2000

Throw Another Shrimp on the Barbie.

Some advice for those planning a trip Down Under: Beware the raw prawn! Before you go, let us guide you through the intricacies of Australian slang.

Letters to the Editors

"I always read your magazine with great interest and curiosity. I think the idea of translating difficult words is really perfect, because reading in English now makes sense. You have an ideal way of connecting pleasure with purpose" Katarzyna Surowiec, Lublin

BackWORDS

There are many uses of the word 'back'. We have selected the most common compound words and phrases used in everyday conversation to help you understand their meanings.

BACKBREAKER - any work or job which causes backaches, such as moving furniture, digging in the garden, etc. " Carrying bricks for the new barbecue was a real backbreaker ." Also," Carrying bricks was real backbreaking work."

BACKLOG - a build-up or accumulation of something, usually work. " When Harry returned to the office after a week's sick leave, he had a huge backlog of work."

Sitcom Philosophy

One of television's lasting legacies is that work of art known as the sitcom. Art? Plain folks may laugh during the funny bits, but smart people like critics are quick to condemn sitcoms as "junk food for the brain."

Close study of sitcoms reveals, however, that they are shaped by a clear set of rules with an aesthetic purpose. In other words, a sitcom can be just as much a work of art as a Shakespeare tragedy or a Moliere comedy.

Four Men and a Zebra.

On a quiet street in north London there's a zebra crossing that attracts almost as many tourists as Buckingham Palace.

Genome in a Bottle

At last the new millennium seems real. With the completion of the Human Genome Project we are finally entering the new age we all thought began on January 1 2000. For good or ill, we all will soon feel the innovations this leap in biological understanding is bringing.

Living For Dancing.

Carnival isn't over yet. As many of you are no doubt spending a lot of time dancing at parties and discos, we present here a few profiles of young people who really know how to get down and boogie.

Letters to the Professor

I am a student of German at the University of Rzeszów. Recently, I have come across a problem with the usage of the simple future tense.

For Your Reference.

How would you learn English without a dictionary? These books that we now take for granted would never have existed if it were not for the immensely hard work of a few exceptionally talented men.

"Dictionaries", said Samuel Johnson, "are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true." He should know, having been single-handedly responsible for the creation of the most famous and most influential of historical English dictionaries, A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755.

Past Deeds, Future Dreams

Travel writer Olgierd Budrewicz took a trip to Pennsylvania for a walk down memory lane with his old friend Ed Piszek, founder of the Copernicus Foundation and the World of English.

It's a Two-Horse Race to the White House

The winner takes it all - and there are no prizes for coming in second.

Irish Quotes

Continuing our Irish theme, here is a selection of quotations from a few great men of the Emerald Isle. No doubt you'll be familiar with some of them - perhaps you've even thought the same thing yourself.

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing I ever do with it. It is never of any use to oneself. - Oscar Wilde

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. - George Bernard Shaw

The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work. - W.B. Yeats

Tapping into Talent

Inspired! Dazzling! Brilliant! The Gaelforce Dance Company gave fans of Irish culture an exquisite opportunity this September to see some of the best Irish dancing in the world.

A Polish student at an English school.

Karolina (right) is currently in her second year of study at Newlands Manor School in the south of England. She tells us about her experiences in the Sixth Form of a co- educational private school.

In recent years studying abroad has become increasingly popular among Polish students. I chose to do this after I went on a language course in London during the summer of 1998. I began my education that September at Newlands Manor School in Seaford, East Sussex, where I intend to complete my 'A' Levels.

You Are What You Eat

If this old saying is true, then I' m a bowl of muesli because that' s what I had for breakfast. Obviously I' m not, but there' s a lot of truth in the proverb, though perhaps it should be modified to read" You are what and how you eat" . Food and eating habits are two of the most defining traits of a people and culture and, though Britain has a rather bad reputation in this area, meals have always been a very important part of our society.

English Football.

The National Team Sinks but the Premiership Sails On

Some of the best teams in the world are English but the national side still did badly in Euro 2000. Why was it? We take a look at the current shape of English footie.

Irish Sports

Gaelic games are the national indigenous sports of Ireland. Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular sports while camogie, handball and rounders also come under the auspices of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association).

Book Review: Lord Jim

Those who read me, know my conviction that the world ... rests on a few very simple ideas ... It rests, notably ... on the idea of Fidelity." So wrote Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), the Polish-born writer whose novels in the English language have come to be regarded as some of the greatest in English literature. Born in what is now the Ukraine, Conrad grew up with the name Konrad Korzeniowski, only changing it to be easier for English tongues to pronounce. At the age of seventeen he went away to sea, and for the next twenty years the naval life with all its hardships was to be his world.

What on Earth Are We Saying?

Every language contains its fair share of illogicalities, but English might seem to have more than most. If you have an 'ept' command of the language - read on!