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by Dermot McGrath


Culture Vulture

by Dermot McGrath January 2021


Who wrote this very popular Christmas melody for children?


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


Where would you find Father Christmas's home?



What do you put on top of a Christmas tree?


In what year do people believe Jesus Christ was born?

Smile for a While


It's three days before Christmas and it's late at night. Two social workers are walking along a dark narrow street when they hear someone in a doorway crying for help.

“Oooh, please help me, please ...help me someone, please…

They quickly go to investigate. They find a horrific scene. A semi-conscious man is lying in a pool of blood.

 "Oh, help me, please, three men have stolen my children's Christmas presents and my money and kicked me all over my body. Oooh, my head, my stomach, oooh, I think ...I’m going to die”

They go on their knees and examine him carefully. Yes, the poor man is in a really bad state. They are both utterly shocked.

But suddenly the two social workers get up, turn and leave in a hurry. As they go, one of them says to her colleague:

"You know the people who did this really need help. We must find them fast before Christmas!"



Well, reader, l think you know what a corny joke is from previous editions. If not, suffice to say that it is a silly joke - instead of laughing, you want to cry :-(

So, here's a CORNY CHRISTMAS joke:  

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.
"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes  Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said. "You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells." Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates."
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's nylons.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
The man replied, "They're Carol's."


Well, reader, are you laughing or are you crying? Me? I'm crying, boo hoo!!!

I swear, that joke is enough to spoil my Xmas :-(

Ok, ok, so you like it. I'm sorry. Well, it takes all kinds to make a world...


Dermot McGrath ebooks


Christmas is not about opening our presents, but opening our hearts.

There has only been one Christmas, the rest are anniversaries.

Foreign words & expressions

Shèngdàn kuài lè is Merry Christmas in which language

Think Language

“I’ll speak to the doctor if I can and then I’ll tell you the news” John said to Mary.
From this sentence we know that:

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

Some LP Elementary Students don’t know that:

You can’t say ASK TO


But you can say ASK FOR something.

John asked her for money.


by Tom Red

The Spirit of Christmas, goodwill and cheer for all.

Christmas means many things to different people. It is celebrated in different ways around the world. But most people would agree that it is a time to be nice to each other and enjoy life. There is a famous story in Northern Europe about how the spirit of Christmas entered the hearts of many people in some of the saddest times.

You may know this story.

It was 1914 and Europe was at war. Thousands of English and German soldiers had already died on the Western Front in Belgium and France. Soldiers on both sides  were tired, cold, miserable, hungry and they had not seen their families for a long time.
However, on the 24th of December something magical happened. These two armies, who had been trying to kill each other for months, decided Christmas was more important than war. The Germans decorated their trenches with leaves and then sent a message to the British asking to stop the fighting for Christmas. Soon afterwards, both armies could be heard singing Christmas carols. At first, the soldiers used the ceasefire, aka truce, to collect the dead bodies of other soldiers. But soon they began talking to their enemy, sharing food, laughing and having fun. At one point someone brought a football out and the two nations had a Christmas football match.

This story came to light when an English man discovered a letter from his uncle, Sergeant Clement Barker describing the events. The last survivor of this event, Bertie Felstead, died in 2001 aged 106.




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…