Learn British English with Anastassia

Exciting Adventures in the English Language and Culture

Category: To Err is Human

How Bad Punctuation Destroyed a Train Station

Image by Juan Guemez from Pixabay

Bad punctuation can be as destructive as bombs! In his book The Queen’s English and How to use it Bernard C. Lamb tells a story as amusing as it is sad about how one missing comma can have devastating consequences.

Back in 1984 a station in East Lothian, Scotland, was wrongly demolished because a comma was missing from the British Rail planning document. The list of items to preserve should have read: ‘Retain Drem Station, bridge…’ Unfortunately for the station building, the comma after ‘Station’ was missing, the station was pulled down and had to be rebuilt. The bridge survived.

Sharing is caring. If you liked this post, tell others - they may like it too!

The Three Foxes by Alan Alexander Milne

Image by Amir Boucenna from Pixabay

Alan Alexander Milne (1882 – 1956) was an English author, known in all corners of the world thanks to his books about a teddy bear called Winnie-the-Pooh. He also wrote poetry. I chose his verse The Three Foxes to share with you today because it reminds me of a curious linguistic anecdote.

Read More

Sharing is caring. If you liked this post, tell others - they may like it too!

The Mysterious Case of the Word ‘Ghost’

Have you ever questioned the purpose of the silent H in ‘ghost’? It’s absolutely useless, but there’s a great story behind it.

It goes back to William Caxton, an English merchant and diplomat, who lived in the 15th century. While in Germany, he became familiar with Gutenberg’s latest invention – the printing press, – and liked the idea so much that he set up one of his own in Flanders.

Read More

Sharing is caring. If you liked this post, tell others - they may like it too!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén