The origins of English place names

I’ve always been fascinated by place names. Annoyingly, I’m not very good at remembering the information.

When I lived in North Yorkshire, there were many pairs of places that did not quite join up with each other. I lived in one village, Asenby, that was very close to its neighbour, Topcliffe. That is a slightly unusual case, because even if the two villages had expanded to meet each other, they would still have been kept apart by the river Swale. Apparently, when the Vikings arrived, they set up their settlements near to existing places, but they kept them slightly apart. The Viking settlements all ended in “by”. The area is littered with examples:

  • Thirsk and Sowerby
  • Nothallerton and Romanby
  • Knayton and Borrowby

And there are many more.

But without this post on English place names to remind me, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which of the pair is Viking.

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Support the campaign to axe VAT on digital publications

Publishers’ Licensing Services are running a campaign to modernise the law which charges VAT on electronic books. Even though the budget is over for this time, it is still worth making the point. There are many reasons why this tax is unfair and unjustifiable, as you can see from this post, which also has a link to the petition.

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Why do we say tiptoe?

There are some interesting linguistic meanderings in this debate. Why do we say tiptoe, not toetip?

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Universal Pictures is looking for new writers

I suspect this isn’t going to be practical for most of us, but it is worth thinking about.

The Universal Writers Program is recruiting. They want people to be based at the Universal Studios Lot in Universal City, California, a year. You would work full time under a writing service agreement, full-time (at least 40 hours per week) for a year, for a salary of $72,662.

On the down side, you need to be able to work legally in the USA, which I suspect isn’t as easy as it might be.  But then, it might just be worth reading more…

The deadline is 31st October. Good luck!

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September opportunities for writers

Bridget Whelan has put together another of her lists of opportunities for writers. This time there are several jobs, as well as some competitions, so it is well worth a look.

But do it today: September is half gone already!

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How to print a personalized copy of a self-published book

Now I haven’t seen this idea before.

If you use IngramSpark, you can print a personalised copy of your book.

Find out how, and why you might want to do it, in this post.

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A round up of book marketing

Here are some posts that have caught my eye this week:

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How to stay motivated with your writing

We all need this from time to time.

How to keep motivated with your writing.

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How an author should organise their wardrobe

I have to admit that this is something that hadn’t occurred to me.

I know that businesses these days need to think about a consistent brand. And an author is a business, whether you like it or not.

And I know that when you are busy, it is a good idea to get your clothes organised.

Putting those two ideas together, you get this post about how to organise your author uniform.

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A play competition and a title generator

What a combination!

Here are a couple of gems from Bridget Whelan:

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