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Wife on Earth

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Wife on Earth

The Cosmic Shambles Network

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Celia Jesson, a repressed housewife from Upper Lowing, has been encouraged to do a book-based podcast to promote the local library in nearby Lower Upping, because no one else wants to do it. It’s too much of a time commitment. Created and performed by Joanna Neary. Part of the Cosmic Shambles Network.
 
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This week's episode is a young readers special. Robin chats to author Louie Stowell about her new book for younger readers, Otherland and is also joined by high school librarian Julie Baugh. They chat about what kids and young adults are reading today, which classics are still popular, the importance of libraries, the wonderful Usborne series of bo…
 
The sounds of certain words make us think of things that are big or small, round or spiky, and the tendency is nearly universal. For example, people can often pick words that refer to something big or small even in languages they don't speak. Here's why. Plus, we look at the ways people sometimes overuse the word "of" and how to fix it. | Subscribe…
 
"Strollout," "insurrection," "yassify," "hard pants" and other words of the year for 2021. | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. |Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. |Peeve Wars card game. |Grammar Girl books. |HOST: Mignon Fogarty |VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL (833-214-4475) |Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast …
 
Last year Dara McAnulty, at just 16 years of age, won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Coincidentally, that category was presented by us at The Cosmic Shambles Network, so today, as Dara’s second book, Wild Child, hits shelves he took time out from studying for his maths exam next week to come on the podcast to chat to Robin…
 
Was that uncle who wiped the floor with you in a card game a cardsharp or a card shark? Also, we look at what it is about using "they" as a singular pronoun that makes it sometimes stand out and sometimes get overlooked. | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. |Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. |Peeve Wars card game. |Grammar Gi…
 
Our traditional end of year wrap up of the best things the Shambles crew read in 2021. The books don't have to have been released in 2021 of course, just read this year. With Josie on maternity leave Robin holds down the fort with loads of special guests including Chris Hadfield, Helen Czerski, Anil Seth, Isy Suttie, Steve Backshall, Helen Zaltzman…
 
I have a big metaphorical pile of questions from listeners in which the answers are too short to be a whole podcast segment, so today, I'm going to string them together and do a bunch of quick hits. We'll talk about color idioms, formatting bullet points, and the words "fulsome," "presently," "anyways," "afterward," and more. | Subscribe to the new…
 
Today we use milk and cookies for Santa to figure out when compound subjects are singular or plural. We also invent a new language term: santaback. We hope you'll share your examples! | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. |Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. |Peeve Wars card game. |Grammar Girl books. |HOST: Mignon Fogarty |VOIC…
 
Accomplished mystery writer Lori Rader-Day was drawn to the story of children who were evacuated to Agatha Christie's vacation home during WWII, but having never written a historical novel before, she faced challenges. We talk about what she learned along the way while working on "Death at Greenway." | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular update…
 
|HOST: Mignon Fogarty |VOICEMAIL: 833-214-GIRL (833-214-4475) |Grammar Girl is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast network. |Theme music by Catherine Rannus at beautifulmusic.co.uk. |Links: https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/ https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/podcasts https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe https://www.tiktok.com/@therealgr…
 
Does your group use shibboleths? Plus, I'll help you avoid common embarrassing greeting card mistakes. | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe | Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. https://j.mp/3oooKmK | Peeve Wars card game. http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/grammar-girl-s-peeve-wars |…
 
This week Robin chats to US author Jessica Nordell about her Royal Society Prize shortlisted book, The End of Bias. Back when Jessica was a journalist she struggled to get a particular, timely article published by any national print. Until she submitted it under the name J.D. Nordell, instead of Jessica, and it was accepted immediately. Thus began …
 
Amirite? You have the tickets, don't you? Today we talk about those tiny questions at the end of sentences, what purpose they serve, and who is most likely to use them. Plus, we tackle that anxiety producting punctuation mark, the semicolon. | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe | Watch my Lin…
 
Louis Barfe is an author and former journalist who has written some of the most lauded biographies of classic British comedians. He has written some of the definitive life stories of the likes of Les Dawson and Ken Dodd and in his latest book, Sunshine and Laughter, he tells the unique story of one Britain's most loved double acts, Morecambe and Wi…
 
In this week's podcast, we discuss why you should never call your girlfriend your penultimate friend. Plus, we have fun and fascinating facts about Caesar and some of the phrases he gave us, such as "veni, vidi, vici" and "crossing the Rubicon." | Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/subscribe | Watch my…
 
Author Zena Barrie joins Book Shambles today to chat to Robin about her first novel, Your Friend Forever. They chat about what made the former theatre manager write her first book, how autobiographical it is and how in her youth she would write to loads of celebrities although the only people that ever replied was Kelloggs, the cereal company. Ther…
 
WWII was a rich source of new words for the English language. Before the 1940s, you couldn't tell an eager beaver to shut his pie hole while you were being debriefed by the head honcho. And you'll be amazed by the origin of the word "Jeep." And in honor of NaNoWriMo—because you have to name so many things in fiction—we talked about the most common …
 
