(What experts think about it)
(By G. Mikes)
When I arrived in England I thought I knew English. After I’d been here an hour I realised that I did not understand one word. In the first week I picked up a tolerable working knowledge of the language and the next seven years convinced me gradually but thoroughly that I would never know it really well, let alone perfectly. This is sad. My only consolation being that nobody speaks English perfectly.
Remember that those five hundred words an average Englishman uses are far from being the whole vocabulary of the language. You may learn another five hundred and another five thousand and yet another fifty thousand and still you may come across a further fifty thousand you have never heard of before, and nobody else either.
(What experts think about it)
Victor Canning (1911—1986) is a British crime and mystery writer who is famous for his spy and espionage thrillers. Canning wrote more than 50 novels and a number of short stories. Among his best works are “Panthers’ Moon”, “The Golden Salamander”, «The Whip Hand”, “Vanishing Point”, “The Boy on Platform One ”. His stories are full of excitement, suspence and humour.
Never Trust a Lady
Everyone thought that Horace Demby was a good, honest citizen. He was about fifty and unmarried, and he lived with a housekeeper who worried over his health. Actually, he was usually very well and happy except for attacks of hay fever in the summer time. He made locks and was successful enough at his business to have two helpers. Yes, Horace Demby was good and respectable — but not completely honest.
Fifteen years ago Horace had served his first and only time in prison for stealing jewels. Horace didn’t want to become honest; he only wanted to make sure that his dishonesty never got him into trouble again.
ARE THE FOLLOWSNG STORIES TRUE OR FALSE?
1. A sensational discovery has been made by two American scientists. They have found the lost personal diaries of Queen Isabella of Spain, of Lolumbus and of Montezuma. We can now recreate in detail the most important conversation between the main historical figures involved in the discovery of America.
2. In old times, animals, like people, were tried before a judge. Yes, cattle horses were sometimes hanged for their crimes. On September 5, 1379, a village swineherd in France left his young son in charge of the herd. The boy, like many other naughty children, teased the baby pigs. Naturally enough, the piglets began to squeal. Three grown-up pigs attacked the boy and killed him. Three days later, these three pigs were duly tried and executed. The Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Bold, pronounced the sentence. Before sentencing them to death, the judge considered the case of the swineherd’s other pigs. The prosecutor wanted to punish all the pigs as accomplices. The other pigs, however, were given a warning and sent home.
Who Was the First Fool?
Who started it? Did the first fools come from France, England, Sweden or India? The truth is lost in the mists of time.
Some blame it on the French when they adopted a new calendar in 546 that moved the New Year up from April 1st to January 1st. Those who did not get the word in time and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1st became known as April Fools.
Others argue that the modern April Fools’ Day began in many parts of the world at the same time, in celebration of the spring equinox.
Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a gold horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was asleep and woke her.
«There’s a unicorn in the garden,» he said. «Eating roses.»
She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him. «The unicorn is a mythical beast,” she said, and turned her back on him.
The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; he was now browsing among the tulips.
NO ONE HAS A RECIPE FOR LAUGHTER but we all recognise situations, texts or pictures which cause it. No one actually knows what humour is but many people may use it with uproarious effect and we may enjoy it. Clowns, professional entertainers, actors, writers earn their bread with it.
We all think that we have «humour” or a “sense of humour”. “Poor thing,” we say sometimes, ‘he has no sense of humour.» As a wise man once said, «Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth or a wig. How many of them will own up to a lack of humour?”
English dictionaries define humour as the quality of anything that is or seems to be funny or appeals to the comic sense or provokes laughter and the ability to understand and enjoy it.
You can play word games indoors when it’s too cold or wet to go outside, or in the garden when it’s too hot to do anything else.
The minister’s cat
The first player thinks of an adjective beginning with “A» and says, «The Minister’s cat is an Awful cat.» The next player thinks of an adjective beginning with «B» and says, «The minister’s cat is an Awful, Bold Cat,» and so on, each player calling out all the adjectives that have been used before, and then adding a new one in alphabetic order.
Anyone who makes a mistake or takes too long drops out until there is only one player — the winner — left.