The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names
Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society
Arranged alphabetically from Aballava (the Roman fort at Burgh-by-Sands) to Zone Point, Cornwall, this is a totally new compilation of English place names and their meanings and etymologies, based on the archives of the English Place-Name Society and recent scholarship. It contains entries for cities, towns, villages and hamlets, and for geographical features such as rivers, streams and hills, all with National Grid references and historical and variant spellings. First published in 2004. This reprint edition is exclusive to Postscript. Previously published at £330.00 Laminated cover.
The History of the World Quiz Book
1,000 Questions and Answers to Test Your Knowledge
From the Stone Age to 1945 in ten historical eras and 1,000 questions, this quiz book covers the major events and prominent people of world history. The questions are not too challenging to tackle after Christmas dinner, although some are trickier than others. Answers at the end of each chapter.
For Who the Bell Tolls
One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection
Some language rules are worth knowing – but which ‘rules’ just make clear communication harder? The editor of the Guardian’s style guide cites authorities including Shakespeare, Bart Simpson and Kirsty MacColl as he explains the grammatical principles (not ‘principals’) that will help to perfect your writing. He also advises on the correct choice of words and urges us to resist jargon, euphemisms and the journalistic mistreatment of ‘ironic’ and ‘iconic’.
The World's Most Difficult Quiz 2
More King William's College General Knowledge Papers
What garden evokes manual pallor? Where does the gold fin not wink? Who or what is pit-pit? Since 1904, pupils of King William's College on the Isle of Man have been sent home for the Christmas holidays with a fiendish quiz. Its popularity led to its publication first in The Times and, from 1951, in the Guardian. This book presents 30 sets of 180 questions dating from the 1920s to 1980s (pre-Google!).
The Third QI Book of General Ignorance
What is marmalade made from? Silly me, thinking it was oranges. The QI team dip once more into the bottomless pit of ignorance and confound us with the right answers to questions we thought were settled once and for all. Whether it's history, science, sport, geography, literature, languages, medicine, classics or common wisdom, you'll be astonished to discover how hopelessly wrong you are about the things you thought you knew.
The Right Word
Making Sense of the Words That Confuse
Homophones – words that sound the same but have different spellings and different meanings – can be a problem for both native English speakers and those learning the language. This clear, cross-referenced guide sets out homophones from a/A/eh to You’ll/Yule, with definitions for each word and examples of usage, plus a listing of words such as Flaunt and Flout that are often confused.
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.
The Stories of Slang
Language at its Most Human
Using his database of 130,000 words and phrases, the lexicographer known as ‘Mr Slang’ explains the origins of some of the most witty, colourful and disreputable expressions in the English language. He takes us into the worlds of boxers, drunken sailors, doctors and lovers, as well as the more literary realms of PG Wodehouse and Shakespeare, that master of the double entendre who is the earliest source for nearly 300 slang terms.
A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable
From da Aald Rock (Shetlanders’ name for their native islands) and all things Aberdonian, to Zeenty-teenty (an old children’s rhyme that involves slicing and frying mice), Ian Crofton presents a miscellany of colourful and interesting words, phrases, names and stories that together offer a kaleidoscopic view of Scottish legends, customs and culture past and present. Above all, the Dictionary is wonderfully diverting, with cross-references, and hundreds of quotations from prose, poetry and song.
The I Used to Know That Activity Book
Stuff You Forgot From School
Which poet wrote about apes and peacocks? Could you point to Kinshasa on the map of Africa? Can you recite the sine rule? Well, not to worry... Just for fun, this ‘activity book’ from the I Used to Know That series is full of tests on English language and literature, history, geography, maths, science and general studies – all stuff that you once knew. Answers at the back when you get really stuck.
The I Used to Know That Maths Activity Book
Stuff You Forgot From School
This elementary refresher course, aimed at adults wishing to revive their maths skills, explains the key concepts of arithmetic, fractions, probability, statistics, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Simple step-by-step quizzes on each subject (100 in total) include straightforward calculations, equation solving and multiple-choice questions. There are also a few shapes to draw. Answers are provided at the back.
This Book Will Make You Think
Philosophical Quotes and What They Mean
Beginning with Bentham on happiness ('The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation'), Alain Stephen examines the best-known quotes of the great philosophers and, in concise essays, explains the theories behind the words.
Divorced, Beheaded, Died...
