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by Dermot McGrath


Culture Vulture

by Dermot McGrath November 2017


Everybody has heard this overture. Even the monkies in the jungle and the parrots in a cage know it. But maybe they don't know who wrote it, do you?  

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Which capital city is on the River Thames?


What is the name of this building and where is it?


What was the name of the dictator that was in charge of the Third Reich in Germany?

Smile for a While



IN PRISON...You spend the majority of your time in an 8 x10 cell.

AT WORK...You spend most of your time in a 6 x8 cubicle.


IN PRISON...You get three meals a day.

AT WORK...You only get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.


IN PRISON...You get time off for good behavior.

AT WORK...You get rewarded for good behavior with more work.


IN PRISON...A guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.

AT WORK...You must carry around a security card and unlock and open all the doors yourself.


IN PRISON...You can watch TV and play games.

AT WORK...You get fired for watching TV and playing games.


And on the other side we have three corny jokes. And just remember if you don't like them, don't blame me, I DIDN'T invent them.

Q. What do you call a boomerang that doesn't work?

A. A Stick


Q. What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?

A. Polaroids


Q. How do you get holy water?

A. You boil the Hell out of it

Dermot McGrath ebooks


Every journey begins with a single step.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.


Foreign words & expressions

alfresco means

Think Language

If the day before yesterday was Sunday, then the day after tomorrow will be

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

Grammar Under Hammer

A v. AN

Every elementary student of English knows that we say:

A car - A book - A Pen

but we say:

aN Apple - aN Orange - aN Idiot


Because if the word immediately after the indefinite article A begins with a vowel then we must say







by Tom Red


Some moons ago we spoke about Esperanto.

A lingua franca is, as you already know, a language which is used by two persons who need to use a third language because neither of them knows the language of the other.

Esperanto was the great  hope for a world lingua franca at the beginning of the 20th century dut despite being recognized by governments everywhere (sometimes suspiciously), it just never took off and eventually it was English that became the lingua franca Esperanto never was.

It is referred to as a  bridge or vehicular language and is used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue. The lingua franca originated to satisfy a need for commercial, diplomatic and administrative convenience. Lingua francas have existed since before recorded time. Latin and Greek, for instance, were the lingua francas of the Roman empire; French, was the language of European diplomacy from the 17th century until the mid-20th century.

Languages can exist as lingua francas and be the language of a particular country also. Urdu is the lingua franca of Pakistan as well as being the national language. And of course English is the prime example of this.

There are other important lingua francas in the world though. One of the the most famous is  Swahili. Although only around five million people speak Swahili as their mother tongue, it is widely used as a lingua franca in East Africa. The number of Swahili speakers is actually almost 150 million. Swahili is a national or official language of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda  and the Congo Republic.

There are hundreds of “dialects” in China, some so different from mainstream Chinese and from each other that they are not really dialects at all but different languages. Mandarin is the one that unites Chinese speakers, it is the lingua franca of China.




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 opinión, LPComment is merely informative.
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 made 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!