Category Archives: Uncategorized

Swearing – a sign of wit and intelligence?

It might seem counterintuitive but scientists have found that swearing fluency is actually a sign of more intelligence and greater vocabulary rather than less. As Richard Stevens, writing in The Conversation says: … swearing appears to be a feature of … Continue reading

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Language loss in dementia: you have to laugh

  I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.  Dr Seuss My mother has a … Continue reading

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Chipping in on ‘chipping in’ …

  Twice in one week recently I received requests asking me ‘to chip in’, rather than make a contribution, or to donate money.  It made me wonder if it was the start of a trend, with  organisations trying to soften … Continue reading

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Cracking wise – the art of the hard-boiled sentence

Writing hard-boiled crime fiction isn’t as easy as it may seem. Although it appears to have a consistent structure, and a heavy emphasis on style, putting the elements together to create truly memorable lines takes skill. The prose of writers … Continue reading

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Humanist celebrants celebrate humanity

At the beginning of 2016 I was accepted onto a British Humanist Association (BHA) training programme to become a humanist wedding celebrant. It’s been a fascinating experience and I’m looking forward to working with couples to help them shape meaningful … Continue reading

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The perils of pronouncing Irish names

I love Irish names with their soft Gaelic sounds. I’m half Irish so when my first daughter was born I wanted to reflect her heritage by giving her an Irish name. We chose Siobhán – a name that wikipedia tells me … Continue reading

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Decoding the Russian alphabet

A recent trip to St Petersburg in Russia was a delight. I was there at the end of June, during the period of the White Nights, when the sun doesn’t set. It’s a magical time to visit this gorgeous city … Continue reading

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Bett Slapper: welcome to the world of spoonerisms

Last week’s arrest in Zurich of seven members of FIFA (football’s world governing body) threw an intense spotlight on the subsequent re-election of FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter. But amid all the column inches written and all the media and internet … Continue reading

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Buffing up on Buffy speak…

I missed the now cult TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer first time around but I’m currently watching my way through the third series with my teenage daughter. Created by writer-director Joss Whedon, Buffy is an American TV series which originally … Continue reading

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Bringing “Who’s on first?” to life with typography

I love the sound of words and I love looking at words. So, I tend to think that kinetic typography is a wonderful thing. Of course, it must be done well, otherwise it can just get in the way of … Continue reading

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