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

4.3 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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  • My Grammar and I (Or Should That Be 'Me'?): Old-School Ways to Sharpen Your English
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  • i before e (except after c): Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff
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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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By S 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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book but was left a little disappointed.

There was lots of stuff in here that I had forgotten but most of it I will surely forget again because I'm not too interested. The bits I was interesting in (maths and science) I found that I did know (because I read sciencey books anyway) and it felt a bit lightweight in that area.

The book mostly covers early secondary school topics and touches on some of the basics from 'O' level (I guess that's GCSE now).

Overall, I think it is worth a read and it does deliver what it tries to. My problem is that my expectations were unrealistic (but that's not the author's fault).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have noted, the material in this book is not always accurate. It is often dated, too. An example that hasn't been mentioned is that the upper chambers of the heart have been called atria - not auricles - for at least the past 30 years. Surely an editor should have done a bit of fact checking?

There is an irony here. I realise that a fair amount of what I was taught at school was just plain wrong. Perhaps the author was acknowledging that this is what we USED to be taught, however, I don't think things, here, are as complicated as that. I suspect that the mistakes are down to sloppy research and editing.

There are parts of the book that are informative, interesting and serve as valuable reminders. However, personalised lists of things seem to be page-fillers. Also, once you begin to doubt the truth value of one bit of the text, you begin to question the veracity of the rest. The book is not suitable for students but, in parts, a nice memory-jogger.
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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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