The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-sized Chunks
Kevin Flute’s history of Britain's kings and queens in bite-sized chunks includes legendary kings, Dark Age warlords, Scottish monarchs and kings of Wales as well as Normans, Plantagenets etc – up to the House of Windsor and Elizabeth II.
An Anthology of Famous Last Words
Salvador Dalí's enigmatic parting question, ‘Where is my clock?’; Louis B Meyer’s gloomy conclusion, ‘It wasn’t worth it’; Hegel’s final, impenetrable comment, ‘Only one man ever understood me, and he didn’t understand me’... The last words of 200 famous men and women, together with notes on their deaths, are gathered here in five chapters on Hedonists, Optimists, Pragmatists, Visionaries and those who delivered a Parting Shot.
The Times Reference Atlas of the World
Ideal for the office, school, university or home, this authoritative atlas comprises over 100 pages of Collins Bartholomew mapping, including political and physical maps of the world, the oceans and the continents, with an index of 45,000 places. In addition, there are sections of satellite images of the world; historical maps from 1858 to the present day; geographical information covering states and territories and physical features; and plans of 44 major cities. No jacket.
How to Sound Really Clever
600 Words You Need to Know
The sequel to How to Sound Clever, this compendium presents over 600 useful and slightly more unusual words. Each entry is presented with clear definitions and guidance on pronunciation and usage, along with the word’s linguistic roots and everyday examples. Associated idioms such as ‘feet of clay’ are explored through stories from history, mythology and daily life.
501 Unarmed Self-Defense Skills
Including techniques and strategies from a range of martial arts, the tips in this manual focus on how to protect and defend yourself in real-life situations. Line illustrations demonstrate the most effective punches, kicks and grappling moves, and there is advice on mental training, keeping fit and how to combat armed assailants.
Never Eat Shredded Wheat
Weird Ways to Remember Things
After introducing some of the strategies used to fix things in memory, such as key words and memory palaces, this source book of mnemonics is arranged in ten chapters on subjects from British history (No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Half Way is for the royal dynasties) to difficult spellings (Memorizers Need Easy Methods Of Noting Important Content).
Classicist Peter Jones and David Dare-Plumpton (alias Plausus, crossword compiler of The Times Listener) have concocted what could amount to an alternative Christmas – you probably won't have time for the Queen's Speech or a turkey. Their 50 'cruciverbally exquisite' Latin crosswords are arranged in five 'courses', from Facillimum to Difficillimum. The clues are in English (phew).
Edgar Allen Poe's Puzzles From Beyond the Grave
Cryptic Conundrums From the World and Works of the Gothic Genius
Puzzle over this collection of 89 ingenious enigmas, riddles, ciphers and logic problems as you venture into the world of Poe’s macabre tales and poems. Some are from the mind of the master himself – such as the cryptic question ‘What must you do to a tea table to make it fit to consume?’ – while others are inspired by situations found in his stories of detection and Gothic horror. Solutions are provided in case human ingenuity fails.
Crack the Code
In four progressively more difficult chapters – Amusements, Diversions, Challenges, and Enigmas – Dr Gareth Moore presents over 200 puzzles, including codes to break, conundrums, several types of Sudoku and unusual vocabulary games. The puzzles range from simple to mystifying, but there is another twist – the instructions range from explicit to mere suggestions of how to proceed. Solutions are at the back.
Brain of Britain
Ultimate Quiz Book
Starting as What Do You Know? in 1953, and changing its title in 1967, BBC Radio 4's Brain of Britain is probably ‘the most venerable of general knowledge quizzes anywhere’. With this book you can challenge your own brain with 2,000 questions (50 quizzes of 40 questions each) drawn from the programme’s archives. By way of introduction, the current presenter, Russell Davies, has written a history of Brain of Britain and shares his thoughts on ‘this quiz lark’.
The Great Houdini's Puzzle Vault
A Collection of Mystifying Puzzles Inspired by The Astounding Escapologist
The great Hungarian-American magician Harry Houdini won his reputation for making seemingly impossible escapes and undertaking baffling feats of endurance or agility. This illustrated puzzle book presents conundrums and teasers inspired by his work, and describes many of his most famous tricks (such as the flooded tank escape, the bullet catch and the milk-can escape), providing explanations of how he did them in the solutions section.
