Wednesday 15 November 2017

Grandstanding Bandstands

A while back I was doing some research into the age of a bandstand in Bristol. It was for a work of historical fiction - I needed to know whether it would have been there at the time my characters were.

I stumbled across a really helpful website by Paul Rabbitts, which includes a database dating bandstands in the UK.

He's just launched a crowdfunder to publish a book on the subject, and I wanted to give it a shout out. You can donate to the project here.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

The Allusionist

My new favourite podcast at the moment is The Allusionist hosted by Helen Zaltzman. It explores all aspects of etymology (the origin of words). Here's a sample episode about why you can't trust dictionaries. You might also like to check out the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Grammatical Fuckwittery

I was just reading a post on a page I follow. The question was: What grammatical rules do you struggle with?

Where does the list begin? 

Here's my top five:
  1. Remembering that adjectives are hyphenated before a noun but not as nouns (stained-glass window, the stained glass). 
  2. I often find myself editing sentences where I spend far more time than I should figuring out if it's 'and I' or 'and me.' 
  3. Capitalisation, and what counts as a true noun, annoys me like nothing on earth. I don't care what anybody says - it's internet. 
  4. All right (because everyone known in a decade it's going to be alright, right?).
  5. The fuckwittery between US and UK English, especially enrolled/enroled (US/UK) when it's the other way around for traveled/travelled (US/UK) - I mean, seriously, WTF?

Drop a comment and let me know yours.

Friday 10 November 2017

Silky Cover

I would just like to say that the cover for Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads is one of the loveliest things I've set eyes on in quite some time.

Monday 6 November 2017


My new housemate is a cocktail expert. He's trying out a few things for a local bar. 'Write drunk, edit sober,' - but what are you supposed to do with the hangover?