Category Archives: Did you know…?

Fun and fascinating facts about language and literature…

Did you know…there were pirates in Savannah?

     Yesterday I was in Savannah, the last stage of a Southern road trip that first took me to Charleston and to several antebellum plantations. Unfortunately, the weather did not encourage tourism: what started out as a light drizzle swiftly turned into heavy … Continue reading

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Did you know… academics are geeks?

     A fellow Ph.D student showed me this a few months ago during a particularly boring seminar (picture the two of us at the back of the room, sniggering away as unobtrusively as possible, while the lecturer droned on about… … Continue reading

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Did you know… how Adam got his apple?

     Last Saturday evening, as I was sitting in the metro on my way to dinner with friends, a group of teenage boys got into my carriage. Concerned for the box of patisseries balanced on my knee (which a previous … Continue reading

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Did you know… the meaning of “Rosa mundi”?

     It all began with the word rosarian. A week ago, I was flipping through the pages of my latest purchase, when there it was, in the short biographical description of the author. Among other things, it seemed the novelist … Continue reading

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Did you know… the origin of the word “panic”?

     There is a wonderfully expressive colloquialism in French that goes: “Je me coucherai moins bête ce soir!” which literally translates as “I’ll be going to bed less stupid tonight!”, i.e. I’ve learned something since waking up this morning. Two … Continue reading

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