The Queen's English
And How to Use It
Written by the President of the Queen's English Society, this practical, light-hearted guide covers the basics of grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as style, rhetoric, vocabulary and the use of foreign phrases. The author also considers the psychology of the reader, the evolution of language, spoken English and the perils of using words incorrectly.
Genealogy for Beginners
Based on the original work by Arthur Willis (1955), this book tells the beginner how to set about tracing a family history and constructing one's own pedigree. It explains how to make use of living relatives, existing clues and the internet; how and where to find written records, and what kind of information these sources can provide.
The Superior Person's Book of Words
Peter Bowler’s 'superior person' has command of words such as egregious, quotidian and uxorious, and 'we yield to him in debate, not because his arguments are more cogent, but because they are less intelligible'. This A–Z of 500 words could set the reader on the road to superiority. The definitions are accompanied by the all-important notes on usage, lest one lose lexical credibility.
An Intermediate Course
This textbook is designed to guide students progressing from basic grammatical study to the reading of passages by ancient Roman authors. Informed by Corrigan’s long experience of teaching intermediate-level classes, the book combines a thorough review of morphology and grammar with exercises on common constructions and a generous selection of poetry and prose. The texts, from such authors as Petronius, Gellius, Phaedrus and Martial, are followed by questions to test understanding and to prompt discussion of Roman literature and culture.
Barron's German-English Dictionary
With around 100,000 entries, this bilingual dictionary contains accurate listings in German–English and English–German vocabulary, using American-style English. Each entry has the headword or phrase in bold type, with translation, parts of speech and pronunciation (for both German and English). A reference section has brief grammars of both languages and bilingual lists of prefixes, irregular verbs, numerals, geographical names etc. The purchased dictionary is available to download. With thumb index and plastic covers
Barron's French-English Dictionary
With around 100,000 entries, this bilingual dictionary contains accurate listings in French–English and English–French vocabulary, using American English. Each entry has the headword or phrase in coloured type, with translation, parts of speech and pronunciation (for both French and English). A reference section has brief grammars of both languages and bilingual lists of prefixes, irregular verbs, numerals, geographical names etc. The purchased dictionary is available to download. With thumb index and plastic covers.
A Journey in Search of Language
Why is Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins ‘eleventy-one’ years old? Is Leominster named after lions or nuns? What is the origin of the idiom ‘to face the music’? As one of our foremost experts on the English language, Professor Crystal often finds himself travelling down curious and quirky linguistic side roads. This travelogue follows his explorations of the language’s history through encounters with modern-day speakers across the globe, from Anglesey to Zimbabwe.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
The Ultimate Guide to The Building Blocks of Our Universe
From hydrogen to ununoctium, this accessible guide explores the properties of each element in the periodic table, explaining their chemical behaviours – how their atoms interact with atoms of other elements – and their worldly uses, from light bulbs and mobile phones to dental fillings and space suits. The introduction explains the chemistry and physics of nuclei, electrons and chemical bonds and provides the groundwork for understanding the entries and their data.
Collins World Atlas
Beginning with a section of world maps and diagrams covering topics including landscape, climate and conflict, this atlas contains full-page, physical mapping of the continents, oceans and poles, with illustrated introductions to the physical and political geography of each major region. There is also a statistics section with a full listing of the world’s states and territories and an index of over 50,000 place names. Fifth edition.
Mensa Logic Brainteasers
Over 150 Diverse Logic Puzzles
Logic puzzles require no specialist knowledge, just the ability to follow a line of reasoning, step by step, to its ultimate conclusion. This selection of more than 150 brain-teasers ranges from verbal and mathematical riddles to visual conundrums that test your spatial reasoning as well as your powers of logic.
The Dictionary Series
'A browser's paradise', this set comprises four dictionaries: one defines and traces the origins of almost 300 commonly used words from 'accolade' to 'zoo'; another provides detailed explanations of over 400 idioms in current use; English Down the Ages starts from historical events (from 1066 to 1989) and explores how they brought new vocabulary into the language; and Proverbs and Their Origins explains the meaning and usage of 400 proverbs, chosen for their interesting etymologies and stories. Slipcased.
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.
The 25 Rules of Grammar
The Essential Guide to Good English
Grammar does matter, and Joseph Piercy argues cogently that understanding and using grammatical rules is not pedantic, but essential if we want to make ourselves understood. Presented with a very light touch, a scattering of anecdotes, and quotes from literature, his 25 rules and essential tools are lucidly explained with examples and summaries. The book ends with a quiz, a glossary and a selection of 'A Grammarian Walks into a Bar' jokes.
Dictionary of Accounting
In clear, simple English, this dictionary covers more than 6,000 terms relating to accounting, from personal finance and investments to company accounts, balance sheets and stock valuations. Many entries include examples and quotations from journals showing the words used in context, and there is a supplement with sample financial documents and a list of industry contacts.
Oranges and Lemons
Rhymes from Past Times
In the earliest recorded version of the rhyme London Bridge, from 1744, the first line is 'London Bridge is broken down', no doubt referring directly to the decrepit state of the 12th-century crossing at that date. This diverting volume investigates the origins of nursery rhymes, playground songs and children's ditties from the mists of medieval folklore to the inventions of more modern authors.
Collins Easy Learning French Verbs
Part of the bestselling Easy Learning Language series, designed for both young and adult learners, from beginners up to GCSE students, this volume is clearly laid out and contains hundreds of example phrases. There are detailed rules for verb formation and verb tables as well as a 'Verb Wheel' with conjugations of commonly used verbs. A glossary of grammatical terms aids understanding of how language is constructed.
The Language Wars
A History of Proper English
For centuries bitter arguments have raged over the correct usage of English, with ideas of correctness often having more to do with morality and politics than language itself. In a witty, combative and thought-provoking book, Hitchings presents the most persistent disputes, asking where ideas of 'proper' English have come from and assessing their implications for our relationships, work and freedoms.
Secrets of Codes
'We are all proficient cryptoanalysts' writes Paul Lunde, and his entertaining and visually exciting book demonstrates how coded information pervades our lives, whether we are learning to speak or generating keys for digital encryption. This illustrated survey of how codes of every sort have been used to convey information - from early writing systems to cutting edge computing - investigates topics as diverse as the Rosslyn Chapel, Maya symbols and flag signals, cracking Enigma, mapmaking and the genetic code.
Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary
You will need a fairly large pocket, because this is a substantial Italian/English, English/Italian dictionary, designed to meet the needs of students, tourists and anyone in need of quick and reliable translations, with the focus on everyday, idiomatic English and Italian. In addition to the main listings, this edition has an A–Z of Italian life and culture and notes on letter-writing, text messaging and online navigation in Italian.
A Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases
For this short dictionary, Tuleja has selected foreign tems that are neither completely Anglicized nor merely pedantic. From Abendland (German: 'the West') to zolotaya seredina (Russian: 'the golden middle'), he a gives a translation, pronunciation and information on meaning and history; and there is much more - among the 'Special Categories' are classical phobias, a Sanskrit sampler, Italian musical terms and fearless leaders (caliph, czar, kaiser etc). Finally, there are indexes of words and phrases and subjects.