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Applied Linguistics M.A., language geek living and working in South Korea. All about UK culture, Korean life, cross-cultural differences and English language.

Like most people, since graduating, I’d been grinding out those long five (or sometimes six) day work weeks. At the beginning of 2021, I landed a gig that only required me to show up Monday to Thursday and it changed my life.

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There’s been a lot of talk in the media these last months about the ‘four day workweek’, with writers clamouring to extol the virtues of shortened working hours. According to Forbes magazine, a recent survey purports that “nine out of ten people believe the five-day workweek is outdated”. …

Growing up as a punk rocker in the 90s, I used to hear my favourite bands bang on about how awful the peace and love brigade were. I still sort of agree, but where did this antagonism come from?

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Punks and Hippies were two of the biggest and most influential counter-culture movements to spring up in the 20th century. You know- the smelly long haired stoners and the angry, spiky little buggers.

Many would say that there are clear similarities between the two; the drug use (albeit very different…

I’m heading overseas next month to visit family I haven’t seen in two years. But every day, I see images of horrific forest fires and deadly floods on the news. Should I feel guilty for going?

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Listen. It’s been years ok? Literally years for most of us. Whether you’ve been in lockdown or self-isolating from Covid-19, the chances you’ve been on a long-haul flight (or any flight for that matter) recently are slim. For the last two years or so, I’ve been walking, biking and taking…

We’ve all seen Zoom interviews with people sitting in front of well-stocked bookcases. But why do so many of us like to make our book collections the centre of attention?

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How many books do you own? Have you ever counted? Are they lovingly arranged in alphabetical order on your bookshelves or are they strewn across desks and coffee tables? Do you take a Marie Kondo-like approach, who famously suggests getting rid of the majority of your books, presumptuously telling us…

British politician Lord Digby Jones savaged TV presenter Alex Scott over her accent this week. But was he right to criticise her or is he living in the past?

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The legendary linguist David Crystal in his book “A Little Book of Language”, estimates that only 5% of the population of…

As the planet’s population expands and our lust for consumption reaches new heights, some of the raw materials needed for our very survival are running low…

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Let’s face it; we’re squeezing our planet dry. We’re wringing every last drop of goodness and sustenance out of the soil in the pursuit of profit and in the name of greed. …

In trying to set up my own online tutoring business I’ve been hit with a never-ending array of roadblocks and issues. Here’s what I’ve learned so far about trying to go it alone on the big bad world wide web…

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The more time you spend on social media sites, the more googling you do, the more the magic algorithms figure out what you’re all about. Pretty soon, you’re confronted with some hard to ignore advertising that in some cases, is very tough to scroll past.

Over the Summer, I spent…

When we put our apartment on the market, the last person we expected to come through the door to take a look was Hong Seok-cheon, one of Korea’s most famous celebrity chefs…

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Being gay is tough in Korea. There are very few openly gay people visible in the media and on television, and the subject is often swept under the carpet, as it is in many parts of the world. The national school curriculum excludes any mention of homosexuality in their sex…

In the sweltering August of 2014, I took it upon myself to cycle the length of South Korea, from my house in Itaewon, central Seoul, 600 kilometres to Busan, Korea’s second city on the south coast. Would I make it?

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One would think that in a city of ten million, where the residents, quite literally live on top of each other, being in such close quarters would breed familiarity and cooperation. To get along in such cramped confines, surely people must help each other out — keep an eye open…

In Korea it is not uncommon to wake up at 4 a.m., teach yourself English or Chinese, tutor your children before school, get yourself and the kids ready to go, work a full ball-busting ten to twelve-hour day, and then go out on a mandatory drinking session with the boss until eleven or twelve at night…

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There is a tendency in Korea to be swept up and find oneself bobbing along on a rip tide of constant change, barely able to keep your head above water. You hear a lot on news programmes and documentaries about bustling Asian cities, vast neon metropolises that never sleep. …

Nicholas H. Simpson

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