Today, I talked with Saraciea Fennell, who works in publishing, is behind the Bronx Book Festival, and is also the editor of a new anthology, "Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed," featuring essays from an all-star line-up of Latinx writers. We discussed the thought that goes behind ordering the essays in an anthology, the challenges of trying to edit writ…
 
Robin's science book came out the same day last month as Adam Rutherford and Hannah's Fry first book together, Rutherford and Fry's Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything. The Cosmic Shambles Network is also looking after Robin's 100 Bookshop Tour and working with JSM Events' Rutherford and Fry tour so it just makes sense to bring it all together …
 
The words tombstone and gravestone used to refer to large stone slabs that served as a lid for a tomb or covering for a grave. Also, the human scream has a very particular sound that makes it especially scary (and it's a sound shared by the music in scary movies). Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing c…
 
It's our Halloween special and sometimes co-host Bec Hill returns to Book Shambles today to talk to Robin about her new kids horror book, The Slime, the first in a 13 book series called Horror Heights! They talk about creating the series, creativity in lockdown, favourite fictional slime, the influence of RL Stine and Paul Jennings and the joy of g…
 
Have you noticed people switching to the present tense when they're telling stories? It actually has a name: It's called the "historical present tense." This is the article we mentioned if you want to read more about the historical present tense: Schiffrin, Deborah. 1981. Tense variation in narrative. Language 57(1). 45-62. Subscribe to the newslet…
 
On today's episode Robin is joined by the writer, editor and broadcaster Liz Frazer to talk about her new book, and bestseller, Coming Clean: A True Story of Love, Addiction and Recovery. They chat about the different faces and perception of alcoholism in individuals and society, mental health, the importance of diaries and how recovery applies to …
 
Many words we use every day are actually trademarks. Did you know about all the words we talked about today? Plus, we talk about some really weird spellings and dunk on "Eats, Shoots & Leaves." Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Peeve Wars card g…
 
Our favourite Canadian returns to the podcast this week, it's astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. Chris has just released his first ever work of fiction, a historical thriller titled The Apollo Murders. He joins Robin, and guest co-host Helen Czerski, to talk about his favourite thrillers, what it was like moving into the world of fiction, making s…
 
Researchers and companies are harnessing computers to identify the emotions behind our written words. While sentiment analysis is far from perfect, it manages to distill meaning from huge amounts of data — and could one day even monitor mental health. In the second segment of this episode, we answer a listener question about the word "schnozz": is …
 
Robin Ince's brand new book The Importance of Being Interested: Adventures in Scientific Curiosity is out TODAY! Go grab a signed copy from our bookshop now at cosmicshambles.com/bookshop. To celebrate we did a livestream launch event early this week with Robin talking about the book with our Shambles chum, musician, composer and comedian Tim Minch…
 
In the world of great debates, there is one that has been long enduring and still keeps language prescriptivists awake at night: Is it "tom-ay-to" or "tom-ah-to"? Now, this may not seem as pressing as whether nuclear fusion is possible, but to people in the linguistic trenches, it is pretty darn close. After all, how many linguistic pronunciation a…
 
Francesca Stavrakopoulou was a guest on the first series of Tips for Existence and now that her first book, God: An Anatomy, has just been released we'd excited to have her on Book Shambles with Robin and Josie to talk about it. They chat about how Francesca had to write the book she wished existed when she was in university, why examining God upse…
 
The author of "The Language of Leadership," Joel Schwartzberg, explains how you can make small tweaks to your language to make a big difference in your influence. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Grammar Pop iOS game. Peeve Wars card game. Gram…
 
On this week’s episode our guest is Kathryn Mannix, a palliative care doctor and author. Kathryn self proclaims that her Mastermind subject would be death, and in her new book Listen she uses her years of experience to deconstruct our difficulty with difficult conversations. This conversation, on the podcast, isn’t difficult but why is it so hard t…
 
Based on the history of who was sailing the high seas, it's a good bet pirates sounded a lot more multicultural than Ol’ Long John Silver would have us believe. We also discuss when you need a comma before "because" to avoid confusion. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. Join the conversation …
 
This week our guest couldn't make the interview at the very last minute. Which was unfortunate because obviously we wanted to talk to them and also it meant we didn't have an episode for this week. So since Robin and Josie were already on the Zoom call, they just interviewed each other for half an hour. Hope you enjoy. Normal service will resume ne…
 
Instead of grinding your teeth about "very unique," pat yourself on the back for recognizing a widespread case of lexical broadening. Plus, we talk about why some people capitalize "Delta variant" and some don't. Subscribe to the newsletter for regular updates. Watch my LinkedIn Learning writing course. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter…
 
James Baldwin is one of the most recommended and discussed authors on this podcast so this week's guest is someone who literally wrote the book on Baldwin. Eddie Glaude is a Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and his latest book is Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. he talks to Robin …
 
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