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.
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 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 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 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).
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
*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.
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 Times Concise Atlas of the World
For the 13th edition, this major atlas has been updated to 2016 and includes, among several new features, nine historical maps of the world since 1858 and satellite images of the continents. The main body of the atlas comprises over 200 pages of Collins Bartholomew maps covering the continents, oceans and polar regions. Other features include world maps, 41 city plans and geographical information, new sections on climate change and economy, a glossary and a comprehensive index of place names. Slipcased.
It's Been Said Before
A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Clichés
While most people agree that clichés are to be avoided, there is no general agreement on what is and what is not a cliché. For the lexicographer Orin Hargraves they are 'the sterile offspring of a mind that is not engaged in creativity', and by analysing hundreds of examples he presents a thorough guide to identifying tired, overused phrases that prompts us to examine how we express our ideas and to construct our speech and writing thoughtfully.
Is That a Word?
From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of Scrabble
After a history of Scrabble, rules of the game, tips on playing and some interesting variants (including Haggle Scrabble, Strip Scrabble and online Scrabulous), Bukszpan’s guide comprises lists of interesting and, above all, playable words. As well as the essential two-letter words, there are playable first names, Shakespearean characters, words without vowels and an A–Z of uncommon vocabulary. Be aware that this book is American and uses the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (2005), based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
The Puzzler's Dilemma
From the Lighthouse of Alexandria to Monty Hall, a Fresh Look at Classic Conundrums of Logic, Mathematics, and Life
‘A man is found hanging in a locked room with no furniture and a puddle of water under his feet. What happened?’ From ancient Greek paradoxes to the role of probability in television game shows (via the Rubik’s Cube, chess problems and crosswords) this entertaining book illustrates eleven classic types of logic puzzle, tells the stories behind their creation and shows how to go about solving them.
Everything Explained That Is Explainable
On the Creation of the Encyclopædia Britannica's Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910–1911
With 29 volumes containing 40,000 entries, the vast eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was a high point of Edwardian optimism and is considered to mark the last stand of the Enlightenment. Boyles draws on letters and newspaper articles to trace the history of its production and to reveal the contribution of two American entrepreneurs in the spectacular revival of an ailing British publication. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
Do I Make Myself Clear?
Why Writing Well Matters
The right words are essential to clarity of thought and expression, but the use of digital media promotes more speed, more words – and less precision. The veteran journalist Harold Evans has edited everything from battlefield reports to the thoughts of Henry Kissinger, and in this concise, witty guide, he brings his insight to bear on the craft of writing well. Through practical examples using real copy, he shows how editing can cut through clichés, jargon and verbosity to enable clear, effective communication.
Ware's Victorian Dictionary of Slang and Phrase
A goldmine for anyone intrigued by the weird and wonderful usages of slang, Ware’s 1909 compilation of ‘Passing English’ is introduced by John Simpson, former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, who describes it as full of expressions ‘that might never find their way into more straitlaced dictionaries’. As well as words and phrases dating from the late 19th century, including slang from different occupations, sports, countries and ‘street’, Ware explains new idioms such as cads on castors (bicyclists) and the American brownstone fronts (aristocrats).
Making a Point
The Persnickety Story of English Punctuation
With its unique mixture of logic and eccentricity, English punctuation excites both anxiety and fiercely held opinion. What other area of language has produced an organization such as the Apostrophe Protection Society? With wit, clarity and common sense, this entertaining volume offers both a history of English punctuation from medieval scribes to the internet and a complete guide to how to use it. From the question mark to the semi-colon, the book is packed with both amusing anecdote and sound practical advice.
The All-New University Challenge Quiz Book
Following the exact format of the venerable BBC2 television quiz (except you won’t have to sit on each other’s heads), this book poses the starters, each with three bonus questions, for 15 matches – altogether, over 2,000 questions. The dilemma will be to Google or not to Google. Off-mint.
And Other Grammatical Grumbles
Greengrocers are not alone, even PhDs can misuse apostrophes: these ‘little things’ cause more problems in the English language than any other element of grammar. By going back to the roots of the language and understanding why we use apostrophes, Patrick Notchtree promises that ‘all will be made clear’, and he presents the ‘One Easy Rule’ that will point the way to apostrophe mastery.
A History of the English Language in 100 Places
In 100 Places
How did the Germanic dialect of a small island become a lingua franca spoken by two billion people across the globe? This compelling guide charts the history of the English language from the earliest texts to the age of Twitter. Attractively illustrated with colour photographs and maps, the book focuses on 100 places that played a key role in the development of the language, from Canterbury – where the Latin alphabet was adopted – to Kolkata, and from Salford to San Francisco.
The English Illustrated Dictionary
Originally published as the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary and revised in 2005 for the Award edition, this single-volume reference work combines a normal dictionary with an elementary encyclopedia, providing basic information on places, events and famous people in history, the arts or science, and illustrated with line drawings and diagrams. There are also very useful appendices, including lists of monarchs, counties, chemical elements and weights and measures. Slightly off-mint.
Who Was Who
Volume IV: 1941–1950
Since 1897, when it first included biographical entries instead of a simple list of names, Who's Who has been an invaluable source of information on the careers of people from every walk of life and all parts of the world – while they lived. This fourth volume of Who Was Who contains the biographies of those who died during the decade 1941 to 1950. The entries are as they last appeared in Who's Who, plus the date of death and occasionally some revision.