The Baffle Book
Fifteen Fiendishly Challenging Detective Puzzles
If you revel in armchair criminal investigation, this book is just your cup of poisoned orange pekoe. Here are 15 old-fashioned 'detective puzzles', the unravelling of which requires well-honed powers of observation and deduction. In words, charts and diagrams, the authors put you at the crime scene and present you with the facts established by the police. Solving the questions that each case poses is your challenge. Answers at the back – if you must. Slightly off-mint.
For the Incurably Curious
Where are the world’s highest mountains, its longest rivers, its deepest oceans? Which country is the largest producer of cinnamon, and how heavy is the world’s heaviest insect? With distinctive maps and a wonderful miscellany of information on subjects from ancient history to football, economics to endangered animals, every page in this unusual atlas is a voyage of discovery. There are maps of the world (including one showing the early explorers’ routes), whole continents, regions, countries and the oceans.
Writing with Military Precision
During his many years as an intelligence officer, Craig Shrives learned how to write clearly for the eyes of British and American generals. In this guide he shares his practical experience: he identifies common mistakes and ambiguities and offers suggestions for correcting and clarifying what you want to say, and a final section gives useful advice on easily confused words. (Previously sold in Postscript as Grammar for Grown-ups.)
My Grammar and I Activity Book
(Or Should That be 'Me'?)
From identifying parts of speech to spotting the grammatical error in whole sentences (including ‘I think therefore I am’), Daniel Smith presents 103 ‘grammatical games’ to keep you in touch with the formal rules of the English language. Covering such thorny topics as compound nouns, reciprocal pronouns, the subjunctive, tautology and the dreaded apostrophe, the quizzes range from simple to very taxing, with answers at the end of the book.
I Used to Know That: English
Stuff You Forgot From School
If you were taught grammar the 'old fashioned way' and have forgotten everything except the boredom, or went to a school where it was deemed unnecessary, this book provides a simple guide to the grammar, spelling and correct usage of British Standard English.
I Used to Know That: History
Stuff You Forgot from School
From Mesopotamia c.5000 BCE to the collapse of communism c.1991, Emma Marriott succinctly presents 'the essentials of the history you really should know’. This is history-made-easy, with the British Civil War straightened out in a mere five pages, Queen Victoria in a paragraph and a minimum of dates.
The Times Great Letters
A Century of Notable Correspondence
Siegfried Sassoon decrying ‘political errors and insincerities’ in 1917; leg-theory in cricket; John Betjeman speaking up for threatened churches; the eccentricities of quartermasters’ vocabulary and syntax; and Theresa May on the first ascent of the Matterhorn... Covering a vast range of topics with erudition, opinion and a very British wit, this anthology of over 300 letters demonstrates why The Times letters page is renowned as a forum of debate, whether the topic be the future of education or dyed kippers.
I Think, Therefore I Am
All the Philosophy You Need to Know
Dealing with individual thinkers, from the Presocratics and ‘the Greek heavyweights’ to modern philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Derrida, this book explains the development of philosophical ideas over 2,500 years. There’s a Final Philosophy Paper at the end – but no answers.
A Classical Education
The Stuff You Wish You'd Been Taught at School
For those who wish they’d been taught ancient history and classical civilization in school – or for those who weren’t paying attention – here are the basics of Greek and Roman literature and mythology, history, art and architecture, science and philosophy.
Spilling the Beans on the Cat's Pyjamas
Popular Expressions – What They Mean and Where We Got Them
In this book from the Blackboard reference series, Judy Parkinson, author of I Before E (Except After C), presents an A-Z of popular expressions, their meanings and origins. With quotations from sources and anecdotes, she explains the facts - and sometimes theories - behind every saying, including who Methuselah was, how and why people were 'sold down the river' and the Shakespearean source of 'It's all Greek to me'.
Spell It Out
The Curious, Enthralling, and Extraordinary Story of English Spelling
Why is English spelling so difficult? Tracing the problem’s growth from its roots in the sixth century, Professor Crystal identifies the reasons for spelling inconsistencies and shows how understanding the language’s history can help us to make sense of its complex rules.
The History of the Crossword
The World's Most Famous Word Puzzle
The crossword puzzle dates from 1913, when the first ‘Word-Cross’ appeared in New York World. The rest of the story is told here by a master of the modern cryptic puzzle, John Halpern, aka Paul (The Guardian), Mudd (The Financial Times), Anon (The Times) and Dada (The Telegraph). He also describes different types of crossword, profiles the great setters, giving examples of their creations, and provides guidance on setting and solving crosswords.
