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I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School Hardcover – 22 May 2008


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I Used to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School + A Classical Education: The Stuff You Wish You'd Been Taught At School + My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O'Mara (22 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843173093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843173090
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2.3 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Caroline Taggart worked in publishing as an editor of popular non-fiction for 30 years before being asked by Michael O'Mara Books to write I USED TO KNOW THAT, which became a Sunday Times bestseller. Following that she co-wrote MY GRAMMAR AND I (OR SHOULD THAT BE 'ME'?) As a result of these books and HER LADYSHIP'S GUIDE TO THE QUEEN'S ENGLISH, published by the National Trust, she has appeared frequently on BBC Breakfast and on national and regional radio, talking about language, grammar and Pythagoras's theorem. Her recent books include THE BOOK OF ENGLISH PLACE NAMES and THE BOOK OF LONDON PLACE NAMES, both published by Ebury Press, and A SLICE OF BRITAIN: AROUND THE COUNTRY BY CAKE from AA Publishing. The Sunday Times described this as 'engaging, greedy and droll'. As a result of this latest project she is visiting food and literary festivals around the country, talking about cake. Her website is carolinetaggart.co.uk and you can follow her on Twitter @citaggart.

Praise for Caroline Taggart's books:
- "Caroline Taggart...has carved out a niche for herself in user-friendly, wittily written factual books" - Yorkshire Post
- "Taggart's conversational style is well judged, and her research superb." londonist.com
- "fun and witty" - Essentials
- "a fascinating read and you might even learn a few things you missed out on first time around" - Townswoman Magazine
- "a fascinating book" - She Magazine
-

Product Description

Review

a droll personal audit of how much - or how little - of school learning lingers on into later life... it is not only fun to dip into, it is a mine of useful information... It's all there, easily found, clearly laid out (The Oldie)

Amusing but useful... I am not the only one planning to keep it on my desk to avoid any intellectually embarrassing moments (The Scotsman)

This is a fascinating book... it will no doubt be a great source of entertainment around many a dinner table (She)

A fun and witty collection of snippets of information we 'used to know' from school (Essentials)

This is an absorbing volume of familiar facts and figures you may well have forgotten... If the answers are just out of reach, but you know them really, this is the book for you (Sainsbury's Magazine)

It is a fascinating read and you might even learn a few things you missed out on first time around (Townswoman Magazine)

It covers everything we should remember from school but don't (The Western Mail)

could help you connect with your childhood, boost your brainpower and remind your kids just how clever you are (Irish News)

[an] entertaining rag-bag of a book, a sort of cocktail of half-remembered things from your schooldays (Birmingham Evening Mail)

Book Description

"a droll personal audit of how much - or how little - of school learning lingers on into later life... it is not only fun to dip into, it is a mine of useful information... It's all there, easily found, clearly laid out."

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Meerkat on 15 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this; it's easily digestible, with some nice touches of humour. But as well as reminding you that you used to have a memory, it fills in the gaps when you were looking out of the window as the teacher explained simultaneous equations, or The American War of Independence. What's so great about this book is that it doesn't talk down to you - it assumes that everyone forgets things now and again. But perhaps it has an interesting role for the younger reader, too. What did you do at school, mummy? This...
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Dotty May on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Apparently, like loads of other people, I go around thinking that I still know everything that I learnt at school, when in fact, I bet I can't remember half of it, and it wasn't even that long ago! When someone actually asked me to tell them what photosynthesis was I found that I no longer knew anything more than 'it's how plants live and something to do with carbon dioxide and green stuff in leaves'! And more disturbingly all my basic maths skills have also got lost somewhere in the depths of time. This book is a godsend to anyone who wants to be reminded of all these skills so that you no longer feel like a dunce at the pub quiz or just generally really, and it also has loads of things that I was never even taught at school which are of genuine interest. It looks so nice on your shelf too that its a good one to buy for awkward relatives and friends - as long as they won't be insulted!!
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my Dad, trying to look clever whilst reminding him he is old. When he started asking me if "I knew this or that" I realized how much I had forgotten from school, and I made a complete fool of myself.

I asked my father to lend me the book now! I needed a quick read through, but he wouldn't let me have it!!

Great fun.
Mark
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart Bruce TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is split into chapters based on the traditional school subjects, such as geography, history, maths, and then within each chapter split into 'typical things we were taught', ranging from the list of British kings to trigonometry to Charles Dickens.

There are certain chapters you'll skip, either because they were your specialist subject at university or because you're still not interested years later. But there are chapters you'll definitely be saying "I used to know that!" for.

It doesn't take very long to read the entire book, but that's only half the usefulness, because my copy will be taking a prominent place on my shelf- because next time anything that relates to these subjects comes up, I'll remember (I hope) that if I've forgotten it, this is the first book to turn to.

My only criticism is that perhaps 192 pages is a little ungenerous and the authors could easily have found an extra 50% of stuff that we've also forgotten from school. Or maybe that's being saved for a sequel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Iain S. Palin on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure why I enjoy this book so much. It isn't because it evokes memories of school, because as for most people school wasn't the "happiest days" of my life. Perhaps it's simply the joy of nuggets of knowledge, some of it "useful" some of it not, presented in a readable and informative way. The range of subjects is very wide, and you can either read the book through or dip into it when you have a few minutes.
I suspect part of the attraction is the same as comes from watching TV quizzes (which I love) - painless learning, and sometimes the satisfaction of saying "I remember that". This book has joined others in the same series on my reference shelf.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Pearce on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Leafing through this in the book shop my smug, 'I still know that!' expression was rapidly replaced with an, 'I never knew that!' look of horror!... So I bought it immediately, and having just finished this delightfully ingenious tome I am now happy to say that although I may not have 'Known That', I do now!

A great book, birthday and Christmas presents for this year are taken care of!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Alison Rose on 11 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Picked this up at the weekend as I liked the cover and purchased it straight away - am shocked at how much stuff I have indeed forgotten.
This is such a useful book - have it on my desk at work as its a great reference tool for basic general knowledge.
This is going to make a great gift for my godchildren!
Very I Before E if you have that book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sandy on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am constantly feeling frustrated about my lack of knowledge on the things I learned at school, now I can just look them all up in this fantastic little book! From parts of speech to Shakespeare plays and Kings and Queens of England it's got everything you need to brush up on your general knowledge - you'll be the queen of the pub quiz! You will genuinely be exclaiming "I USED TO KNOW THAT!!!" throughout.
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