The Cactus Who Wanted to Be a Christmas Tree

Katie loves Christmastime. Getting presents is nice, and playing in the snow with her friends is fun, but what she likes best are all the pretty decorations...

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Sunny and Victor: Best Friends Forever

Bears and rabbits are not supposed to be friends, but the story of how Sunny Bunny and Victor Bear became “best friends forever” is a tale of friendship...

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Some Poems About Life

(30 Actually) Gems of Wit & Wisdom

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The Importance of Proofreading

This is a true story from a friend in the advertising business. He had designed a calendar for a client as a beginning-of-the-year promotion.  Each month was introduced with a wise saying.  One month’s saying was “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”   The following month’s was  “Well

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Brave New World… of Food?

Something about the menu didn’t seem quite right. We were at one of our favorite restaurants for our weekly Saturday dining-out. The menu had been redone, and one of the new offerings caught my eye. It was an appetizer: Chicken Fingers with dipping sauce $3.99 Maybe it was the fact that I was unusually alert

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Thai Words in English

Yesterday’s column piqued a friend’s curiosity. In an email he asked what Thai words that I remember have made it into English? My tour of duty in Southeast Asia was 1972-73, but I quickly remembered one word — nitnoy. It’s online in the Urban Dictionary. Nitnoy — “A little bit” – from Thai “Nit Noi”.

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Why is English So Popular?

If the English language is so idiomatic (as discussed yesterday), why does it enjoy worldwide popularity?  Language-wise, the book The Story of English gives three reasons: — Unlike all the other European languages, gender is determined by meaning, so a noun doesn’t have to be matched with the right article. For example, in French the moon

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Beware of Heard…

Beware of heard, a dreadful word That looks like beard and sounds like bird, And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead — For goodness’ sake, don’t call it deed! Presumably written by a frustrated immigrant trying to learn the language, this poem exemplifies the inconsistencies in English. As related in The Story of English

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