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The AnswerBank Articles

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Roses are red, violets are blue

By Hermione Gray SENDING a message of love on Valentine's Day is big business in the UK. In 1999, we brought more than 23 million Valentine cards, worth nearly 39 million, according to greeting01:00 Mon 05th Feb 2001

The flowerpot men of Europe

By Hermione Gray YOU thought a flower pot was just something to keep a plant in, you would be wrong. According to the European Union flower pots must be considered as 'packaging'.01:00 Mon 05th Feb 2001

The apple of my eye - and other apples

By Hermione Gray THE APPLE is a feature of many phrases and sayings, and has long been mentioned in legends and fables. It is probably most famous for its connection with the Garden of Eden,01:00 Mon 29th Jan 2001

He couldn't run a whelk stall!

By Hermione Gray THERE are many colourful ways of describing incompetence, where a person is placed in a position far beyond his ability. One memorable saying is, 'He couldn't run a whelk stall'.01:00 Mon 29th Jan 2001

The best and worst...

By Hermione Gray HERE, at The Answer Bank, we see a wide range of questions, from the puzzling and fascinating to the frankly unbelievable. Here's a selection of the best and worst posted in Phrases01:00 Tue 20th Jun 2017

Aren't catchphrases brilliant

By Hermione Gray WHEN did it all start, the TV catchphrase As far back as 1958, the immortal, 'Here's one I made earlier,' was uttered by Blue Peter's first hosts Christopher Trace and Leila01:00 Mon 22nd Jan 2001

Telling it to the marines

By Hermione Gray 'TELL it to the marines' is used as an expression of contempt when told some implausible story. But why tell it to the marines, rather than the army or the air force Is it01:00 Mon 22nd Jan 2001

The wise men of Gotham: from where do they come

By Hermione Gray THE PHRASE 'the wise men of Gotham' has little to do with wisdom and absolutely nothing at all to do with Batman. The phrase is intended to refer to fools, although the story behind01:00 Mon 15th Jan 2001

Culture clash creates English

By Hermione Gray IT MAY seem a little unlikely, but an unpretentious Midlands city is the birthplace of the English language Until now, the only claims to fame Leicester had were Gary Lineker and01:00 Mon 15th Jan 2001

For auld lang what

By Hermione Gray IT WOULDN'T be New Year without it. Auld Lang Syne is a song to stir the sternest heart, but do you know what it means Most people have an idea that it's about old times' sake, or01:00 Mon 15th Jan 2001

The Queen's English

By Hermione Gray THE QUEEN'S English ain't what it used to be. Research compared how HRH pronounced certain words over the last 40 years. They discovered that 'estuary English' had influenced those01:00 Thu 28th Dec 2000

Wassup when ads infiltrate language

By Hermione Gray 'WHASSUP !' is a word you'll have come across a lot lately. Yelled to friends by schoolchildren and old trendies alike, it's become a universal greeting. 'Whassup !' is the01:00 Mon 25th Dec 2000

Pet hate phrases

HAVE you noticed that phrases more associated with football reporting have become the norm on daytime TV chat shows 'At the end of the day,' is practically obligatory as an opener for anyone who01:00 Mon 25th Dec 2000

Student lingo

By Hermione Gray STUDENT life is that tricky time between school and career where teenagers need all the help and support they can get to make the transition to stable adulthood. So, thousands of01:00 Mon 25th Dec 2000

Nonsense from Alicia Silverstone

By Hermione Gray ONE of the wonders of the English language is people's ability to completely butcher it. No-one knows that more so than The Plain English Campaign Awards. Founded in 1980, the01:00 Fri 22nd Dec 2000

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First Previous 8 9 10 11