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by Dermot McGrath


Culture Vulture

by Dermot McGrath February 2020


The Italian composer, Antonio Vivaldi, wrote a cebebrated work  of four pieces in 1720. Do you know its title?

Hey there, don't forget to turn off the music before you continue!


Do you know what country this is the flag of?


Who painted The Last Supper


What famous ship sank on April 15th 1912?

Smile for a While

An army major visits the sick soldiers, goes up to one private and asks:

"What's your problem, Soldier?"
"Chronic syphilis, Sir"
"What treatment are you getting?"
"Five minutes with the wire brush each day."
"What's your ambition?"
"To get back to the front, Sir."
"Good man." says the Major.

He goes to the next bed. "What's your problem, Soldier?"
"Chronic piles, Sir"
"What treatment are you getting?"
"Five minutes with the wire brush each day."
"What's your ambition?"
"To get back to the front, Sir."
"Good man." says the Major.

He goes to the next bed. "What's your problem, Soldier?"
"Chronic gum disease, Sir"
"What treatment are you getting?"
"Five minutes with the wire brush each day."
"What's your ambition?"
"To get the wire brush before the other two, Sir"

One day a man goes to a pet shop to buy a parrot. The assistant takes the man to the parrot section and asks the man to choose one. The man asks, ''How much is the yellow one?''

The assistant says, ''$2000.'' The man is shocked and asks the assistant why it's so expensive. The assistant explains, ''This parrot is a very special one. He knows typewriting and can type really fast.''

''What about the green one?'' the man asks.

The assistant says, ''He costs $5000 because he knows typewriting and can answer incoming telephone calls and takes notes.''

''What about the red one?'' the man asks.

The assistant says, ''That one's $10,000.''

The man says, ''What does HE do?''

The assistant says, ''I don't know, but the other two call him boss.''

Dermot McGrath ebooks


He who laughs last... probably didn't understand the joke

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any

Foreign words & expressions

If you don't know what a robot is, its quite possible that you are one. Science fiction movies are full of them. But what language does the word robot originally come from?

Think Language

You go first, Tom, and then I'll follow you, says Mary

Having read the above sentence, which of the following options do you think is correct?


If you don't agree with Tom Red's Language Logic, just send him a message to lpdermot@gmail.com and he will reply to you.

Grammar Under The Hammer

Don't say!
I am teacher
Only the indians speak like that!
I am A teacher



by Tom Red

The First Constitution


What is arguably the most important legal document in history was written in the The English language and was called The First Constitution.

Many British historians will proudly tell you that 800 years ago the first ever political constituion was written and signed in Windsor England. Its name is Magna Carta, meaning the great charter. It officially came into force on 15th June, 1215 when King John of England and his Barons agreed upon its contents. The purpose of the Magna Carta was to make England a fairer "more" equal country. It was born in a time of exploitation, unfair justice systems and conflict between the King and the landowners of the time. The majority of English people believed that the King had too much power and working people had no liberty. It was written on parchment made from dried sheepskin, and essentially its aims were to protect religious freedom, to promote freedom of tradtition in differnt cities and to guarantee that every man has the right to a trial from his equals before he is charged with a crime. The document has been translated from old English into modern English and perhaps the most importat extract is: "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights of possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land."

Although, it is not directly used today in English law today, it is historically significant and forms the basis for many values in law and society worldwide. The most common question people ask about Magna Carta is why would the king authorise a document that reduces his power? No one is certain why King John did this, but most historians assume that he was aware a violent revolution would happen if things continued as they were. The Magna Carta was used in writing both the American Constitution and European Human Rights Act more than 600 years after it was completed. It cannot be argued that it hasn't had a lasting legacy and its key principles are good ones.



First and foremost, The Moonday Times is a magazine aimed at helping students practise their English. They say studying improves brain and mind. Great!
But for some, it’s like eating half-cooked broccoli every day because it’s good for your body. Ughhh! Not great!

Of course there are many factors at play.

Study is associated with school. We were forced to learn when we were small because, basically, the more knowledge we possessed, the better our chances were of getting a good job. Study was a necessity, it was never intended to be a pleasure.

But as we got older, the accumulation of knowledge became a choice, free from the constraints of exams. Almost all of us in the Western world have become self-learners to a greater or lesser extent and we gather all manner of facts and figures that interest us from sport to the night sky.
The 3 Rs (Reading – wRriting – aRithmetic) provided us with letters and numbers, the basic tools to explore the world far beyond our own personal experiences. They allowed us to assimilate facts and they spawned our fantasies. They engendered desires and inspired our dreams. We know about events that occurred hundreds and thousands of years ago and venture to speculate about things that might occur far in the future. But the present is a cornucopia of happenings some of which, if we are lucky, we can experience live at home or abroad. Even If we’re not so lucky to be in the exotic country of our dreams or in the stadium to watch the big match, smartphones and space-age watches keep us updated in real time. Yet, many of us are just as happy to relegate the reception of information to the tv screens and computers of our own living rooms.
My bi-monthly magazine, The Moonday Times is not primarily designed to teach you anything. I myself have to research, learn and double check many facts before I write each edition.
Rather, it is designed to test in a fun way all that knowledge you yourself have (or have not) accumulated of your own choosing during your life.

The MOONDAY TIMES brings you 8 main sections, viz.

Swish – this is a quick fact in English which may surprise foreign learners, e.g.
BRUNCH is a combnination of BReakfast and lUNCH
Oneliners – “I have nothing to declare except my genius,” said Oscar Wilde to custom offficials on entering the U.S
Smile For a While – you can read jokes in English. The idea is that they will make you smile but sometimes the jokes are so bad that you want to cry (we call these corny jokes)
Foreign Words and Expressions – In this section you will read the meaning of words like ad hoc and see it in a sample sentence
Grammar Under the Hammer – Check your Grammar level and grasp of Semantics – 5 levels - Beginner to Native Speaker
LPComment - Guest writer Tom Red talks about a topical subject or event. As distinct from newspapers which voice an opinion, LPComment is merely informative. ; it is not meant to be an editorial.
Culture Vulture – This is the main section and is divided into 4 categories, Music – Arts –History and Geography There are 4 levels - easy to very difficult.
THINK LANGUAGE is a special section I have invented so that you can test your ability to understand the logic of the English language by using your grammar skills and deducing the correct connotation of words and expressions.

Language is very similar to mathematics in the sense that grammar structures will combine with definitive word meanings to produce a given result, e.g.

Simple structure – easy concept:

I’ll arrive at the station at 8 o’clock.

Complex structure – difficult concept:

If I had had time, I would have gone to the supermarket.

However difficult this second sentence may prove for foreign students of English, even the most academically uneducated native speaker will express it correctly. Both structure and concept have been deeply ingrained in her language brain since childhood.

So come on, test your Language logic with Think Language!
Aaand, as ever…