The Accidental Apostrophe
...and Other Misadventures in Punctuation
When it comes to punctuation, many experts leave it to the writer’s judgement – but what use is that if you’ve never been taught the difference between a colon and a semicolon, or where those pesky apostrophes go? This accessible, light-hearted guide clarifies the rules, shows how punctuation can help you get your meaning across clearly, and explains what you can get away with and what simply won’t do.
As Right As Rain
The Meaning and Origins of Popular Expressions
Why is it bacon that we bring home? What is the lurch you could be left in? When did people start promising to eat their hats? And did Monty Python inspire the phrase 'sick as a parrot'? Caroline Taggart tracks down the first documented use of the English language's most absurd and quirky expressions, explaining the logic of their original meanings to make them a little less baffling for native speakers and language-learners alike.
Misadventures in the English Language
Are your commas, colons and semicolons in good working order? Would you know a marker of empathy (aka a pragmatic participle) if you encountered one? Caroline Taggart has the answers to these and many other confusing aspects of modern grammar, vocabulary and punctuation. Enlivened with anecdote and examples, she gives lucid explanations of the basic rules of grammar – and shows how they really do help us to communicate. A marker of empathy? Lol.
Back to Basics
The Education You Wish You'd Had
All of us from time to time are tortured by forgetting simple facts that we learned long ago, or are made aware of glaring – and potentially embarrassing – gaps in our knowledge. If you still have to think about the grocer's apostrophe or can't remember your irregular French verbs, then this book will remind you of the basic English, Maths, Science, History, French and Geography that we were all taught at school.
I Used to Know That: Geography
Stuff You Forgot from School
Your satnav might know the way to Uncle Bob's house, but can it tell you what comes out of a volcano, the difference between a village and a hamlet, or how a tornado develops? In this refresher course Will Williams shows not only that there is much more to geography than maps – although 'maps have made a pretty spectacular comeback' – but that it is more relevant than ever to everyday life on our beleaguered planet.
New Words for Old
Recycling Our Language for the Modern World
If we need a term for something new, we can invent a completely new word, adapt one that already exists, combine two words, or unearth and polish up some long-forgotten item of vocabulary. Taggart's book celebrates the linguistic versatility that created 'brunch' and 'breathalyser', 'selfie' and 'sitcom'; traces the changing definitions of such words as 'web' and 'hardware'; and asks how 'blue', 'green' and 'red' acquired metaphorical meanings.