Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Learning | You say Biro, I say Bic

I had to look up the word biro last week. I saw it in an eBook, as part of the description of the items on a desk. (I wish I could remember which book, but I read several eBooks around that time.)  

Anyway, I learned that biro is a word for a ball point pen in the United Kingdom.  Biro was a brand name, that came to be used for all ball point pens.  You know; like how we have a tendency to refer to all facial tissues by the brand name of Kleenex.  

Insist on genuine Biro (cropped) from John Lord's photostream on Flickr.comSome rights reserved.

As I already said, I can't remember which of the eBooks I read last week had the word biro in it. But I can wholeheartedly recommend one of those books, if you are looking for a scary story for a student in grades 5-8. 

That book is Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. I read it when it was first published, in 2008, but it was so good, that I read it all over again in eBook form. I just might read it again some day. It's about a little boy named Nobody Owens, who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. My co-worker, Amy, pointed out the similarity to Mowgli, who was raised by wild animals in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Neil Gaiman recommends that his readers also read The Jungle Book.

If you decide to read, or reread, The Graveyard Book, keep your eyes peeled for the possible use of the word biro. Let me know if you see it.

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