fun (n.)
Everything in life that’s any fun, as somebody wisely observed, is either immoral, illegal or fattening.
P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975), “The Girl in Blue” (1970)
The Co-operative Store at Beamish Museum, County Durham. © Cory Doctorow, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
instead of (prep.)
The Kingdom of Uganda is a fairy tale. You climb up a railway instead of a beanstalk, and at the end there is a wonderful new world.
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), ‘My African Journey’ (1909)
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. © Carine06, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.
polite (adj.)
The inhabitants of the Cape Town are in General well bred and Extreamly Civil and Polite to all Strangers; indeed, the whole Town may be considered as one great Inn fitted up for the reception of all Comers and goers.
Captain James Cook (1728-1779), Journal (First Voyage) Monday 15th April, 1771
Cape Town and Table Mountain from Robben Island, South Africa. © Michael Day, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
value (n.)
The terms of justice, the terms of science, the value of government, are the everlasting ramparts of Greece and Rome – the father and mother of civilisation.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), ‘The Uses of Reading’
The theatre at Delphi, Greece. © William Neuheisel, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0.
further (adv.)
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), Letter to Robert Hook
View from The Pinnacle in the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. © David Iliff, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0.
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On This Day
The Battle of Plassey in Bengal, India (1757) 1 post
June 23rd, 1757
The Battle of Plassey in Bengal, India
The Battle of Plassey
Music: George Frideric Handel
A year after the infamous ‘Black hole of Calcutta’, Robert Clive was sent to exact retribution.

DEFEAT at the hands of the Kingdom of Travancore in 1741 was a body blow to the Dutch in India. And to the disappointment of the French, Robert Clive’s victory at Arcot in 1751 ensured that Britain’s friend, Mohammed Ali Khan Wallajah, became Nawab of the Carnatic in the south.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Cell. Sell.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Man. Post. Blow.

Use together in one sentence: Man. Cause. Battle.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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Pangur Bán
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
A 9th century Irish monk scribbled some verses about a beloved cat into his copy book.

I, AND Pangur Bán —
each doing what he does best:
his mind on the hunt,
mine on my own pursuits.

I love, better than fame, relaxing
with my texts, in painstaking study;
Pangur Bán does not envy me that:
he loves his own childish craft.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Exhausting. Tiresome.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Hold. Text. Craft.

Use together in one sentence: Regular. Best. End.

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A Solemn Duty
Music: Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Monsieur St Aubert falls seriously ill on a walking tour with his daughter Emily, and before the end asks an unexpected favour.

“HEAR, then, what I am going to tell you. The closet, which adjoins my chamber at La Vallee, has a sliding board in the floor. You will know it by a remarkable knot in the wood, and by its being the next board, except one, to the wainscot, which fronts the door.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Insure. Ensure. Assure.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Place. Do. Slide.

Use together in one sentence: Other. Front. Board.

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The (Fairly) Honest Lawyer
Music: Joseph Boulogne Chavalier de Saint Georges
Andre-Louis Moreau lives for vengeance on the master swordsman who killed his friend.

“MY enemy is a swordsman of great strength — the best blade in the province, if not the best blade in France. I thought I would come to Paris to learn something of the art, and then go back and kill him. You see, I have not the means to take lessons otherwise.”

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Lessen. Lesson.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Kill. Wait. Say.

Use together in one sentence: Applicant. Think. By.

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‘The Overland Mail’
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
A tribute to the postal workers of British India, and to the kind of empire they helped to build.

IN the name of the Empress of India, make way,
O Lords of the Jungle wherever you roam,
The woods are astir at the close of the day—
We exiles are waiting for letters from Home—
Let the robber retreat; let the tiger turn tail,
In the name of the Empress the Overland-Mail!

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Hear. Attend. Listen.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Bear. Wait. Let.

Use together in one sentence: Wherever. World. Cry.

More games: Précis. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

The Sneeze of History
Music: Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov
It was the opinion of Leo Tolstoy that even Napoleon was never master of his own destiny.

MANY historians say that the French did not win the battle of Borodino because Napoleon had a cold, and that if he had not had a cold the orders he gave before and during the battle would have been still more full of genius and Russia would have been lost and the face of the world have been changed.

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Grammar and Composition

Distinguish using sentences: Appear. Seem. Seam.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Go. Change. Say.

Use together in one sentence: Believe. Empire. Might.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.