Quote of the day!


Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.

L.M. Montgomery

November 30, 1874: Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery’s most enduring character is the irrepressible Anne-with-an-e, who remains so popular that Prince Edward Island, where the Anne of Green Gables series is set, is now a popular destination for literary tourists. Montgomery was born there 139 years ago today.


Happy Wednesday! Here’s your quote of the day…


Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.

Bill Nye

November 27, 1955: Happy 58th birthday, Bill Nye! Best known for his PBS show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Nye has also been a working engineer. He helped develop the MarsDial, an interplanetary sundial currently used on the Mars Rover.

It’s the start of a new week! Hope you have a good Monday, here’s your quote of the day…


Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man.

Leonard Woolf

November 25, 1880: Though he was an influential literary figure in his own right and part of the famed Bloomsbury group, Leonard Woolf is best known as Virginia Woolf’s husband. He was born in London, 133 years ago today.

Hope wherever you are in the world you’re having a wonderful Sunday! Here’s your quote of the day…


What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything.

Laurence Sterne

November 24, 1713: Irish writer Laurence Sterne penned the wildly popular comic serial novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, and inadvertently spawned some of the first fan fiction when other writers published pamphlets that took place in the Shandean world. Sterne was born 300 years ago today and shares a birthday with my beautiful daughter, Emma! (Born 4 years ago today) 🙂

Happy Saturday everyone! Here’s your quote of the day…


Some nights the sky wept stars that quickly floated and disappeared into the darkness before our wishes could meet them.

Ishmael Beah

November 23, 1980: Happy 33rd birthday, Ishmael Beah! His memoir, A Long Way Gone, tells of his boyhood as a child soldier in Sierra Leone. He is now at work on a novel, due out next year, that explores the aftermath of civil war.


Happy Thursday everyone! Here’s a quote of the day…


What a pity every child couldn’t learn to read under a willow tree…

Elizabeth George Speare

November 21, 1908: American children’s book writer Elizabeth George Speare was born in Massachusetts, 105 years ago today. Most of her historical novels, like The Witch of Blackbird Pond, are set in her native New England.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Here’s your quote of the day…


I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.

Sharon Olds

November 19, 1942: Happy 71st birthday, Sharon Olds! The poet was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for her raw, candid, intensely emotional work.

An aitch or a haitch? Let’s ’ear it.

Sentence first

The oddly named letter H is usually pronounced ‘aitch’ /eɪtʃ/ in British English, but in Ireland we tend to aspirate it as ‘haitch’ /heɪtʃ/. In my biology years I would always have said ‘a HLA marker’, never ‘an HLA marker’. This haitching is a distinctive feature of Hiberno-English, one that may have originated as an a hypercorrection but is now the norm in most Irish dialects.

A search on IrishTimes.com returned 1,946 hits for ‘a HSE’ and 92 for ‘an HSE’ (HSE = Health Service Executive), excluding readers’ letters and three false positives of Irish-language an HSE ‘the HSE’. Even allowing for duplications, this shows the emphatic preference for aspirating H in standard Hiberno-English. Haitchers gonna haitch.

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