In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the origins of perhaps the greatest cake-based proverb in the English language I remember being flummoxed by a number of well-known proverbs when I was very young. The first time I heard ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, […]
Tag: English Language
The Meaning and Origin of ‘Procrastination is the Thief of Time’
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the meaning of a famous proverb – and its origins in a work of literature ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’. It’s perhaps one of the best-known proverbs in the English language, and as with most proverbs, the […]
A Short Analysis of George Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’
‘Politics and the English Language’ (1946) is one of the best-known essays by George Orwell (1903-50). As its title suggests, Orwell identifies a link between the (degraded) English language of his time and the degraded political situation: Orwell sees modern discourse (especially political discourse) as being less a matter of […]
The Meaning and Origin of the Phrase ‘All That Glitters Is Not Gold’
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the meaning – and literary origins – of a well-known phrase ‘All that glitters is not gold’. Who gave us that famous expression? William Shakespeare? Thomas Gray? That prolific but elusive author, ‘Anon’?
The Mysterious Origins of the Word ‘Posh’
In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle explores the obscure and mysterious history of a now ubiquitous word If you’re sitting comfortably, how about a quick round of the Interesting Literature Friday Night Quiz of Doom? Well, all right, just a single quiz question. Ready?