I was playing hide and seek with the kids in Fyren, the local park, yesterday and I got talking to one of the other dads. Hearing that I worked with English, he asked me if I knew which words were the only completely interchangeable synonyms in English. It was something he’d learnt in school and had never forgotten.
Of course I didn’t.
The answer was gorse, furze and whin: all of which describe ulex europaeus.
A useful ice breaker at a dinner party if you’re sitting next to an English teacher and really can’t think of anything interesting to say. Otherwise, not a desperately useful fact.
But our heads are, I suspect, full of this sort of thing. Nuggets, reverently saved from schooldays.
Richard of York won battles in vain. That sort of thing.
Anyone else got any treasured facts learnt at school, useful or useless, that they’ll never forget?