Archive For The “Learning” Category

The uncommon reader

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We, that is people in general, seem to have a compelling desire to label. I am talking specifically about the way we give nicknames to things, nicknames that are adopted by the people, rather than created by some official. I am sure the British are in no way unique, but here naming relates to anything from a building – in…

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Sole contender

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Sole contender

Every Friday morning at 9.00am there is a race through the aisles of our Breton supermarket. Some hundred or so customers – young and old, alone or as couples – do the sixty metres dash from the shop entrance to the fish counter at the back of the store. There are a myriad routes, some contestants wriggle through…

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Tongue untied

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Tongue untied

It is said that the language we use influences the way we think and feel, and possibly even how our minds develop and decline. For those who are bilingual or more, it introduces all sorts of interesting dimensions. So when conversing, for example, there are choices to be made consciously or otherwise as to the language…

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A view from abroad

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A view from abroad

Eventually, and perhaps begrudgingly, the media and the public here in France became aware of the Scottish referendum. Then, all of a sudden, their interest came with a rush. There is a tendency in France to ignore or negate issues that they see as of ‘Anglo-Saxon’ origin, but by early September the idea that the Scottish…

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A novel experience

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A novel experience

  Throughout my adult life I have rarely read books – fiction or non-fiction – and since reading is standard fare amongst my friends, I have been very much an outsider. Then, suddenly last week, I found myself reading a book that I couldn’t put down. There were times when I continued reading for hours….

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Whistler’s mother

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Whistler’s mother

When it comes to etiquette, I’m in a muddle. I am happy to doff my hat, wait my turn in a queue or offer my seat to women in the underground, but at the same time I see a problem with the idea of politeness for politeness’ sake. To me, following rules of conduct or social…

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Vive la difference

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Vive la difference

Travelling in the rush hour is rarely pleasant. Standing, tightly packed, in an underground train is bad enough, but add to that the unique landscape and it all gets much worse. I am talking about close up views of ears, nostrils, pimples, pates and partings, plus the accompanying wafts of halitosis and last night’s alcohol….

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Grauniad of the english language

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I imagine most of us have a favourite daily newspaper and for many years mine was the Guardian. It is not everyone’s ideal – at my local supermarket the height of the Guardian’s pile each morning is less than half that of the Daily Mail – but it worked for me. Not only was it…

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