Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Last Post (of 2014)

It’s a festive two-for-the-price-of-one on the origin of sayings today! (Although I must point out in advance that I’m not sure whether either term is used outside the UK.) The first one is fairly straightforward. When I was a kid … Continue reading

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E-books ‘damage sleep and health,’ doctors warn…

…Cries a headline in the BBC news today quoting a Harvard Medical School report – but it’s very misleading. The TV news repeatedly referred to e-book readers, when what they really meant was tablets used as e-book readers. Dedicated e-book … Continue reading

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Speaking of Names…

I did a lot of work on tracing my family tree in the past, and still turn back to it occasionally to fill in the odd gap. In recent times a distant relative has added some pictures of my great-grandfather … Continue reading

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Insult

My parents, for reasons I never quite managed to get to the bottom of, decided to spell my first name “Martyn” instead of the more usual “Martin”. As a consequence I’ve spent my life saying “No – with a Y … Continue reading

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Word Origins

On a historical documentary I was watching recently they  were talking about medieval food and kitchens, and they were roasting meat on a spit. It was one of those huge things that had a handle for turning the meat to … Continue reading

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What’s in a name?

My latest project is a book featuring the correspondence between between the Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and Eleanor Anne Porden, the romantic poet who was his fiancée for much of the period covered by the letters and who later … Continue reading

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