· We inquire into the etymologies of the following words – plate, platform, plateau, platypus, platitude, platinum, and platonic.

· The root word is ‘plata-’ meaning ‘flat’ in Latin.

· Plates and platforms are flat, as is a plateau (a hill or mountain with a flattish top).

· The platypus

Desmond Morris’ book The Naked Ape describes our own evolutionary history as a species, originating as a nomadic, fruit-eating primate inhabiting thick forests, gradually developing into a hunting, carnivorous ape living a settled existence on the plains. He claims that our ancestry continues to influence us, even though culture and…

· “The popular explanation of a popular custom is never to be rejected except for grave cause.”

Application in James G. Frazer’s explanation of fire-festivals among ancient European peoples:

· Description of the fire-festivals: kindling of great bonfires, leaping over them, driving cattle through or round them; races with blazing…

There once lived a dove in a forest — she had to fly many miles each day to find fruit for her chicks and would return to her nest very tired every evening.

One day, while fetching twigs with which to renovate her home, she met a magician and they…

All through his boyhood days, the hero of our story had dreamed of making a mighty voyage across the entire world, seeing new places, tasting new foods, meeting strange people, hearing tall tales… he could go on with the dream. …

· Charles Lamb calls his ear a ‘handsome volute on the human capital’, a phrase that deserves savouring for both its etymological and architectural humour.

· First the etymological: the word ‘capital’ comes from ‘caput’, Latin for ‘head’. This is the origin of terms like ‘per capita’, ‘captain’ (the head…

Leopards are solitary creatures. They meet only for the purpose of mating, unless other special circumstances prevail, which they did, there having been a three-month long drought that had left the grasslands dry and the earth crusty.

One day, at dusk, three leopards were at the same watering-hole, hoping to…

Abhishek VR

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