The Pocket Gaelic–English, English–Gaelic Dictionary
A combined, updated edition of Angus Watson’s well-established reference works for learners of Scottish Gaelic, this dictionary presents a rich cross-section of the language, covering both the traditional song and sayings of the past and the vocabulary of new contexts including administration, politics and information technology. With the learner in mind, the dictionary provides explanatory information on headwords, as many examples of actual usage as space will allow, and tables of the Gaelic article, irregular verbs and prepositional pronouns.
Learn To Play Winning Bridge
History, Rules, Skills and Tactics
This complete introduction to the challenging game of Contract Bridge outlines its history and greatest players as well as providing comprehensive advice for players at basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Illustrated with hundreds of example deals and game situations, chapters cover how to assess your hand and understand bidding, scoring and basic card play, and go on to consider advanced bidding techniques and expert strategy.
The World's Heritage
The Definitive Guide to All 1007 World Heritage Sites
UNESCO's 'guide to the world’s most extraordinary places' presents all 1,007 sites on the World Heritage List, first mapped by continent, then arranged chronologically by the year in which they were inscribed on the List. From the Galápagos Islands (added 1978) to the rich biodiversity of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (added 2014), the guide covers a remarkable range of monuments and landscapes, with cultural, natural and mixed sites, each described individually and the majority shown in photographs.
*A Visual Exploration of Punctuation Marks and Other Typographic Symbols
From simple commas to the complexities of en and em dashes and the meteoric rise of the hashtag, this engrossing little book tells the stories of symbols and punctuation marks, explains their roles in written and digital communication, and gives up to 20 examples of each glyph’s appearance in various fonts.
Earth from Space
Views from space can provide telling information about the Earth’s ecosystems and their health. Forest fires in Siberia, ice cracks in Antarctica and smog in Beijing are all visible from on high and are among the beautiful – and disconcerting – satellite images that fill this book. Images are grouped by topic, including deforestation, farming, pollution and urbanization, and discussed by environmental experts who also allude to the fascinating ways in which satellite imagery can be used to protect the planet.
Rogerson's Book of Numbers
The Culture of Numbers from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World
Barnaby Rogerson counts down from the many millions of angels who could dance on a pin to the ultimate zero of Nirvana. On the way he delves into the cultural significance of important integers, explaining why 13 is unlucky in the West but 14 is the number to avoid in China, how John Buchan decided to write about 39 steps and which six patrician families were Rome’s greatest.
Can Crocodiles Cry?
Amazing Answers to Mind-Blowing Questions
The sea is salty because minerals (including salts) wash down to the oceans through rocks and up through vents in the ocean floor. Icebergs, conversely, are made of fresh water from glaciers and compacted snow. This book reveals a host of such fascinating facts in answering hundreds of baffling questions about science, the world, the universe, the human body and the animal kingdom.
Titles and Forms of Address
A Guide to Correct Use
At a time when long-established conventions in speech and correspondence are being eroded, there are still formal and social occasions when it is necessary to know and understand correct usage. This guide from the publishers of Who’s Who sets out forms of address for men and women with ranks, honours and official appointments. It includes simpler forms appropriate to email and there is guidance on replying to formal invitations and the pronunciation of tricky proper names.
Maps and Sketches from Georgian and Early Victorian Birmingham
By 1770, Birmingham – once a small market town – was the third most populous city in England. Its rapid expansion as a commercial and industrial centre left it with a rich legacy of Georgian and Victorian public buildings. Lavishly illustrated with period maps and engraved views, this book charts the city's development and records its assembly halls, churches, factories and pubs, both extant and long vanished. The text is complemented with verse by Ian Henery, Poet Laureate of Walsall.
The Atlas of the Real World
Mapping the Way We Live
Cartograms are digitally modified maps that enlarge or reduce areas of the globe to reflect statistical data. This flexibound atlas contains 382 such cartograms in full colour, depicting a broad range of topics: population, transport, natural resources, trade, food sources, health, wealth and poverty, war, crime, the environment and pollution. This revised second edition includes 16 new maps on the world’s religious beliefs. The result is a powerful and surprising visual presentation of the way people live around the world. Slightly off-mint.