This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Saturday Rave: listening to the world.

What do these lines have in common?

There's something rotten in the state of Denmark.

It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness.

No democracy can exist unless each of its citizens is as capable of outrage at injustice to another as he is of outrage at injustice to himself.

As you probably know, these lines come from, respectively, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Aristotle. As you will also probably know, this means that they were written by very different people living in very different times.

One writer was principally a playwright, one a novelist, and one a philosopher. 

Two of them wrote in English (and England) - but what do they all have in common?

Well, on this day in 1978 the works of Shakespeare, Dickens and Aristotle were all removed from the censorship list of The People's Republic of China.

And so today we can celebrate a billion people having been given an extra source of wisdom and joy.

Word To Use Today: China. This word has only been English since 1555, and to start with it was the name of the people. Where the name came from before that is still a matter of argument.

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