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British Comedy

"British humour" is another way of saying in Poland that something is "not funny." But the British are proud of their humour. Its unique mixture of surrealism, satire and just plain silliness is one of things that define the British character. But, as humour - like bad wine - does not travel very well, Colin Graham gives you a guide to the things that make the British laugh.

Best Wishes for 2004 from Our Publisher

The old year is drawing to a close, and a new one is looming on the horizon. That is the time when we all tend to look back at the preceding 12 months and start thinking about what may lie ahead in 2004. Some of you have been with us for quite some time, others have begun reading The World of English© only just recently, but wondering about the future is something everyone has in common.

Scotland - Land of the Brave

If you' re not afraid of the weather, Scotland can be one of the most beautiful and fascinating of travel destinations. The stunning landscape and rich history could keep a holidaymaker happy for months, so long as he or she isn' t the type that likes doing nothing but lying on the beach. Even so, Scotland does have more than its fair share of sea and sand; it' s just a little short on the sun. So if you' re brave enough to weather the land of the brave, read on!

Bonnie Prince Billy

Next year Scotland will be welcoming Prince William, a brave new royal, to study at St Andrews University, and history will be made.

Can You Speak Gullah?

Living off the Sea Islands, by the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida, is the Gullah Nation - a community of African descendants who were once enslaved. The area is relatively isolated, which has meant that the language and culture of the Gullah people has survived almost intact since slaves were brought to America from Africa hundreds of years ago. James Daniels, who grew up in South Carolina, reports.

See if you can understand these common expressions in Gullah.

Sitcom Philosophy

One of television's lasting legacies is that work of art known as the sitcom. Art? Plain folks may laugh during the funny bits, but smart people like critics are quick to condemn sitcoms as "junk food for the brain."

Close study of sitcoms reveals, however, that they are shaped by a clear set of rules with an aesthetic purpose. In other words, a sitcom can be just as much a work of art as a Shakespeare tragedy or a Moliere comedy.

Whose Music is it Anyway?

Napster, Gnutella, Reflecter: it sounds like the latest line of chocolate products. But these computer programs are revolutionizing the world of web music - and giving the record industry the fright of their lives.

You never know what a kid will come up with, given the proper tools.

Amelia: Film Review

Amelia(Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) was one of the definite highlights of this year's 17th Warsaw International Film Festival. This long awaited feature by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the director of Delicatessen, was a great hit with critics and audiences alike, and has now been released in cinemas across Poland. Amelia is a must-see for all demanding cinemagoers who expect more from a film than merely entertainment. Posters advertising the film claim that the film's heroine, Amelia, could change your life. And this might actually be the case.

An Amazing Story

After reading this story, be careful where you ski this winter - and remember to wrap up warm, because miracles don't fall off trees, and this is truly a miraculous story of life returning from an icy grave.

The Mormons of Utah

"This is the place" were the now famous words uttered by Brigham Young in 1846, establishing the Mormon Church in the area of Salt Lake City, Utah. Recently the location of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, this is also the first time the Mormon Church in Utah has had widespread exposure in the international media. Known for not drinking tea or coffee, and for men having many wives, the reality of the Mormon faith is even more complex and interesting.

Visiting Australia.

Thinking of a trip Down Under? Find out what you really need to know.

If you arrive in Sydney any time in September this year, you'll be in good company. The world's attention will be focused squarely on the Olympic City, which is expecting around 120,000 visitors for the Olympic Games on 15 September - 1 October. The pace will not slow down much in October, with the Paralympics also running in Sydney on 18 - 29 October. All in all, this is shaping up as a very big year for Australia.

Mad about sport

Brave New World?

"Time to die," says Roy Batty in the final scenes of the film Blade Runner. This seems to be the motto of all artists who envisage the future. As the third millennium begins we take a look at some scifi images of the world to come.

What a Wonderful World

Brody Gets an Oscar, Madonna Gets a Raspberry

From Rags to Riches

"Charity Begins at Home" or so the old axiom goes. But does it really? For the many homeless of Britain it begins where they live - on the street.

Different countries have different traditions when it comes to charity. Christmas is a time when attention is particularly focused on the notion of philanthropy. In Poland on Christmas Eve many households leave a place set at the table for the lonely or those without a family of their own. How often does the seat get filled? Who can say?

Celebrations World-Wide

As well as public holidays and religious feastdays thatfall on afixed date or in a particular period, certainanniversaries are regularly celebrated. This year, for example, marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Polish-born composer Fryderyk Chopin and is being celebrated as Chopin Year with special concerts and exhibitions. Recently, the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War wasobserved with speeches, military parades, patrioticassemblies andwreath-laying ceremonies. Let us now look at some of the holidays celebrated during autumn in different countries.

Living For Dancing.

Carnival isn't over yet. As many of you are no doubt spending a lot of time dancing at parties and discos, we present here a few profiles of young people who really know how to get down and boogie.

Staś's Page

Some linguists claim that the Polish language is the second most difficult language to master..... and I won' t argue with that. One of the many reasons I find it so difficult is that the Polish lexicon contains a zillion Zs ... and if you think that I' m exaggerating ...check out these facts:

COLLINS S£OWNIK POLSKO-ANGIELSKI, edited by Jacek Fisiak (The World of English consultant), lists 2,289 Polish words beginning with the letter Z. Its companion dictionary ANGIELSKO-POLSKI contains a grand total of 38 English words that begin with the letter Z.

Nobody's Perfect

"Nobody' s perfect" - the last words of the Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot are all too true when we speak a foreign language. Everybody makes mistakes when they talk to foreigners no matter how good their command of the language. Here are a few amusing mistakes made recently by learners of English. We have also included a couple made by native English speakers desperately trying to learn Polish.

Piotr and Monica

Rule Britannia?

Rule Britannia? In the 19th century, Britain was one of the most powerful nations on Earth. This was due to the size of its Empire. With territories on every continent, the colonies comprised 25% of the world's area and population. That is why people used to say: "The sun never sets on the British Empire."

Peter Gentle

Letters to the Professor

I am a student of German at the University of Rzeszów. Recently, I have come across a problem with the usage of the simple future tense.