Sherlock Holmes Everlasting Diary
With apposite quotations from the Holmes stories or information about Arthur Conan Doyle on every page, along with Sidney Paget’s original illustrations from The Strand magazine, this perpetual diary would be excellent for recording birthdays and anniversaries – Ma and Pa’s wedding forever remembered on the day of Ryder’s desperate plea in 'The Blue Carbuncle'. The diary is bound in red linen with gilt-edged pages and a silk marker.
The Timeline Atlas
World History + Maps & Flags of Today's World
Beginning with a concise summary of our knowledge about the universe, the solar system and the physical geography of Earth, this reference book covers both time and space: the timeline and world history trace key events from early human settlement to the conflicts of 2014 in illustrated double-page spreads; the atlas has over 160 pages of maps and an index; and the guide to the world's flags includes basic facts about each country's area, population, capital, government, religions and currency.
Opening Pandora's Box
Phrases Borrowed from the Classics and the Stories behind Them
We might know what it means to be 'under the aegis', but what was the aegis? In this A–Z of classical allusion, Ferdie Addis has gathered together words and phrases, such as chimera, Croesus, hoi polloi and lotus eaters, that so enrich modern English, and he tells of their weird and wonderful origins in ancient history and Greek and Roman mythology.
The O Level Book
O levels were taken in Britain between 1951 and 1988 and are often considered by the people who took them to have been much harder than the GCSEs that replaced them. Whether this is true or not can be put to the test by studying this book, which collates sample questions from O level exams set between 1955 and 1959 in English, Maths, History, Geography, General Science, Music and Household Cookery.
A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words
Compliment or complement? Stationary or stationery? This entertaining and sympathetic (or empathetic?) A–Z guide lists common mistakes, with their Embarrassment Rating, an explanation of why they are troublesome and tips on how to avoid perpetrating (or perpetuating?) them.
The Marriage Feast at Cana
A jewel-like miniature, surrounded by colourful foliage with birds and drolleries, The Marriage Feast at Cana is from a 15th century Book of Hours from Savoy. The illumination is magnificently reproduced in colour on the embossed foil covers of this journal – one of a series that could lend splendour to the most humble jottings. Inside there are 176 ruled pages, scarlet endpapers, a silk marker and a pocket for loose papers. The book closes with a solid magnetic side flap.
A Book of Days
Every page embellished with medieval ornament and miniatures from manuscripts in the British Library collections, this Book of Days can be used to record birthdays, anniversaries and annual events. It is arranged with one week to one page, always with a facing painting. The cover shows the Annunciation, set in a field of flowers, from the 15th century Book of Hours, Use of Sarum.
The Usual Suspects
and Other Cliches
Cliches: over-used, abused, and sniffed at by school teachers – or are they valuable linguistic shorthand, summing up in a few words what otherwise would take twenty? In this A–Z, lexicographer Betty Kirkpatrick explains the stories behind and the usage of more than 1,500 phrases, old and new, from what is 'essentially a lawless part of the English language'. First published as The Dictionary of Cliches in 1996. Second edition.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
This is the first printed supplement to the Oxford DNB (2004) and includes entries on 819 men and women who shaped recent British history and who died between 2001 and 2004. The earliest person by birth date is the dancer and choreographer Dame Ninette de Valois (1898–2001), but the majority of subjects grew up in the interwar years. Among the notable figures in this supplement are Barbara Castle, John Peel, Francis Crick and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. No jacket.
Teddy Bears, Tupperware and Sweet Fanny Adams
How the Names Became the Words
As you lie on the davenport in your cardigan, eating garibaldi biscuits, do you ever consider how people's names become words we use in everyday English? From Achilles to Zeppelin, this entertaining book investigates both familiar and unusual eponyms and describes the stories behind them. At last, we meet the man who gave the world the Hoover, the farmer responsible for macadamia nuts (John Macadam), and Dr Salmon, immortalized in salmonella.
Whatever Happened to Tanganyika?
The Place Names that History Left Behind
Described by Alexander McCall Smith in his foreword as the pioneering work of a new discipline, 'nostalgic geography', this intriguing book tells the stories of 46 old names, their origins and their demise. Beginning with the bizarre history of Pleasant Island (now the Republic of Nauru), the tales of places that are no more include such evocative names as Hispaniola, Rangoon, Fernando Po and Skye (now officially Eilean a' Cheò).
Encarta Book of Quotations
From Hank Aaron (b.1934), an American baseball star, to the Chilean poet Raul Zurita (b. 1951), this book contains 25,000 quotations by more than 6,200 authors. International in scope, the listings are also up to date, with about half the quotations taken from the last 100 years. The clearly laid-out entries give authors' dates, sources for the quotations and contextual notes; and the keyword and thematic indexes make it easy to find the quotation you want.
Any Number of Things You Didn't Know... and Some You Did
Money, music, movies, life on Earth and the human body, sport, science and space – everything, in fact, is governed by numbers. Arranged (numerically of course) in sections on subjects from the here and now of the modern world to infinity, Numeroids presents 1,300 pieces of numerical information. There is something for everyone, whether your interest is in the number of teeth a tortoise has (zero), or the size of the US defence budget (ca. $689 billion).