’d just arrived in Paris. It was my first time in France, I’d studied French for six years but had never spoken it and so I was unable to even ask for change

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My first day at school

Yesterday after work I attended to the first class of a twelve-week Spanish language course. My teacher is very lovely because she brought cupcakes. She also has an open smiley face. She comes from Argentina and her accent is as

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Perilous; dangerous. Dangerously cunning (obsolete).

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A person’s specific area of interest, skill, or authority. See synonyms at field. The office or district of a bailiff.

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A group of animals or birds, especially larks or quail. A group or an assemblage.

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‘Preserved’ as innapropriate behaviour?

A friend sent me this notice he found posted at his gym, which I don’t think it’s even one of the gayest in town. You go to a gym? Then you are expected to be supple enough to soap your

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How I’m brushing up my Spanish

I am leaving on Thursday morning for five days in Spain, and along with scouring the city to get myself a good stock of cheap SPF50 lotion, I’ve been finding three new ways to revise and improve my Spanish (last

Posted in language, travel

Off to Paris with the in-laws

Dr B.’s parents are coming down from Staffordshire tonight, then tomorrow morning the four of us are hopping onto the Eurostar and spending the next forty-eight hours in Paris. He has organised this as a present for his dad’s birthday,

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Dr B.’s neologisms: back-seat screwdriver

Back-seat screwdriver: a person giving advice to someone assembling furniture. Origin: Dr B., the other day, as he politely discarded my unsolicited advice while he was painstakingly putting together three new tall Ikea chests of drawers for our bedroom.

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Introducing ‘Word of the day’

I love words. Words make life sweeter. I wish I knew every word. Unfortunately, I don’t. I am told I do a pretty good job at using an extensive vocabulary for someone whose first language is not English, but I

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